That is a very ugly title, but it is the truth, so here goes.
I really didn't mean for the last post to deteriorate into a political diatribe with some ugly-ish comments. Satire, people. Satire. No, I did NOT say George Bush was pure evil, nor have I actually heard anybody say that for real, on television or otherwise. I really meant the post to be a nod to our Dear Leader and a "Go Olympics!" happy good feeling.
So, with the attitude of explaining myself and with no thought that I'll be able to keep the lid on the can of worms, here goes . . .
I think I'm to the point where "trust" when it comes to politicians is not always a very helpful designation. Even some of our "greatest" politicians have not necessarily been trustworthy. I'm not trying to say that character doesn't matter at all, and I have said all along that I believed George Bush to be a pretty nice guy, a basically moral guy, but I don't think that qualifies him to be the leader of the free world. I think President Bush has shown a shocking lack of judgment when it comes to whom HE trusts. I think that he has surrounded himself with people who have their own agendas for whatever reason. Anecdotes from really intense investigative reporting (NOT pundits on TV, Brandon) illustrate that key people in his first administration were looking for any excuse to get embroiled in Iraq. Men who preyed on American emotions after 9/11 as a means to . . . I don't know, profit? It can't really be said that they meant to secure us. If they had, wouldn't there have been a long term plan in place? But there NEVER was.
I know it is popular right now for ex-administration people to profit from selling expose pieces from their time on the inside, as is pretty typical after a president has been in office some time. It can even be argued that to do so is rather cowardly--a bit like kicking somebody when they are already down. But does anybody else find it disturbing that there are so many of these? And that what they reveal is so shocking?
The system of checks and balances was put into place to prevent any one branch of government from becoming more powerful than the others. By declaring a state of war, the current administration has circumvented a lot of laws put into place by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court to make sure that power was not concentrated or abused. Now, if there are irregularities, it is always chalked up to war time or sensitive matters. I absolutely agree that the public cannot know everything that goes on--there is a lot of sensitive information. But I don't think doctoring EPA reports on the state of climate change with recommendations for reducing greenhouse gasses is the equivalent of a national security issue. That is all about getting elected in the mid west where they build cars and grow corn.
I think the Bush administration squandered its best opportunities--to fight a successful war in Afghanistan; to build on the worldwide sympathy the world felt for the US in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and build strong diplomatic coalitions; to improve border security and work on Bush's moderate immigration policy; to use their initial Republican majority to pass laws regarding market (partial) solutions to carbon emissions and health care; used government contracts to invest in nuclear power instead of government contracts to pump billions of dollars overseas where there is no oversight; to maintain tax levels, or at least keep some in place, to keep reducing the deficit and to fund the Afghan war; to ensure that the No Child Left Behind legislation was actually good legislation . . . In short, the vast majority of Republicans in this country in the early part of this century could have gotten behind Bush's pledged inaugural promise of "compassionate conservatism." None of the things I've said here are incompatible with Republican goals or ideals. And they would have all been very good for America.
Instead, they wanted their cake and to eat it to. Republicans slashed taxes for the wealthiest Americans, with major tax breaks to banks and oil companies to name a few, while simultaneously running our country's economy into the tank with the most expensive war ever fought. Yes, people need to take responsibility, and yes, people need to be smarter, but when the public is given the message over and over again that the government can spend as much as it wants with no consequences, then why should it be any different for the people? When people are told that to spend more money and to start more wars makes you a better patriot, how can such a government be following righteous principles regardless of their stance on marriage and abortion? When Bush said to the world "if you are not with us you are against us," he effectively said to every American: if you don't sign off on MY policy, then you are no better than a terrorist. When was this attitude ever a part of the democratic process?
I don't think people are really voting for Barack Obama (Slick's point about politicians not to be trusted is very valid), I think they are voting for anything different. John McCain's nomination proves that. So what has he done with the people's trust? He has retreated from every smart, centrist opinion he's carried over the last decade to kowtow to a group of people who are, I'm sorry to say, in the minority.
There are two issues, TWO, that largely determine how evangelical Christians vote: abortion and gay marriage. Well, heck yeah, I feel strongly about these two issues too, but I don't feel strongly enough to abandon every other thing that matters also. History is replete with examples of governments trying to legislate morality. As noble as it may be, it NEVER works. And, lets be honest, laws against abortion, amendments about defining marriage, these things will not stop people from killing the innocent. These things will not stop people from engaging in homosexual acts and fornication.
Now you can say whatever you want. And I'll try really hard to listen and learn.