Democratic Underground

Welcome to Bush's Brave New World
March 20, 2001
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 health-care system.

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."


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