Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Last President of Free America

In a way, it was perfect and inevitable that William Jefferson Clinton would be the last President of Free America. He was the embodiment of the history and the character of the United States. He was smart, dynamic, accomplished, powerful, creative, persuasive, humble, charming, generous, compassionate; make a list of all the great attributes Bill Clinton can claim, and apply that list to America.

Of course he had his flaws, as does America. But America (and more importantly, the idea of America) was always so great, so good, that its flaws were more than amply mitigated in the court of world opinion. We declared that all men are created equal, and the power of that ideal was so fucking great that our treatment of African -Americans as 3/5 of a person was overlooked. Our slaughter of Native Americans was overlooked. Segregation was overlooked. Those sins were overlooked because it was recognized that we had set our bar impossibly high; we were bound to fall short, but we never, ever lowered the bar. We liberated Europe, and used nuclear weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and nobody even suggested that our evil had outweighed our good.

Now consider the cheap-jack Caligula to whom America has entrusted its ideals. Take another look at that list of attributes, and apply them to the first American president of the 21st Century. Smart? Please. Dynamic? He napped while New Orleans drowned. Accomplished? His family's money and influence shielded him from one disaster to another. Powerful? Only in the sense that a school-yard bully is powerful. Creative? In a universe of infinite possibilities, the best he can come up with is "Stay the course." Persuasive? The man couldn't convince me to fart after a three-burrito dinner. Humble? He's an arrogant little turd. Charming? See "humble." Generous? People are having bake sales in order to buy body armor for those he so blithely placed in harm's way. Compassionate? He's never seen a death warrant he has refused to sign.

What positive aspect of the American personality did he embody when he lied us into an elective war against a country that posed no threat to us? What essence of the generous American spirit does he display when he cuts taxes for the rich while military families are lined up at food pantries and soup kitchens? What qualities of leadership were demonstrated when his vaunted "Coalition of the Willing" included 12 soldiers from Moldovia and 45 Royal Marines from Tonga (since withdrawn)? And don't forget Poland!

Whether we like it or not, our President is the face America presents to the world. And the face we currently present to our neighbors on this planet is that of a mean, pinched, spoiled, spiteful and bitter dry-drunk. The once high bar of our aspirations has been bumped down, foot by foot, by this feckless boob. Ignore the Geneva Conventions. (Bump.) Suspend habeas corpus. (Bump.) Play to people's fears, rather than their aspirations. (Bump.) Give people propaganda instead of the truth (Bump.) Lie. (Bump.) Cheat. (Bump.) Steal. (Bump.)

Until finally, the bar is so low that the wet-brained successor to Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt can slither over it and declare himself "hi-jump champeen of the hole wurld."

Well, we brought this upon ourselves, I guess. But what of the rest of the world? They've done nothing to deserve having the brightest light and best hope of the planet snuffed out. Who do they look to now? I'm deadly serious. How can you inspire yourself to heroism after you've caught your own hero with his fingers in the cookie jar and his head up his ass?

There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.


The truth is, the world is the weak. And we're the tyranny of evil men. But we've gotta try harder, Ringo. We've gotta try real hard to be the shepherd again.

8 Comments:

  • Love the reference to my favorite movie of all time!

    By Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas, at 1:32 PM  

  • It had to be said!

    By Blogger roxtar, at 3:18 PM  

  • "Persuasive? The man couldn't convince me to fart after a three-burrito dinner." Love it. Love the whole essay.

    By Anonymous Fred Wickham, at 12:37 AM  

  • I hadn't thought of it that way. This sack-o-shit is "successful" because we don't even ask for better any more.

    By Blogger Kevin Wolf, at 4:10 PM  

  • Kevin nailed that one. Americans are too busy doing their own shit to realize that more Americans exsist around them. We've accepted the do-it-yourself attitude instead of stepping outside into the community and asking others to help to get more done.

    Very sad.

    Great post!

    By Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend, at 4:06 PM  

  • Did you see Olbermann last week? The special comment on the suspension of Habeas Corpus was something else.

    By Blogger Grant Miller, at 2:58 PM  

  • Excellent post, Roxtar, and sadly true.

    By Blogger Blue Wren, at 9:05 PM  

  • Fine job, R.S. And about that jury trial this week...if they convict you, I can get a lawyer to help you with the appeal AND get you post-conviction bond.

    By Blogger Hillbilly Dem, at 8:11 AM  

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