Welcome to Bush's
Brave New World
By Bradford Shaw
Many years ago, Aldous Huxley wrote the groundbreaking book
"Brave New World", in which he depicted a bleak
unhopeful future full of unhappy people with no control over
their twisted form of government. Now in the year 2001, Huxley's
vision has emerged in Washington in the form of the Bush Administration.
As we begin to fully comprehend the current group of business-friendly
conservatives in the White House, people in this country are
going to have to get used to a completely changed system of
government. From all outside appearances, the vice-president
seems to be running the affairs of the Nation, while the President
tours the country in search of support for policy and legislation
that he himself doesn't comprehend.
While he travels the country on his "Greed is Good"
tour, George W. has taken Ronald Reagan's policy of delegating
authority to a whole new level. In the current administration,
several people are making the day-to-day decisions for Shrub,
isolating him from heavy thought, keeping him amused with
field trips to fun places in what appears to be a continuation
of the 2000 campaign.
Instead of looking to the President for carefully thought
out, balanced policy for a new generation of Republican leadership,
we have seen in a very short time, the return of failed attitudes
and destructive environmental management brought forward by
"not-so-successful" appointees from a previous era
in government. The Vice President, who seems to be in charge
of things in Washington, was heavily involved in the first
Bush administration, and what a success those four years turned
out to be.
Back then, people questioned the logic in appointing a person
such as Cheney, who had never served a day in uniform, as
Secretary of Defense. We were all assured that he was competent
for the job, and our present relationship with Iraq has proven
just the opposite. Our efforts in the Gulf War were outwardly
noble, but looking at the situation with the prospective that
time affords us, we are left with the evidence that Mr. Cheney
was one of the few people to fully benefit financially from
his participation in the war. Now he looks to be the hand
that guides the ship of state.
Our present Secretary of State, who George always refers
to for answers regarding foreign policy instead of answering
any difficult questions himself, was in charge of a theater
of war where a long-term victory never happened. The liberation
of Kuwait was achieved, but the chief antagonist is still
in power threatening the region as if the defeat never occurred.
Furthermore, his retirement years were spent teasing the country
with tantalizing thoughts of running for public office.
Now some of us fear that he may be in the process of being
groomed for the presidency. The Republican leadership may
be testing his loyalty and faithfulness during his tenure
as Secretary, thinking that if he is a faithful lapdog, they
will have the White House wrapped up for the next sixteen
years. He would seem to be a perfect candidate: a war hero
(sort-of), a self-made success, and an African-American. What
an unbeatable combination.
This, coupled with a lockstep Republican Congress, is Shrub's
brave new world. It is a world where the President never leaves
the campaign trail; a world where spokesmen and spokeswomen
spoon feed the public just enough information to put up a
good public front; a world where the leader of the free world
gives the impression that he doesn't need to have a clue as
to what is really going on in his administration. It's a world
tailor-made for business and commerce.
In the next few years, we can look forward to the streamlining
or elimination of many rules and regulations that stand in
the way of conservative business practices. Many dollars will
be saved, often at the expense of safety and ecology, but
don't be surprised when all of the people connected with the
current administration leave office with a lot more money
than they had when they started. It's a pattern visible from
the last Bush debacle-cum-Presidency. His people did rather
well, as they themselves would probably admit to fellow conservatives.
A successful departure from office with your pockets full
is also a part of Shrub's brave new world.
In the short time that our country has been under Republican
rule, we have seen the defeat of ergonomic laws, and dropping
the attack on global warming. The conservatives in Washington
are telling us that they know best what to do with our future.
They don't believe in global warming because they claim the
jury is out. They dismiss the concerted opinion of the great,
vast, majority of scientists and scholars as flaky and out
of the main stream. Plus, if global warming is indeed happening
and the weather turns bad, the Shrub crowd could always vacation
at some exclusive, weather friendly location. It will be all
of us regular folks suffering, stuck at home, unable to take
a holiday because we are working two jobs due to the failing
economy, sweltering in the heat and freezing in the cold.
They don't care about ergonomic issues because they have
never had to type a letter, or hammer a nail, or do anything
of that nature, so how could it possibly be unsafe? They have
secretaries and gardeners and handy-men to do these jobs,
and if they get injured, they better have good insurance to
cover them, and they better have the co-payment which always
accompanies the coverage. It's just a good thing that mean
old Hillary Clinton didn't get a chance to ruin our perfect
They have scientists and experts on retainer that are prepared
to argue for the conservative or business side of all of these
issues, regardless of the truth or disbelief in their cause.
The Republicans themselves know that these two issues are
genuine, but to acknowledge that fact might jeopardize the
current freedom that business is enjoying, perhaps at the
cost of our nations future. The bottom line once again is
profit and the depths to which big business will whore itself
for the margin.
If you don't like it, you could complain to the White House,
but can anyone really say just exactly where the buck stops
in regard to accountability? The President can bow out because
he was never in the loop. The Vice President will get a free
ride due to his reputation and poor health. The Cabinet members
can always point to Presidential responsibility, and avoid
the question. To paraphrase Huxley, "Tis a brave new
world that has such creatures in it."