Dishonoring the Dead
Americans live under an illegitimate leader, who was and is demonstrably unfit for office. A man whose most noteworthy accomplishments previous to his appointment as President had been avoiding military service, drug addiction, not making a killing in oil on his own, and signing record numbers of death warrants as governor of Texas. Ours is a President with an appetite for torture, who seems confused when one suggests saving lives by ending the war in Iraq.
I realized this week as I pored over the news of the Virginia Tech shootings, and thought of victims’ families, how in need we are of a leader to whom we might look as citizens for some small solace, some hope, some notion that those in power seek to protect those they serve. I found myself wishing for a leader whose reaction to violence and loss was humane, full of genuine grief for the victims and their families, whose voice suggested his own grief in the face of tragic death. I wanted comfort from my President; of course, none was forthcoming. When I looked for Bush’s response on line the day of the shootings, the first thing I found was a spokesman reminding us: “The President does believe in an individual’s right to bear arms, but laws must be obeyed.” Only an hour or two after the shootings, this is the message my leader sent to me, his citizen. But he wasn’t talking to me, was he?
And isn’t that the problem? My president has nothing to say to me, to any of us, really. We are the ordinary, the masses, the detritus of Democracy standing in the way of his imperial calling. Bush gleefully turns a blind eye to the least among us and toadies to the rich and powerful, to the machines of big oil and bigger guns. W. is both a shell of a man and a shell of a leader; he cannot provide comfort to citizens he cares nothing about. Cannot offer moral, or spiritual leadership because he is a violent careless man. So on that terrible morning, he thought first to defend the ownership of guns.
This tragic week I got politics from my President and a Beach Boys cover by one of his loyalists. While Bush recycled the canned religious rhetoric about a loving god, hearts going out, and guns. McCain offered a gratuitous ditty about bombing Iran. It was a week of bellicose, dishonorable men dishonoring the innocent dead in Blacksburg and those fighting and dying in Iraq.