Monday, June 12, 2006

Las Vegas, cont'd...

(... but first a quick word of appreciation for the brilliance of the Guantanamo brass for labeling the three suicides there as "an act of war." I just hope that no one on our side got caught in the crossfire!)

Anyway, Las Vegas... I believe you've actually succeeded in creating a monster, Bush. Well, not single-handedly, perhaps. You've had ample help from your superlatively incompetent administration of neo-cons and cronies; from your disastrous war and the lies you used so shamelessly to promote it; from a disgracefully compliant, fear-driven US Congress; from your oligarchy of corporate puppet-masters and their insatiably greedy band of lobbyists; from a cabal of print and electronic media all too content to feed at the trough of slop your people fill for them. Between the lot of you, you have created out of outrage a monster whose dimensions and energy you have not yet begun to imagine.

I've had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the monster this past weekend. Some call it people-power. But it's not the fuzzy-thinking, tie-dye, turned-on, flower-child people power of half a century ago. This is a brand of people power conjured up by some very smart, uncompromising minds and fueled by the infinite communication potential of the Internet; it's a caring monster, scary only to those who have managed to exploit the treasure and the vast human resources of this country to benefit none other than themselves. It's an exponentially growing community of people angered by what has become of American values as a result of that "vast right wing conspiracy" and impatient to make change.

I have to tell you, Bush, this convention was a refreshing gulp of air for one who has tended, frankly, recently, toward pessimism. The fact that no less than four presidential hopefuls showed up is a good indication of their assessment of the need to listen to this voice. I myself loved the spirit that I found there, the ability to think hard and long, and argue, and talk, and laugh, and listen to each other. I loved the dismissal of the tired old cliches and received ideas--my own included--in favor of new vision and a passionate belief in the real possibility of change. I have always followed Maureen Dowd with pleasure and, most frequently, agreement, but the cynicism in her column about the convention in last Saturday's New York Times was so far removed from my own experience of the event that I wondered where she could have been. Too bad. Call me a wide-eyed optimist (not a label I'd normally expect,) but the experience left me with something I had come close to abandoning: hope.

I see this morning that you've withdrawn to Camp David, Bush, with your coterie of sage advisers to get a new perspective on your war. I'm afraid you'll just come up with more of the same old "stay the course" nonsense, or some window-dressing efforts to get your party through the next few months to the elections. I wish you could have taken a few of the "progressives" from this convention with you, and listened to their views.

Some hope! But watch out for the avalanche, Bush. Believe me, it's headed your way.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Glad to hear you so stoked up and re-invigorated, Peter. You'll need all of it to get through the remaining 951 days of the Bush Administration.

Not that I'm counting the days.