I wish I could talk about the magical moment when I caught Olympic Fever. But I'm depressed and I need your help.
See, I wasn't comfortable with the Bush warrantless wire tapping. Very few people were; but fans of the president said he was protecting our freedom. They routinely dismissed the egregious policy with the line: "I don't have anything to hide--they can track me all they want." As long as they catch terrorists. Right? Meanwhile, the political enemies of the previous administration called him Hitler.
Now, as Obama increases the range of the above mentioned activity, and further interprets the law to exclude the federal government from prosecution if they happen to spy on some uppity citizen who believes in the Constitution, I wait in vain to for the piercing sound of outrage. I don't expect it from dullard kool-aid drinkers like Olberman, Garofalo and Matthews, but my actual friends, whose opinion I might actually respect, should have something respectable to say, right? So I bring it up with one Obama Mama, who immediately, almost nonchalantly repeats, VERBATIM the above mentioned rationalization that righties made for Bush. I was depressed, and decided not to mention it to another woman I know and love, remembering that the last time someone dared question Obama's papal infallibility, she nearly cried. (Seriously!) Almost hopeless, I bemoaned my plight to a friend who may or may not have voted for Barrack. He temporarily saved the day: "No man, I decided early on that everything I hated about Bush, I was going to hate about Obama." Then a former co-worker, from whom I expected much less (given that he had actually attempted to influence mental health clients to vote for his man) wrote to me about his anger over the idea that a man who sends 30 thousand extra troops to kill and die in a foreign land could ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I began to feel a little better. Until the fiance of an Obama Mama showed himself to be completely unable to carry on an intelligent discussion about the economy, believing in all frankness that Obama has "saved it." Yes, savED, past tense, as in "mission accomplished." [ed. This belief, no matter how much we hope he succeeds, requires more than the usual amount of kool-aid.] For those of you keeping score: Dangerous ignorance: 3.5 . . . informed rationality: 1.5
I need your help here. I need you to ask around. Find people who hated Bush (it won't be difficult). Bring up the following points of FACT:
1) The current president's war policies are identical to, if not more bellicose than, his predecessor.
2) The current president's verbal gaffes, if ever publicized, are at LEAST as depressing, and almost as numerous, as his predecessor. (One small example: when recently reading from his teleprompter, he really did pronounce the word "corpsman" as "CORPSE man." If I need to tell you that it's pronounced "core," as in the Marine Corps, then perhaps you thought Bush was a little verbose.)
3) The current president inherited a difficult situation, not unlike his predecessor, and both responded by crawling into bed with fat cats, devaluing the dollar, and mindlessly increasing the national debt.
4) Both presidents enjoyed party majorities in the legislature. Both used them to enact wildly unpopular legislation, thereby sending the congressional approval rating into a dark abyss.
Should you honestly conduct this survey, I believe you will be at least partially shocked and/or disappointed with the reactions and results. And one could go on with 25 (give or take) similar points. (These facts, and many others, are all available with a modicum of research.) But rather than blather, let us ask ourselves what this multitude of queasy similarities means. Is the very office of president corrupted to such a degree that it no longer matters who occupies it? What kind of future lies in store for a Republic wherein the electorate is so ignorant as to excuse reprehensible behavior because of party affiliation, or for any other reason? What happens to freedom when people are willing to accept tyranny from someone who makes them feel good? What are the further implications of the broad philosophical differences that seem to divide the country squarely down the middle?
Do you know the answers to these questions before even conducting the survey? Do said answeres leave room for optimism?
My hope--my sincere hope--is that the results will surprise me. That we will discover a fair minded, informed center--a core group of registered voters who are able to evaluate a political entity based on something other than "focus groups, cool graphics, brainless endorsements from Hollywood elites and Internet pan flashes, nebulous catch phrases and an A+ in teleprompter reading."
Alas, as dear Emily observed: "hope is the thing with feathers." It can, and maybe should, "pearch upon [our] soul, and sing the tune without the words--and never stop at all." But only a fool follows that bird into places like the blogosphere . . . or the future . . . or the voting booth.