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The Bush Legacy: An Historical Footnote
May 21, 2002
By punpirate

Okay, 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 surprise there.

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 and morally.

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.

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