Saturday, March 01, 2008

What a Fool I Was

Nineteen-Ninety-One was the year the Soviet Union collapsed (officially). The Cold War was over and peace was about to befall a tired and war weary world. The future looked bright and what a future it was going to be!

What a fool I was.

I don't think I can be faulted for having the "audacity of hope". Having lived my entire life in the shadow of the mushroom cloud it seemed that a tremendous weight had been lifted the day I watched the Berlin Wall come down from half a world away. Like dominoes the Warsaw Pact fell culminating in the crumbling of the Soviet regime on December 31 1991.

The world smelled a lot sweeter then. I was entertaining the notion that humanity had achieved the end of war!

What a fool I was.

Like a lot of people I had dismissed Islamic terrorism as a nuisance and frankly someone else's problem. Life was too good worry about such things... George H. W. Bush was the president and although he was not as firm an anti-socialist as Ronald Reagan I was quite convinced that American socialism had been fully discredited and wasn't coming back. Living way up north in Minnesota I had no inkling that an unprecedented invasion of illegal immigrants was about to take place. Political correctness was a seemingly harmless prod to get us to choose our words carefully in public settings. China was a nation of a billion plus souls and a million telephones. Surely they were by no means an economic threat to the juggernaut that was the USA.

What a fool I was.

Measure twice, cut once. That's what Ross Perot told us - a good piece of common sense advice. His crazy like a fox routine cost G.H.W. Bush a second term and Bill Clinton and his wife became the president. But this Clinton fella was full of the "audacity of hope" himself and seemed to be different kind of Democrat. It was clear he was a narcissist. His self absorbed governance style meant he had no real convictions and his presidency would lead to nothing of any consequence (that is once his wife's health care grab failed).

What a fool I was.

I did not consider that Clinton was methodically denuding the military. I did not notice he sold his country out to the Chinese Communist Party for campaign contributions. I did not realize that he was loosening immigration policies, looking the other way as the southern border was being overrun. I did not comprehend the implications of his disregard of those pesky Islamic terrorists. Yeah, Bill Clinton was a different kind of Democrat for sure.

What a fool I was.

But alas, that was all over when George W. Bush "finally" moved into the White House. The adults were back in charge. I liked the sound of tax cuts. I liked the thought of the brakes being applied to an insidious creeping socialism. But then September the 11th happened.


For a while I was quite impressed and extremely proud of the President and the American people. This Bush the Younger was a man of action. He exuded a clarity of purpose. I thought we had on our hands a historic presidency in the making - a real war time hero.

What a fool I was.

"Bring it on" was what G.W. Bush said to al-Qaeda after the fall of Baghdad. The sage advice of an earlier commander in chief to walk softly but carry a big stick was ignored. It was all down hill from there.

In his first term (besides taking the country to war against dangerous Islamic extremists) President Bush signed tax cuts that were slooowwwly phased in, but were inexplicably set to expire anyway. He signed campaign finance reform that destroyed the historic fund raising advantage the Republican party enjoyed. As a bonus it legitimized a renown America hater Mr. himself - George Soros. He signed the No Child Left Behind law that cemented the federal Department of Education instead of dismantling it. He signed the Medicare Part D law that was the largest expansion of government entitlements since LBJ. Actually, he signed everything that landed on his desk, not once using the veto to send a message to the deficit monsters in an out of control congress. Still, with the economy turning around, Saddam Hussein in custody and gas prices finally stabilizing I was sure we would come out of this historic period safe and sound...

What fool I was.

Bush was reelected. That was the last thing that went his way.

The Iraq war went south. A hurricane named Katrina destroyed a major American city. An embittered opposition party and the mainstream press tagged teamed their unrelenting attacks on the President. The southern border was literally being overrun by illegal invaders from Mexico and all points south. Vital Social Security reform died at the hands of a Republican congress. Gas prices at the pump sky rocketed. Dick Cheney shot his lawyer... These, my friends are just the high points.

In 2006 the Republicans lost both houses of Congress after a disappointing 12 year run. We now sit in a political black hole called a presidential election. OK, at least we have a few really good Republicans running and I was convinced John McCain had no chance of collecting the nomination.

What a fool I was.

So where does this leave the world just over a decade and a half after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War?

-We are still at war
-We suffer at the gas pump like never before.
-We pay more for everything, but especially food
-We watch our wealth being drained from our 401K's and the equity from our homes
-We watch helplessly as an invasion of illegal immigrants flood our cities and towns
-We fiddle while socialism creeps into every aspect of our lives
-We hopelessly endure the loss of manufacturing capacity to China and southeast Asia
-We wither under a Global Warming propaganda machine that is on the verge of radically altering society based on extremely shaky science
-We are party to demographic trending in the West that points to the literal extinction of dozens of ethnic groups by the turn of the next century
-We really haven't stemmed the tide rising Islamic radicalism
-We are witness to the siege of tiny Israel, attacked mercilessly for simply existing
-We sit idly by while Africans in Darfur, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda are slaughtered

But hey, there's a new season of American Idol! Is Britney Spears still behaving badly? Oh and isn't that Roger Clemens a rascal? I'm just saying ...

We have to have priorities, right?

(God, save us)



al fin said...

Yes, yes, all true.

And yet, we should all be prepared if things should break for the good. I suspect that some trends you list will end well, and others badly.

Let's be flexible here.