Four More Years May Be Four Too Many

Now it is official, four more years of Bush. The man who litigated his way into the White House has actually prevailed, actually winning the Presidential Election. To say that I am disappointed is an extreme understatement. My fears about the race all came true. Rather than go down singing, Kerry played it safe all the way to the end.

What is particularly distressing is the reality that the America in which we’re living is empowered by a cadre of arrogant, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, ultraconservative, religious right wing groups. George Bush proved, as in Texas, that corralling the evangelical Christian contingent is a large enough voting block to win an election. This morally superior assemblage is a near-exact mirror, however, to the Islamic fundamentalist jihads that are currently our greatest enemies. Religious fundamentalism is still fundamentalism, regardless of which religion to which you subscribe.

The worst aspect of this fundamentalism is the resolute insistence on a single path to the gates of paradise. There is no room for debate, acceptance, or even respect. All hope for collaborative problem solving, to negotiate peaceful solutions for the increasingly complex problems of an uncertain world are constrained by powerfully insurgent forces from both sides of Abraham. With little option for cooperation, there is little room for anything besides coercion. Under any circumstance, it is a recipe for continual confrontation.

George Bush is the epitome of the superior certainty that is being embraced. By his own admission he has tightened his circle of advisors, in favor a virtual echo chamber. There is virtually no dissent in an administration that now feels flush with a newly minted mandate. More disconcerting is the fact that this president also admits that he doesn’t like to listen to lengthy reports on issues from his staff. Not only is he a sound bite President. He lives in his own private a sound bite world full of “common sense.” The unfortunate reality is that the world’s problems often require uncommon sense and slightly more than the Cliff’s Notes. Yet, any individual that questions or, God forbid, is critical of our leader finds themselves dismissed and vehemently derided, including fellow world leaders.

All of this presents an interesting irony on the term leader. Leading implies followers, and as I look around, America seems to find them conspicuously lacking on the global stage. Only in our own nation do we like to hear ourselves. Somewhere, this President has confused leadership with dominion. The result is the most secretive, unilateral, administration of conceit, Texas Two-stepping to an imperial theme of their own composing.

I guess we get the government we deserve. I only hope we can survive it. The rest of the world doesn’t seem keen on the prospects of being commanded rather than led by the nation known as US. Although, we can now rest peacefully knowing that we will definitely be protected, mainly from ourselves.

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