As one whose lack of religious fervor long ago reached the chronic stage, I often find myself pondering an unlikely question. “When, oh Lord, when?” I am not asking for any particular personal favor from one capable of granting it but, rather, expressing simple wonderment. The kind of wonderment prompted by the quiescence of the American people. A quiescence that accepts a torrent of outrageous conduct on the part of the Bush administration.
To list all the links in the chain of malfeasance in office—and incompetence in actions—we have been witnessing, lo, these last five years, would take more space than I am allotted. But to anyone with sufficient cognitive abilities to read newspapers, and absorb even a fraction of the information available to us via an abundance of venues, the aforesaid malfeasance and incompetence should be as clear as the difference between a quail and a human being.
We are, right this moment, witnessing a side dish to the main course served up to us on the nation’s collective dinner table. Iraq is now engaged in a tragic ethnic and religious conflict, thanks in no small part to our invasion of a country which had been—in a not insignificant way—secular. Many of the earliest protesters to invading Iraq had predicted this very outcome.
America has lost not only face, but the respect of a huge segment of the entire world, and our sense of personal privacy has undergone ominous changes. The Supreme Court is being remade in the image of a man who shows contempt for “activist judges,” civil liberties, and civil and human rights. But not, to our shame, torture.
Yet, with all this and more, we the people—with the exception of the few and the brave—sit back with our electronic toys and gadgets, and figuratively fiddle, while in Iraq our young people literally burn and are maimed. While our freedoms diminish, social services vanish, and the deficit grows with each malapropism and lie the man in the White House utters.
How much lower in the polls and in esteem does George W. Bush have to fall before we realize that his will go down in the history books—if, indeed, we have history books—as the worst administration in the history of our country? How much longer will we permit a red state/blue state war to rage within our country, one fueled by the hatred for all things nonrepressive, non-judgmental and nonzealously prejudiced?
How many more American soldiers and Iraqi men, women and children must die before we acknowledge who is responsible? And how much longer must we hear the mantra of 9/11 as the reason for mandatory, unquestioned “patriotism” blinding us to the true state of the United States?
When, oh Lord, when? When will we seriously consider and activate impeachment proceedings against a president who has consistently hewn to a line which initiates foreign and domestic policies that are destroying not only our present, but the hopes of future generations?
This “Emperor” not only wears no clothes, he harbors no conscience. No admission of error, no introspection or capacity for change. If we continue to be mute, we may end up as culpable as he is. As tragically full of, not substance, but irrevocable and irreversible hubris.
Barbara Rich, a freelance writer, describes herself as “a lifelong, liberal Democrat who does not wear blinders.”