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.