Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
At long last, our eight-year national nightmare is over. I can’t tell you just how these two terms have dragged. Or maybe they have for you, too.
Things I thank “President” Bush for:
1) Making being smart seem cool again. No one could ever think having a national figure talk like a hillbilly moron is impressive ever, going forward. The fact is, we voted overwhelmingly for President-Elect (until noon tomorrow!) Obama because, above all else, he was pretty much the smartest guy in the pack. It feels good to be smart! (Now, if we could translate that to local governing we’d all be better off…)
2) Getting myself, and millions of others, active again in politics. It took a complete fuckup to do it, but you will now get to watch the younger generation (those who are just now coming into voting age or have in the last six years) become voting, campaigning, citizens - many of whom will themselves run for office. Not only that, but by and large, they will be lifelong liberals. The Republican party lost a whole generation of voters, and if you think their electoral woes are bad now, just wait a bit, as the old conservatives die off and the GenY’ers begin to make up a larger segment of the voting population.
My own awakening came on the eve of the Iraq war. I have long been a digester of political news and information, especially since age 20, when I met Mr. Lynne with his geeky wonkishness. But before Bush, I never did more than vote (which I did religiously, as it was instilled in me by my family), even though I always knew what was going on. That was what made the Iraq war an anathema - I knew, being an informed citizen, that it was all bull. Smoke and mirrors. I was enraged by my government.
From peace activism (which after a few years felt like a futile effort - even if you get 75% of the American people at your side, still Bush didn’t get a rat’s you-know-who), to campaigning and knocking on doors for candidates, to blogging, I will never be the same rather-apathetic voter again. I take my job as citizen very seriously now, and it’s all thanks to trust-fund moron boy.
3) Though I’d rather we hadn’t, I thank Bush for going so far down the neo-conservative domestic and foreign policy path that it showcased what an EPIC FAIL such adherence towards deregulation, government handouts for the rich and big business, and empire building brings to a nation. The military arrogance of our leadership, the borrowing of money from an oppressive Communist nation to finance our buying of that same country’s (often shoddy) products, all these things are not progressive values. They are stupid, right-wing, pro-business values.
The fact is, the people who have done the most damage to the conservative agenda are the conservatives. Let’s hope it lasts a generation or more! Here’s to another era like the one pre-Raygun - decades of relative economic stability and upward mobility via progressive policies. Smart ones; I am not saying every liberal idea of the last century was the best one in every case. But the failure of the alternative (conservatism) to continue such prosperity cannot now be discounted.
This is the last contemporary post with the category “Bush Administration.” Though I still hope I get to use the category postmortem, if only Congress and the Justice Department will do its job and investigate the abuses of the last eight years. We cannot let such precedent stand. That would be a grave mistake.
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