Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Optimism/Pessimism

I had always considered myself an optimist. My motto had always been, "this too shall pass" (it always seemed to), seeing the good in just about anything. I am a pretty happy person, certainly not an Ambien candidate. I am glad to be an American, proud of my country, her accomplishments and her place in the world. Then I was presented with a new President.

As I have said before, he was the newly elected (appointed) head of my country, and even though he had not been my choice, I would support him as the head of my government. Knowing that in another 4 years I would have an opportunity to perhaps make him go away was enough to keep my optimism afloat.

Then terror struck. The horror of 9/11 bit deep into the souls of us all. Bush, amidst the rubble with his bullhorn, was the reassuring father and we all fell into lock step behind him. We would allow him to do whatever it took to get the perpetrators of this heinous act. Little did we know at the time that the sly fox knew this and played on it. The P.T. Barnum mode had become operational and the moment the Twin Towers collapsed all we suckers were born.

Unless one lives in a tribal society, where warfare is the norm and any day may find you with a new leader, the usurping of power takes time. Of course we were eager to go after the architect of the WTC attack, we were still reeling from the aftereffects of it, but in our blood lust, naivete and fear we were blinded to what we were about to give up. And slowly, slowly, the "neocons" started undermining our laws and trying desperately to dismantle our Constitution.

We watched as the world cried for us and with us. We had tears in our eyes as our legislators stood on the steps of the Capital and sang God Bless America. We were the United States of America. A cry of "do whatever it takes to get them" was almost palpable. The administration heard all this and they smiled.

Somewhere along the way the Congress voted on money to wage a war, but they were never formally asked to declare a war. Ooops! Oh well, nothing major, the devil is in the details, we were on a mission! How were we to know there was a mission within a mission? No one, no one thought to err on the side of caution. But, I was still optimistic!

Created for us was the office of Homeland Security with a four bar color code to help us assess the terrorist threat. It was used so much for awhile that the colors threatened to fade. This also was a set up, designed to scare the bejeezus out of us when it hit orange, (pretty darned high!) and make us more reliant on those at Homeland Security when they told us they were on top of everything. After all, nothing happened did it? Yes, we said, you are so vigilant in your protection! (Not to worry about our unprotected ports, chemical plants or railroads). And, weren't we happy when they managed to gather up all those "suspected" terrorists and whisked them out of the country? Darn tootin' we were! Saved us from constantly looking over our shoulders. (Guantanamo thy name is gulag!) Pessimism is starting to nip at my heels.

Now we were told we were in even more danger from that dastardly, desert dwelling, devil, Saddam Hussein, who (we were told) had actually be in league with that fiend Bin Laden, and we just had get him before he launched a suicide bombing camel in our direction. No anthrax infested camel materialized so Homeland Security sure was on the ball, and we swarmed into Iraq, determined to get the Butcher of Baghdad because he was such a maniacal, Kurd gassing, murderous thug who, amongst all his other sins, had tried to kill our President's daddy! I am now trying to shake off the ever growing feeling of pessimism, but, it was getting harder.

Finally, as the body count grew, the directives from the White House became more bizarre, our President and his administration, were more cloaked in secrecy, less open to us, and my optimism's toes touched bottom and full blown pessimism landed with a very hard thwap!

Could things get any worse? Yes, indeed they could, and they did. This man who had managed to take my country from the highest levels of prestige and honor to the depths of depravity, was re-elected to office. My pessimism was now absolutely full blown, and there seemed to be no hope for recovery for my beloved country. Even the media, which for all intents and purposes seemed to be protecting this mental midget from his detractors, was not putting much into print. My middle name was now pessimism.

Suddenly, on the horizon, the sails of scandal hove into view and just as rats desert a sinking ship, members of the administration, and those in the halls of power were in the spotlight. Some who had cried the loudest of patriotism, those quickest to denounce those of us of who were of a different mind set, were being shown to be nothing more than the crooks and opportunists they truly were. There was hope yet! My optimism started to sprout once again.

As much as some dismiss the parallels of the rise of the Third Reich and this administration, if one is a student of history, those parallels are very real. Were one to take a closer look, and this administration was allowed to travel on their course, we would almost certainly see the courts and the laws being dismantled as they were in 1930's Germany, that slow usurption of power that I mentioned earlier.

Why has it taken so long for so many to see what has been happening? Have we become so complacent and apathetic as a nation that we feel we do not have to be vigilant in protecting what is ours? We must turn the tide. We must push for impeachment! Surely, if any president or law maker has been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, George W. Bush and his compatriots have.

For our President, the man who swore an oath to protect and defend our Constitution, to refer to it as a g**damned piece of paper is not worthy of leading this country.
Susan B. Goodwin

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