Bush and Civility - ( Or Why I Loved Gold)
posted Feb 23, 2004 at 12:58AM
(Note: This is one of the very first, if not the first, letters I ever wrote to media. It is in writing the end of this letter that persuaded me to go out the next day and put my entire portfolio into John Embry's Royal Precious Metal Fund. It would go on to become one of the best performing funds on the planet over the next three years. Best investment decision ever. Worst? Getting out after only two years...actually third worst...but those are other tales)
Re: Feeling Responsibility
Your editorial should be used in journalism classrooms as an example of what happens when supposedly worldly, seasoned newsmen become blinded by the shining light of ideology. Any realist understands that, if it were not for a fluke of birth, Bush would be selling popcorn at triple A stadiums.
Your angst over the fact Clinton did not follow the usual protocol of departing Presidents shows your inability to grasp different realities. After all, unlike past departing Presidents, he is not an aging retiree, suffering from the physical and mental ravages of time, being sent off to pasture. Clinton is still a vigorous man of 54, in the prime of his intellectual abilities. He leaves with the highest approval rating of any President, for reasons which are obvious to most , but impossible for right wing ideologues to stomach. The fact that this approval rating comes despite seven years of the most concentrated media attack in planetary history just adds salt to the wounds. As an aside it also shows that it is modern news media, and not public servants and policy makers, who have become irrelevant within liberal democracies.
My accusation that the editorial board has completely jettisoned themselves from any reality of fact comes from their supposition that Bush will bring "civility" to the White House, and that when he loses the next election he will do so with quiet dignity. The past election shows however that dignity in defeat is not within Bush's scope of character.
When McCain won his first primary, Bush could not even work up the courage to phone him and congratulate him as per normal protocol. When McCain won again, they went on a smear campaign, charging with automated phone messages that he was against breast cancer research. Civility only comes on the condition that he gets what he feels he is entitled to.
Then we come to the Florida election. You would have to go to some very scuzzy countries before you find a political party that worked so hard to keep votes from being counted as did the Republicans. (Everyone understood of course that if they actually counted the votes, that Gore would win). The poisonous rhetoric coming from the Republican camp was consistently edged with the tinge of hate, and the implied threat of violence if things did not go their way. Anyone not goose-stepping to the Bush tune was described in the most extreme of hyperbolic terms: anarchists, criminals, thieves, frauds, chad molesters. It did not matter whether they were volunteer workers or Supreme courts judges. The ordinary interests of senile pensioners and minorities were described in term's of the Anti-Christ's agenda.
If the votes were allowed to be counted, and Gore declared the victor, do you really believe that Bush and the Republicans would have duplicated the dignified exit of the Democrats? There would be no dignified concession, just unarticulated rage and an overwhelming need for vengeance. The Republicans would be currently engaged in their own version of holy war, a scorched earth policy threatening national collapse if the Democrats did not cede power...
After all this was the campaign team , according to TIME magazine, that was ready to start a PR blitz discrediting the electoral college system, until of course they found out they lost the popular vote. This is a party, that invoked a constitutional crisis over some high-school level groping in the White House, even while most of the most vocal accusers were also known to be diddling the hired help...
Your editorial shows is that you have become what you would mock. You are the flip side of the loony left in the 60's and 70's, seduced by the beauty of ideological abstraction, and too arrogant, too certain of themselves to muddy their feet in historical fact.
I, for one hope that Ashcroft gets confirmed, Indeed I hope Bush surrounds himself with the fundamentalists which now guide the Republican party. Conservatives of the present have forgotten why conservatives of the past created the very mechanisms they are now dismantling.
The California power debacle, is just a taste of things to come.
There is great need of a reality check., and one thing reality shows is that any country that is run by fundamentalists becomes a basket-case.
Eight years of global dominance, economic, social, and environmental progress, are about to be book-ended by the Bush Years, years which will be filled with war and economic turmoil. If society does not learn from this, then it deserves everything it's going to get.....good and hard.