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"that's above my paygrade"
"That's above my paygrade" is a term one hears constantly from Republican politicians and Bushies in particular. I even heard John Ashcroft say it the other night and cringed.
What is that person saying? I think he means to say, "I'm not qualified to speak to the issue," but what he is really saying is, "My responsibility is defined by these narrow parameters and so if I do those well, I may abdicate my responsibilty to my fellow man by not bothering to learn about or to think about the essential issues of our day with an absolutely clear conscience.
Could fragmentation and alienation be any better defined? This is a war in which every individual must make decisions on questions of moral essences. Those of us who define these essences are seen as the enemy because we point out real divisions that exist in reality, thereby handing people a moral choice leading to issues of war and peace. It is a choice easy to make, but I am convinced it is one they don't want to make out of fear.
Fear of war is worse than war. And in the end, delay of war always causes war to be more destructive than it needed to be when it finally comes in all its fullness.