Bush Legacy: An Historical Footnote
May 21, 2002
to all you folks who thought Bush was a great guy, someone
you'd like to schmooze with over the fence, have a beer with,
and voted for him on that basis: it's really very simple -
is that a good reason to vote for someone for President of
the most powerful country in the world?
In your private moments, maybe, just maybe, you think not.
So, why did you vote for him? Because the media convinced
you to do so? Yeah, a reason, but not a good one. Because
you thought Al Gore was a dork? Since when are social skills
a really considerable matter in a Presidential election? After
sixteen months, guess what? Dubya turns out to be the dork.
Al Gore turns out to be the guy with a few ideas. Dubya, however,
is clueless, even with supposedly the best help in the country.
Dubya turns out to be the neighbor who kills your dog because
it shits on his lawn, and then lies about doing so.
And you voted for him because he was a likeable guy. He's
a political animal, but, otherwise, he's just an animal. And,
you voted for him, because you liked him. Time to ask yourself
why. Was it just because the media thought you might like
him? Or was it because he was more handsome than your hubby,
and you had fantasies about this twit?
God, I hope not. Let's get this out in open, once, and for
all. George Bush is a consummate political manipulator. But,
personally, he's a self-interested shit. He's a liar. He won't
tell the truth about his past, let alone tell the truth about
his decisions in office, either in Texas or in Washington.
Truth is, he's a hateful, spiteful sonofabitch. Everyone who
knows him says he's got an elephant's memory for political
slights against him or his precious dad. His dad is no better
than he is - just another privileged person with money who
thought, by being President, he could run the world.
This business of the Bushes is getting very old and very
tiresome. How about finding one which has the country's and
the world's interests first and foremost? Run that
Bush, instead of all the rest of them. Can't find one? No
Okay, rant over.
How to fix the problem? How about just not voting for any
Bush running for office? That might be a really good start.
It doesn't matter if your conservative neighbors vote for
a Bush in the primary. You don't have to, just because they
do (they're Republicans, after all, and they can be forgiven
that moral lapse). You don't have to tell them who you voted
for - all you have to do is smile. That'll piss 'em off, and
keep 'em thinking.
Don't like the local Democrat? He or she just as sleazy as
the Repug on the ticket? Find the nearest independent and
quiz them about their intentions once in office.
C'mon, do you like war? That's what the Bushes have given
you. Yup, the draft is gone. What happens when the volunteers
say, "enough is enough, I quit"? Your kid gets drafted
for another stupid war. Viet Nam all over again, except with
sand instead of jungle. Or maybe sand and jungle too, if your
kid is sent to Columbia and is then diverted to Iraq.
To the Bushes and their buds, the rest of the world is a
war zone. To them, the whole freakin' world is against us.
Your average beyond the Beltway psychiatrist would say that
this is the definition of paranoia. Well, folks, I don't hate
the rest of the world, and I don't want to be represented
by people who think that way, think that the rest of the world
is out to get them (and drag us into their psychological peccadilloes).
I like most of the rest of the world.
My father spent nine months in a German prison camp in WWII.
He should be wary of the Germans because of that experience,
and yet he is not. He took us on vacation in Germany in the
late '50s; the German people were friendly, kind, and, frankly,
in retrospect, they were damned glad that the war was over.
In Wiesbaden in 1958, a matronly German woman saw my little
sister, smiled, and said almost wistfully, if I remember correctly,
"als wie eines Deutsches kinder." Just like a German child.
Around the corner from this encounter were the gouges from
20mm cannon shells in the side of a building.
Over time, Germany's direction has been to avoid war, to
avoid the mistakes made in its past when Hitler wanted to
control the world. Germany happily eschewed military spending,
gratefully accepted Marshall Plan funds and rebuilt its plants
and infrastructure and determined, forever, to sell us well-made
Mercedes cars and make trade with its European neighbors and
the rest of the world. Germany, despite its economic power,
has had no desire to rule the world since, and is much the
better for that decision.
The same cannot be said about the United States. The incredible
might of the combined corporate, political and military power
of the U.S. is, plainly, threatening to the rest of the world.
The Bushes, rather than using that power for universal good,
have chosen to use it for corporate gain, and possibly for
personal interest, at least as far as the short-sighted aims
of oil are concerned.
The Bushes don't care about the future. Five hundred years
from now, when electric cars powered by alternative-energy
sources will be the norm, rather than the exception, the Bushes
will not be remembered, and if they are, they will be only
remarked upon as Presidential footnotes in distant history.
Both Georges know this. They care about profits in the present,
not about their communal reputation in the future. They know
that they, and we, are temporary and extinguishable.
How else to explain the extreme shallowness of George W.
Bush? Media flacks today compare him to Teddy Roosevelt and
Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was assassinated for his decisions.
Lincoln was empassioned about his views and decisions, and
was killed for them. Bush wants only to profit from his views,
wants to live out his days on his ranch and the golf course
and be remembered as a President, rather than as a seminal
decision maker of his time.
The media view, like the legacy of the Bushes, father and
son, will not be remembered. What will be remembered, however,
is the Bush interruption in the progress toward world peace,
the Bush recalcitrance in effecting some marginal harmony
among nations, and for the Bush doctrine, which put America
back into the middle ages, politically, scientifically, ethically
Ultimately, several hundred years from now, historians will
look back on this time and wonder why Americans chose a President
because he seemed to be an "okay guy," someone they'd like
to share a beer with across the back fence.
They will compare our time with theirs, and thank their lucky
stars that they came to their senses before their politicians
destroyed the planet, its peoples and its cultures, and that
they finally demanded better of their leaders.
We can get a head-start on that legacy by demanding better
of current and prospective leaders. If we are the best, we
should expect the best in leadership, expect individuals who
are thinking not just about next week, and how to enrich themselves
and their friends, as are the Bushes; we need to vote for
and encourage people to office who are thinking about the
next century, and the next one after that, and are thinking
about how best to ensure a proper future for all our people
and the people of the planet, rather than just seeking office
for the benefit of themselves and the wealthiest few of us.
punpirate is a writer living in New Mexico, musing about life
five hundred years from now.