Thursday, April 26, 2007

For newly anti-Bush converts

It seems that despite being a year old, this article is even more relevant today, as W. Bush continues to corrode the reputation of the GOP, the hopes of Americans, and the influence of conservatism. And if it seems like I'm kicking a lame duck, I am. If I actually believed that events and consequences in the world affected Bush's mental state in any way, I'd wish for a complete mental breakdown... after leaving office, of course, lest Cheney be left in command. Why so cruel? As an object lesson to every other U.S. politician.

(Side note: I have disagreements with conservatism, but I have conservative friends whose opinions I respect. Bush isn't conservative - he's a radical of an ilk that defies conventional definitions, even in political spectra richer than the traditional liberal-conservative line.
  • Conservatives tend towards isolationism - hardly the sort to institute and act on policies of preemptive war.
  • How would you characterize a president who introduced the largest new entitlement program in U.S. history?
  • How about creating the largest new department ever in the federal government?
  • Spending like a gambler, refusing to cut spending while incurring massive deficits and pressing for progressive tax cuts, rather than regressive ones which would benefit the working class.
Nothing conservative there, other than perhaps invoking Jesus periodically for knee-jerk credibility in some circles.

Anyway - from Jane Smiley: Notes for Converts. Some notes and comments from the article:
1. Bush doesn't know you disagree with him. Nothing about you makes you of interest to George W. Bush once you no longer agree with and support him.

2. Bush doesn't care whether you disagree with him. As a man who has dispensed with the reality-based world, and is entirely protected by his handlers from feeling the effects of that world, he is indifferent to what you now think is real.

3. Bush does what he feels like doing and he deeply resents being told, even politely, that he ought to do anything else. Bush is a man who has never been anywhere and never done anything, and yet he has been flattered and cajoled into being president of the United States through his connections, all of whom thought they could use him for their own purposes. ... From his point of view, he is perfectly entitled by his own experience to a sense of entitlement. Why would he ever feel the need to reciprocate? He's never had to before this.

5. Tyranny is your creation. What we have today is the natural and inevitable outcome of ideas and policies you have promoted for the last generation. I once knew a guy who was still a Marxist in 1980. Whenever I asked him why Communism had failed in Russia and China, he said "Mistakes were made". He could not believe that Marxism itself was at fault, just as you cannot believe that the ideology of the unregulated free market has created the world we live in today.
No successful company in the history of capitalism has ever favored open competition.
The US could have become a moderating force in what seems now to be an inevitable battle among the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions, but you have made that impossible by flattering and empowering our own violent and intolerant Christian right.
You have created an imperium, heedless of the most basic wisdom of the Founding Fathers - that at the very least, no man is competent enough or far-seeing enough to rule imperially. Checks and balances were instituted by Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, and the rest of them not because of some abstract distrust of power, but because they had witnessed the screw-ups and idiocies of unchecked power.
At one time, our bureaucracy was full of people who had gone into government service or scientific research for altruistic reasons--I knew, because I knew some of them. You have driven them out and replaced them with vindictive ignoramuses.
You have increased the powers of corporations at the expense of every other sector in the nation and actively defied any sort of regulation that would require these corporations to treat our world with care and respect. You have made economic growth your deity, and in doing so, you have accelerated the power of the corporations to destroy the atmosphere, the oceans, the ice caps, the rainforests, and the climate. You have produced CEOs in charge of lots of resources and lots of people who have no more sense of reciprocity or connection or responsibility than George W. Bush.

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