For a moment, let us part ways with such terms as ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative.’ For the purposes of this brief rant, the distinctions effectively disappear. After reading this post at The Talent Show, I was struck by what I considered to be dangerously matter-of-fact hypocrisy. Greg Saunders, echoed by some of the commenters to this post, lambastes Cindy Sheehan for meeting with (and saying supportive words on behalf of) Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Saunders uses some cautionary reports from Human Rights Watch in order to accuse Chávez of despotic behavior.

Is Saunders correct? I don’t give a shit. My point begins with acknowledging that Saunders, presumably a U.S. citizen (forgive me if I’m wrong about that), lives in the same country I do. This is a country whose executive branch came into power on the strength of a stolen election, and likely retained power through another one. The U.S. currently has roughly 700 military bases in 130 countries. We are currently conducting overt, open-ended military operations in two foreign countries, neither of which attacked us or declared war against us. We have the largest per capita prison population in the industrialized world. Then there is this list, which only includes events after the end of WWII.

Need I say more? To an idiot, or someone being deliberately obtuse, perhaps. To someone with a conscience, a sense of fairness, and a working brain, the point is clear. The U.S. and its citizens are in no position to wag a moralizing finger at any nation, be it Chávez’s Venezuela, Castro’s Cuba, or Ahmadinejad’s Iran. The striving for justice, democracy, and righteousness begins at home.

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