By Rick Lucke
It is difficult to think a presidential
administration as dismal and destructive as the Bush II Administration
can have a positive residual effect; one of those proverbial “silver
linings” that clouds are often said to possess. The damage done
by George W. Bush's administration will literally take decades to alleviate.
The silver lining to which I refer stems
not from a positive act by this administration. Instead, stemming from
its misdeeds and failings, the silver lining in the Bush-room Cloud
is the ensuant awakening of many Americans to the idea that our nation
is currently threatened by an enthroned class of moneyed conservative
elites who mislead through their overwhelming influence, both of financial
resources and control of media outlets.
Exposure of neocons' consummate dishonesty
has called attention to, and created general distrust of, the various
conservative agendas, which many had not previously recognized.
Just as importantly, conservatives' deceptive presentation of
their dishonest arguments has been irrefutably exposed making their
typical misleading presentations more difficult to sell. Predictably,
there are those who deny this exposure even in the face of overwhelming
evidence, but that human infirmity – denial, based in ignorance or
dishonesty or both – will always exist in some individuals.
Nevertheless, it is appalling when a
Republican presidential candidate can make such blatantly hypocritical
statements as McCain, in response to Russia
invading Georgia, saying,
"In the 21st century nations don't invade other nations."
As Obama said, “It's like these guys take pride in being
ignorant.” The unprovoked U.S. Invasion of Iraq has merely been
the single most dominant issue in the national discourse for the past
five years. It is ridiculous for any representative of a nation
that, unprovoked, invaded another nation, to then condemn another nation
for invasion that is at least on some level provoked.
Of course, as usual, Republicans aided
by their media compatriots, are misrepresenting the facts and issues
involved in the current conflict between Georgia and Russia; Georgia was the aggressor instigating this particular clash. The
current offensive by Russia is, at least arguably, justifiable even
if disproportionate, unlike the invasion of Iraq, which is entirely
indefensible on any reasonable plane of thought whatsoever.
Unfortunately, there are STILL those
in America engaged in denial, based in either ignorance or dishonesty
or both, who believe Iraq was connected to the September 11, 2001
World Trade Center attack and think invading Iraq was justified on that
level. There is little to be done to change these individuals'
minds and hearts.
The silver lining is, hopefully, that
while there are, and will always be, those who deny the obvious, the
awakening of some of those long-slumbering, as well as newly initiated,
Americans, through their perception of the crisis in America, will offset
the ignorant deniers and tip the scales in favor of productively progressive
events, thus beginning the healing from the injuries of the past eight
years of regression and loss of reason. Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine; The
Rise of Disaster Capitalism
points out that, quoting Milton Friedman's philosophy, “only a crisis
– real or perceived – produces real change”. So the hope
is that if enough people see the current “crisis”, or at least perceive
that there is a crisis in our country, progressives will be able to
utilize Klein's “Shock Doctrine” to push through progressive, and
much needed change in America.