The world is filled with brilliant, educated, articulate and wise men. I have never considered George Bush to be one of them. In fact, the way he bumbles, mumbles and fumbles, I have often wondered if he is missing a few brain cells, perhaps brought about because of his tumultous early years. And when I read that he sat watching television during Shock & Awe, clapping his hands with each powerful blast of bombs in the air, my opinion was reinforced.
What kind of a man would send all of those people to their deaths in the execution chambers of Texas, without taking time to glance over their appeals? And what kind of a man would mimic the appeal of a convicted man...."Don't kill me! Please don't kill me!" in a high, ridiculing tone?
To me, George W. Bush seems to lack compassion. Some of his followers applaud his stubbornness, his "Stay the course" constancy. But, to me, it seems he is asking others to "stay the course", sacrificing children, tax money, etc., while his life goes on as usual, constant vacations, speeches at wealthy clubs, and fundraisers. Perhaps when he says "Stay the course", he's talking about a few rounds of golf.
Even when he made that rousing speech to the inhabitants of New Orleans after he had finally faced the disastrous events there, it seemed that his speech lacked compassion. Oh, sure, he promised them the moon. New homes, new jobs, a new city, new lives. But he did not grieve for the more than a thousand people lost because of the negligence of the authorities, not the elderly, dying in beds being inundated by rising water, not the people who drowned, not the sick people in hospitals with no food or water or little medicine. Where were the tears? Where was the grief? Where was the feeling one human being should have for another?
Instead, it was a President fighting for his poll numbers. It was quick visits and Photo Ops. It was hugging a child and planting a kiss on her cheek when it just so happened a camera was there.
One of the memories I have of the period directly after 9/11 is a picture of Bill Clinton on the streets of New York, surrounded by a group of people, his arms around some of them, others reaching out to him, just to touch him, to feel his strength.
Compassion was a primary emotion with Clinton. Sure, I know. A womanizer. I don't care about that. That's Hillary's problem. But I do care that a man has some feeling toward others. I do care that a man who has given out misinformation to start a war has never had enough compassion to admit his mistake, to openly weep for the dead, and promise to make things better somehow. I think Clinton would have done that. I know John Kennedy would have. And I think John McCain has that kind of depth, although Republicans nixed him as their candidate.
I know politics is "hard ball", as Bob Dole has said. But does it have to be outright corruption? Why is it that, in this country, Clinton's dalliance with an intern...again Hillary's problem...brought about impeachment, but the shenanigans of this Administration are glossed over as though they are acceptable?
The Iraq War was unnecessary.
It was brought about on false information, cooked up by a Cabal so intense that when one man, Joseph Wilson, spoke out about it, claiming the information to be wrong, he was subjected to fierce retaliation. Not only was his character brutally assassinated, but the vendetta extended to his wife, outing her as a secret agent, rendering her incapable of doing her job.
Hard ball is one thing, but criminal retaliation is another. And not once have we heard an explanation from George Bush, although a reporter has gone to jail, his aides have been called to testify before a Grand Jury numerous times, and his Administration is falling to dust at his feet.
Instead, George Bush utters his endless platitudes, saying such things as the" War being a Noble Cause", necessary so Americans won't look like weaklings, and...if it is halted...the dead would have died in vain.
They did die in vain. They died because a group of greedy old men decided to send the young men to war, probably for the oilfields. It was not a humanitarian move. It was not helpful, because Iraq is now a divided and violent country. And it has just about driven this country to the poorhouse, leaving us with problems George Bush seems to be in no hurry to fix.
That old matriarch, GM, is on its last tottering legs, as is Ford and Chrysler. The airlines are still struggling. Corporations use cheap labor overseas to sell at top dollar here. And joblessness, especially following the hurricanes, is a big problem. The poor and needy are growing in number. The Middle Class is sinking like the Titanic. Only the Wealthier Group seem to thrive and they have kept the housing market booming with them....until now. Now almost every block has two or three houses for sale, just sitting there. Gas hovers at three bucks a gallon, inflation is beginning to rear its head, and the National Debt keeps growing. And a flood of illegal immigrants are entering every area, working in restaurants, construction, everywhere, living twenty to a room, sending money back home and working for less money than an American citizen needs to gas up his car.
Even with all this, we listen to reports and statistics telling us how great things are. Again and again, I have read them, listing data I don't even understand...this index and that...a gibberish of language that tells me how good it is, when anyone who has lived as long as I have lived knows this is not true. We are headed for a fall. We are already into the descent.
The Republicans ran on a ticket of "family values" They have preached about morality and boycotted and complained until the word "damn" is forbidden on television until after nine o'clock. But, in this indignant superiority, they have forgotten the true meaning of morality. Morality does not include lying, conniving, scheming, plotting or conspiring. Nor should any family be subjected to the idea that retaliation is honorable. It just isn't.
The Iraqi people live in fear. The turmoil in their country has not ended since Saddam's statue was toppled and, from all of the Middle Eastern history I have read, it will not end. Other invaders have tried to handle Iraq and have failed. If we win, what have we won? A Democracy established by falsehoods and force. An America that allows torture, ignores conspiracy, and embraces arrogance. If that true intellectual, the most brilliant man I have ever read about, Thomas Jefferson, were alive today, he would hang his head in shame.