Thursday, September 02, 2004


Outsourced Nation

Watching our fraud of a president make his speech tonight, one of those things which is so obvious you don't see it, finally dawned on me. I've been wracking my brain, trying to understand how an appreciable number of American voters could support someone for re-election who has never - either in life or his presidency - taken responsibility for anything he's ever said or done, from his youthful shirking, to his political shamelessness, to his utter incompetence as an administrator. Elsewhere, I've referred to his bulwark of support as a 'nation of enablers', who reflexively dream up excuses for his each and every error and failure, no matter how bad. Because there are so many of those, the question keeps coming back and back. Tonight, it finally struck me.

These people don't themselves want to be responsible for their own government, their own democracy. To them, politics and public policy are either for specialists or are simply teevee entertainment. Civic virtue is a quaint and outmoded concept. The distinction between 'citizen' and 'consumer' is pretty much gone. Government is now, as it were, outsourced: "don't bother me with the details; I don't want to know and shouldn't have to know. Hire some guys to take care of it all and just leave me alone while I work on my 'lifestyle'".

So perhaps Bush is not a total fraud. Obviously, the GOP knows exactly what it's doing. But don't call them 'smart'. They may be clever, but any fool can be clever. They 'cleverly' manage to embody the worst of oligarchy wrapped in the worst of democracy. They dare to piss away a fragile and precious anomaly - an enlightened, rationalist approach to government.

It's said that America gets the government it deserves. That's not precisely true, due to some barnacles clinging to our constitution, e.g. the way the Senate represents, the Electoral 'College'.... But broadly speaking, it IS true. We may get a new president in November. But if we actually choose Bush, there won't be any blaming the SCOTUS or anybody else this time; and, although I hate to say it, we will be diminished in the eyes of the world for a long time.

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