Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Rise and Fall of George W. Bush

I remember during the 2000 election campaign before George W. Bush came to power, asking myself, “How important is it to have a good leader rather than a mediocre or bad leader?” Some people said that we get too hung up on good leadership. The president is just a figure-head like the British Monarchy. He's there to make Americans feel good about themselves and to set the tone while the true levers of power are manipulated behind the scenes as is always the case. Boy, did subsequent events prove this argument wrong.

True power is earned by guidance and inspiration. The more a leader uses manipulation and deception to get his way, the weaker he and his country becomes. Deceit serves to divide and polarize the people and a deceitful leader must excercise increasing amounts of force and deception in order to stifle growing dissent. Take for example, parenting. A father can use lies and physical force to keep his children in line but it will eventually weaken and destroy familial bonds as the children grow up and either rebel or lapse into crippling dysfunction. The next generation becomes even more of a mess as the lies of the father are played out there too.

When the tragedy of 9-11 occurred Bush could have inspired and united the entire world. Instead he used that event to promote fear and ended up dividing his own country against itself. The story of George W. Bush is a Shakespearian tragedy played out in real time. A man born of privilege who achieved the American Presidency through the assistance of clever but unscrupulous advisors like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a spineless and servile mass media that allowed itself to be manipulated into supporting an unnecessary and unjust war.

A once proud country that embodied the ideals of justice and fairness for all, reduced to every man for himself, while naked greed was aided and abetted by deliberate government policy. The marginalization of the middle class and disenfranchisment of the poor. Previous progress protecting the environment clawed back by cronyism and a deliberate policy to let corporations despoil the land and sea with impunity. The legitimization of torture; imprisonment without trial or right of appeal; the systematic undermining of the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers; the use of the legal system to help ensure the election of republican candidates; the suppression and distortion of scientific knowledge about global climate change in order to increase the profits of the largest corporations in the world. The list of heinous crimes goes on.

The story continues and the stakes are getting higher. Will justice prevail? Or will America continue its descent into a facist theocracy? If we survive this nightmare we will be cleaning up the mess and destruction that the Bush administration has left behind for the next half century.

I recently saw a Bill Moyers Journal: “Buying The War” on PBS. It was an excellent expose of how the media in the U.S. was manipulated into becoming a propaganda machine for the Bush Administration. One of the examples showed how Vice President Dick Cheney fed fake news about weapons of mass destruction to the New York Times and then went on t.v. and cited the same Times article as evidence for his contention that Sadaam must be stopped.

Events like hurricane Katrina, which demonstrated Bush's incompetency to the rest of the world, the current public inquiry into the politically motivated firing of Prosecutors, and exposes like “Buying the War” are drawing an ever tightening noose around Bush and his cronies. Like “Richard the III” , “Macbeth”, or “King Lear” , a scene of a steady but inexorable fall to destruction is being played out before our eyes.

1 comment:

  1. OK not shakespearian, that's over the top. But Katrina was the tipping point.