Thursday, January 18, 2007

Voted for Him, Marching Against Him

It's hard, but I have to confess I voted for George Bush in 2000. But I didn't vote for him in 2004, so at least I can claim to learn by experience.

When I listened to Bush in 1999, I was unimpressed with his intellect. He seemed pretty simple, and he had a hard time putting words together. But I liked a lot of what he said: no nation-building, balanced budget, non-discriminatory faith-based initiatives, free trade, smaller government, integrity, "uniter, not divider". I also had faith in the very experienced people he brought along with him: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Christine Whitman, even Condoleesa Rice. These people did not appear to be flaming right wing conservatives. Even with Bush's personal deficiencies, I was looking forward to a presidency that accomplished things in a steady, positive way - a presidency that would satisfy the moderate center of American politics and quiet the raucous discord of the latter Clinton years.

Much to my dismay, it didn't take long for President Bush to break virtually all his campaign promises. He deserted the center in favor of the far right wing. He became a war mongering nation-builder, a budget buster, a fundamentalist tool who deserted the poor, a government-expander, a defender of corrupt cronies, a privacy invader, a truth-evader, and a political whore. By 2003, I was ready to actively campaign for anyone who would be running against him in 2004. And I did. And again for his opponents in 2006.

On January 29th, concerned citizens will be in Washington to protest the Iraq war. I'll be there, a centrist republican-libertarian marching alongside a longtime very liberal democrat friend. If it's cold, I'll stay warm by remembering George Bush describe the terrible weapons of mass destruction that justified our invading Iraq. There is nothing quite so detestable as lying to your friends, which this man has done on too many occasions to count. "Christian" is a word that should never be associated with our president.

So, I'm sorry. I made a bad mistake in 2000, and I admit it. I can make decisions that are almost as poor as George Bush's. I take little comfort in knowing how many others also were deceived into buying this pig in a poke, and I recognize the lesson George Bush has taught us (beware of dull-witted, unsuccessful people) has not been worth the price we have all paid. I just pray the new congress can keep this country under some kind of control until January, 2009, when George Bush will slink out of Washington into his much-awaited retirement...unless a quick and deft impeachment gets him out a bit prematurely.


Anonymous said...

I've written in Pat Paulson the last two elections.

The district I live in is so overwhelmingly Republican that there was no doubt where that electoral vote was going to go. I figure that if my vote is only going to be symbolic, I at least should get to pick the symbol.

Dave said...

A great post. Your comparison of Bush's campaign positions and his subsequent actions was interesting. Though I didn't vote for him, or his main opponent either time, reading your recitation of his positions, I could support him. It was jarring to then see the actions he took. What continues to baffle me is, what causes his extremism? It's almost a petulant adolescent version of "my way or the highway" in the face of even token opposition.

blanddave said...

Let me join the confessional, since I voted for W in 2000 and had a similar turn that you describe. Bush's presidency has actually been a pretty big coming of age for me in political awareness and some modest beginnings of activism. I was forced to take a stand, I guess....