Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who Are We

Identity is a complex process of often painful evolution. But we have developed over the short span of eight years an identity, as a nation in a world of other nations, as bullies and thugs. That is a big part of the Bush Legacy. Thank you Carl Rove, thank you Vice President Chenney, thank you Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales. I could go on and on with the kudos, but if you’d been paying the slightest attention over the eight long Bush years, you know the cast of characters. Second raters, one and all. Mean and greedy. It’s hard for me to believe that these people all had reasonable credentials—good schools, a history of public service, business, law. What happened along the way that made them all so cynical and mean and greedy? What was in it for them besides wealth? Is wealth enough of an incentive to work so hard to wreck a country? Did they plan the economic collapse when it seemed a woman or a black man would be taking over to lead the sinking ship of state? Was the banking collapse a well improvised explosive devise planted to sabotage and guarantee failure for their successor? And did Dick Chenney always plan to stick around and needle the next administration?

We are learning things about ourselves and our government that are horrifying to me. That C Street has been doing its subversive secret work since the 1930s directing the legislative agenda of Congressmen, both Democrat and Republican, is only now becoming widely known. That we became torturers and that conservatives (both Republican and Democrat) believe this is a good thing is profoundly depressing. That lobbyists for corporate America are driving the agenda and funding the conservatives of both parties to stop reform of our Healthcare and Financial Industries and just might well succeed, and indeed have succeeded in keeping reform from happening at all, makes me want to leave this country and live in a country less enamored of greed and repression, less invested in fundamentalist religious doctrines, less willing to strip women of rights long ago fought for and won.

17 comments:

Mil said...

Some of what you describe reminds me of some of what I felt about my parents and upbringing as I reached an uncomfortable horizon of consciousness after a period of serious mental ill health. Now I see my eldest son coming to terms with what he is and what he feels about *his* parents and upbringing - and I realise this process is far more common and widely shared than we would care to admit.

Wes said...

I worry that we haven't suffered enough under the thumb of big banks and bad players greed, to realize the hidden cost of complacent servitude to profit rather than a system dedicated to traditional democratic values. A system built around building global profit with peoples well-being a negotiable afterthought? That puts democracy, majority rule with minority protection, in a perilous position.

jadedj said...

It would seem that the old addage regards money and evil are dead, spot on. We have become a nation of "screw them, gimme, gimme, gimme", instead of a nation of "do the right thing".

It is beyond sicking.

Utah Savage said...

When we traded away the public good embodied in the public option for healthcare reform to the insurance industry, I started getting depressed again. I had a bit of hope since last years election gave us both the congress and the presidency, so I thought we were on the road to change, but now, I think we are entirely on the wrong track. The Stupak amendments passing in the House makes me realize how precarious women's legal rights is and how easy it would be to have them stripped. I have been hopeful that we would be giving full civil rights to our gay brothers and sisters, but that too is looking less likely. All of this makes me heartsick.

I'm appalled that we are escalating a war with nothing to "win" and everything to lose. No nation has ever come out of a war in Afghanistan stronger than they went in, except Ghengis Khan who slaughtered everyone. That was a very long time ago.

The notion that C Street thugs are meddling in the politics of Uganda to make it possible to imprison and execute people for being gay is sickening.

So put this all together and I am heartsick, war weary and depressed.

Suzan said...

I think we know who we are now.

The question is "What are we going to do about rectifying this nightmare reality?"

That discussion needs to start pronto!

Thanks for your words.

S

Lisa said...

I admit that my utter hopelessness about this country is one of the reasons I stopped blogging about politics. I never considered myself an idealist, but the reality is that until we have publicly funded elections, we are screwed. Money drives every decision, I'm afraid. And we all lose.

giggles said...

Yes. I am seriously considering giving up doing anything in politics.... I'll just keep my mouth shut, live my own damn life in my quiet little corner of the world.... Very little trouble that way. Not enough people are paying attention.

Liberality said...

I know exactly what you are talking about here and it's like watching the beginning of the dark ages all over again. Our species is just about done.

MRMacrum said...

Certainly Bush and his band of clowns cemented the notion in minds all over the World that we are thugs and bullies, but it is hardly all his fault. We have been fostering this image for years. Bush just proved he was a master.

Our World Stage arrogance really took off in the years following WWll. But I tend to cut us some slack because we are just following in the footsteps of the other arrogant nations we learned under.

Thanks for this thought provoking post Utah. Your words sparked my latest post.

Mauigirl said...

I know what you mean, and feel the same way about blogging about politics lately. I sometimes think it is totally hopeless.

The problem with moving anywhere else is that more and more countries are jumping on the bandwagon to be more like America. What a tragedy.

BBC said...

Who are we? Well, generally speaking a bunch of brainwashed idiots trying to un-brainwash ourselves.

Madam Z said...

I sincerely believe that at least 50% of humanity's woes can be attributed to the old adage: Money is the root of all evil. The other 50% can be attributed to religion.

I have lost my will to fight either one. Now, when I feel distressed with what is happening in the world, I just remind myself that the earth is just a tiny speck in the vast universe, and each one of us humans is completely insignificant. Now, doesn't that make you feel better?

Beach Bum said...

What Wes said in spades. But strictly speaking from the mindless lemmings I'm around they are armed and believing in both the Rapture occuring at any minutes and evil Obama launching a takeover of the country banning Fox Noise, Limbaugh, and forcing everyone to eat tofu and take yoga.

Can't really see much changing since liberals/progressives spend far too much time whining about their own special interest and are willing to cut each others throats to get what they want first.

Beach Bum said...

Peggy, you are tagged. see the end of my new post.

gfid said...

the big picture overwhelms me. i have no confidence in my ability to change it. but i can have an effect in my family, and make changes in my neighborhood, my city. so i give everything i have to the things i CAN do. it may not be enough, but it's all i have. i can do no more. so, really, it IS enough.

Sherry said...

it's sad and it's scary-especially c street.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you all for weighing in on this. Today it seems healthcare reform is gutted. I've never been so disgusted with our Congress. I'm mad at Obama for letting Joe run the show. I'm furious at Harry Reid, but I'm an insignificant, basically invisible old woman and I'm losing energy and the will to keep on calling, keep on emailing, keep on signing petitions.

Sherry I have the book The Family, about the warren of mad men at C Street. I'm a bit scared to read it.