Thursday, November 6, 2008

George W. Bush has been an easy target; but his absence will expose the blame game

"You won't have me to kick around anymore." -- Richard M. Nixon

DEFAULT SOURCE. Earlier today, I had a passing thought that I am--and perhaps many others are--going to miss not having George W. Bush to blame so many problems on much longer. He's been an obvious and easy target, like an automatic default source for whatever's going wrong on the national or world stage.

FOCUS OF OUR DISSATISFACTION. No doubt, W and his Administration have really messed things up and have not represented America very well. No doubt, a collective finger will point back to his ways and foibles for years to come. But perhaps we've given him too much credit for our significant levels of civilian dissatisfaction. Perhaps... but then again, maybe not!

FROM HOPEFUL TO DISHEARTENED. Background context: In 2001, at the beginning of his Presidency, I tried hard to support and get in sync with George W. Bush. I paid close attention to national and international issues and polices and, as an exercise in citizen participation, wrote him and posted many serious letters as My Letters to the President of the United States. But somewhere along the way (after about 80 letters) I became too disheartened by his ways to continue the project in a positive spirit. I decided that I would no longer worry about George W. Bush, that his Presidency had set a predictably tragic trajectory early on, and that it would simply play out rather pathetically. At its end, America would be ripe for dramatic change.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY PROACTIVITY. So, here we are. Soon W will be back in Crawford, Texas. But removing an obvious source of dissatisfaction with "the way things are" has a downside/upside. It's called personal responsibility and community proactivity. Proverbial crutches kicked away, scapegoats driven out of the picture, blamable and troubling people no longer in power--we come a step closer to claiming our own role in the problems and in embodying solutions of which we've long daydreamed. Are we ready for this?

I welcome your comments and/or questions in the spirit of dialog. Share yours by clicking on "comments" just below. They're moderated only to reduce incivility. Shalom!

1 comment:

  1. Zionhiker6:59 PM

    John, don't let an ambivalent view of complex issues confuse the facts as we know them. This president is personally responsible for much that has gone wrong for our country (both at home and abroad) during the past eight years. To be sure, this isn't the same as saying he's responsible for everything that's gone so awry. Nonetheless, it is difficult to imagine things having gone worse had a different person in the Oval Office been faced with the same events. This is the rationale behind the hope expressed in this week's election, I think.

    Always appreciate reading your online work.


Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.