Bush, 2004, And The Lost Decade
Every now and then, in reading the news, I succumb to what I call my “glass half empty” mood. It happens whenever I read a story or get a feeling that Bush will win the election this fall and don’t see anything immediately to sway me from that thinking. I keep from writing about this, because many of you look to blogs like this one for some friendly non-Faux thinking, and the last thing you need to hear from me, aside from my occasional rants against the Kerry campaign, are some borderline defeatist talk. But indulge me for a few minutes tonight.
My latest “glass half empty” moment came this afternoon when I read the results of the latest Pew Center poll, released today, which showed in essence that Bush has received a four-point bump from Reagan’s funeral, and that it's due to the improving news on the economy, and the Reagan funeral, In fact, according to the poll voters are tuning out Iraq, and as a result Bush’s approval ratings and his head-to-heads against Kerry have turned around since April.
Think about that for a moment. According to Pew, voters now admit that they are paying less attention to Iraq, and as a result they feel things are going better in Iraq as we approach June 30. Sure, more and more of them feel that Iraq was not worth it, but they give Bush improved marks as if there is a detachment between Iraq and Bush. At the same time, Pew reports that the gender gap that previously benefited Kerry against Bush has vanished since earlier this year, and a large number of voters find Bush a strong leader and trustworthy, even during a time of Abu Ghraib.
Most of us would be incredulous at these results, yet there is a large body of people in this country who are willing to overlook Abu Ghraib, the WMD lies, the 800 dead soldiers, the failed foreign policy, the Plame matter, the deficits, and all the other outrages because Bush did them and not Clinton. Yet if these had happened when Clinton was in office, they would be calling for impeachment. Sure, our friends Toby, Muck, and RC may be younger than most of us, and red-hot in their blind support for all things Bush, and that can be chalked up to the right-wing media and the fact that the rest of us have lived a few years and experienced life a little more to know that things are never black and white. But the fact remains that at least 44% of those polled will vote for Bush even if he burned their house down. These same people, who are apparently OK with sending soldiers to their deaths for lies and in the name of God and nation building, also supported a $75 million witch-hunt and an impeachment for a blow job.
What we are facing in the upcoming election however is a nation on the precipice of what I call The Lost Decade. Quite simply put, if Bush wins election in November, this country will endure eight years where:
-there will be no progress towards energy independence;
-we will continue to be held hostage to Middle East oil;
-our environmental protections will be eliminated;
-our courts will be stocked with anti-public interest judges;
-our children will be sent off to another war for oil and God;
-our underfunded schools will deteriorate even further;
-Social Security will be crippled by privatization;
-Medicare will be bankrupted through drug company corporate welfare;
-millions more families will become uninsured and fall into poverty;
-the size of our deficits destroys our safety net;
-steadily lower paying jobs replace higher paying ones;
-we will be universally loathed in the world;
-we will be no safer from terrorists;
-the gap between rich and poor will grow dangerously wider.
I can go on and on, but you get the point. We face the strong possibility that another four years of Bush will consign this country and this generation of young people to religious wars for oil and global supremacy, and a standard of living far less than that of their parents. As demoralizing as this campaign may be for many of us, and as lackluster as the Kerry campaign may be, we owe it to ourselves and those who follow us to point out the consequences of another four years of Bush for American society. Sure, a Bush win in November will assuredly lead to a Democratic recapturing of both houses of Congress by 2006, but given the track record of this Administration, much damage will be done in those two years.
Let us hope Kerry campaigns better and with perseverance, and picks the right running mate. Discouragement may not be an option for us in 2004, for with a Bush election we face The Lost Decade.