Friday, November 10, 2006

America's Hangover

America has been drunk for five years, and election day was our call for help. We’ve been drunk on your affected Southern charm, Bush. We’ve been drunk on blood: the blood of some who had a hand in plotting or condoning the September 11th attacks, as well as the blood of many who did not. We’ve been drunk on ourselves, and a belief in our own superpowers. (“Smarter than the United Nations…More powerful than suicide…Able to erect democracies in a single bound!”)

It’s been one hell of a bender, and we now find ourselves bleary-eyed, unshaven, and full of remorse. Sometime during our alcohol-induced stupor, our woman left us, and our best friends stopped speaking to us. Which doesn’t surprise us because, truth be told, we can’t even remember half the crazy shit we must have pulled. Our house is in absolute disarray. Looks like a Hurricane hit at some point.

The ironic thing is, Bush, that you, our leader, were sober during all of this madness. After 9/11, every last one of us lined up dutifully on the White House lawn, awaiting your orders. You had a 90 percent approval rating. We were willing to sacrifice. No, we wanted to sacrifice. Our collective confusion and helplessness was going to change the world. And so it did, but first you drugged us with half-baked evidence of WMDs and a phony link between Saddam and Osama. Then you sent us into war, foaming at the mouth, so drunk with rage that we forgot right from wrong. We forgot about decency and we forgot that the antidote to hatred and violence can never be, simply, more hatred and violence.

Now we are in need of healing, a process that we finally started on Tuesday by acknowledging that we are on the wrong path. But more soul-searching and more brutal honesty needs to be done. We recognized the consequences of rash action based on incomplete intelligence. And we understand that pride and self-worship has led to incompetence in warfare.

But all of this just puts us back at square one – exactly where we were on September 11th, 2001. The same question that confronted us then confronts us now: How do we respond to terrorism?

It seems pretty evident to me that our Congressional leaders, Republican or Democrat, do not have a workable plan. We’ve already seen the Republican plan: 1) hunt down and kill terrorists; 2) incite more Anti-American sentiment, thereby creating more terrorists; 3)repeat; 4)if cycle continues, invade random countries we hate.

The Democrats obviously do not have a better plan, otherwise they would not have voted (tails between their legs) to give you carte blanch power to go to war with Iraq. My frustration with Democratic elected officials on this issue knows no bounds. After all, we know the answer. The fundamentals of progressivism, if we would only listen to them, tell us the answer. Those fundamentals tell us that when people act out (be they children, criminals, or countries) they do so for a reason. Punishment, while sometimes necessary, cannot stand alone as a response to bad behavior. At some point you have to identify the underlying causes, and, when it comes to terrorism, this is the question we have been avoiding from the start.

Now that Democrats have no small measure of power, answering the question is up to us. Can we do it? What do you think, Bush?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really love your style of writing - great analogies-
love the women and the booze, friends abondoning a house trashed by, er, a hurricane

quite a superpower you have there with words
I can't even figure out how to send this comment

You're awesome