What I learned under the oppressive regime of George W. Bush and his daddy:
- Politicians are not superhuman panaceas who swoop in to save the day.
- Politicians make POLICY not reality and should never be approached in ANY other way than as stewards of the wishes of the American people.
- No politician can be stronger than the people that they make policy for.
Not much of a revelation for all the blood sweat and tears that have been shed, is it? I may be relieved Obama has won but I'm seriously disappointed in the trajectory of sorrow that brings us to this day. For all the suffering, fisticuffs and wailing, I think I should be glowing in the dark with liberation and joy.
I am ashamed to admit it but all these years I had an unconscious yet "fixed" idea in my mind (that was planted in grade school, I suspect) that an American President was an untouchable and inaccessible super being. It took 14 years in the shadow of the reign of terror for it to sink into my thick skull that politics and presidents are doing a dance that is going on in MY honor and not the other way 'round. I can recall thinking about this in '94 and feeling confused. Now we know what was brewing on distant shores. The dust was the only thing that settled from Desert Storm - the issue was forced underground. Fourteen years it took to wrench that perspective so I can understand that politics is not something that goes on "over there" and happens under some massive, auspicious temple of justice except for my insisting that it be so; fourteen years to realize politics is going on in everyone's short and curlies everyday, day in and day out. Fourteen years: one quarter of my life. That's how long it took me to realize how precious it is to be an American. How sad is that?
I feel somewhat wiser and foolish at the same time. As I see it, this bitter sweet light is the only gift of all these dark days of greed and the worse abuse of democracy imaginable. I'm not convinced thousand had to die to make the point and with that lies the bitterness I hope will one day fade.
So , thanks (I guess) for the lesson, George. Here's your hat. Don't you dare put it on before you get outside and walk slow so the screen door clips Cheney on your way out. You don't treat decent people like you have and get away with it. Not in this brave new world.