Imagine this, if you can: The year is 2018 and President Jeb Bush is awakened by a 3 a.m. call on the White House Red Phone:
"Mr. President, this is your Chief-of-Staff. Sorry to call at 3 a.m., but we have just learned that Vladimir Putin has invaded England!"
Bush: "Well, stuff happens, it happens all the time. I warned the Queen about Bad Vlad. We can worry about this later."
Chief-of-Staff: "Mr. President, I regret to tell you that Putin is apparently trying to divert our attention from Iran, which secretly
developed nuclear weapons while we were napping, and has just destroyed the State of Israel."
Bush: "Well, more stuff happens, it happens all the time. Netanyahu was a real pain, anyway. We can worry about this later, too."
Chief-of-Staff: "Mr. President, while we were preoccupied with Putin and with Iran, China and India have declared war over Nepal."
Bush: "Well, even more stuff happens, it happens all the time. Nepal hasn't been worth much ever since the earthquake, anyway."
You get the drift -- and no, that drift is not amusing, but it is amazing. And to think that here many of us had thought that Jeb Bush was a bit brighter than his older brother, former President George W. Bush, who firmly established that there is no IQ test for the presidency. But no, immediately after the October 1 mass killing of nine and wounding of many others by a deranged gunman at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, here was Republican Presidential Candidate responding that "stuff happens". How's that for an enlightened and perceptive response to one more horrendous American domestic terror event? The clear implication is that, since such stuff is destined to happen, we need do nothing to try to solve it, resolve it, or prevent such stuff in the future. Jeb Bush confirmed that view by stating that there is little need for new gun laws or real gun controls, here in the Land of the Cowardly and the Home of the Mass Murderer.
Of course, most of the other present Republican Candidates for President in 2016 joined the same chorus and sang the same tune. Not a single one of them advocated any real, solid, substantial policy and/or legal changes aimed at preventing more such mass murders at schools, colleges, movie theaters, shopping centers, and many other venues all over the nation. Indeed, they seemed to try to out-do each other in placing blame elsewhere, such as on the Democrats, whom they hold responsible for nearly everything bad which has happened in America since colonial times. Donald "The Mouth" Trump was particularly vehement in his opposition to doing anything effective about mass murderers, beyond arming teachers and other school personnel so that even more people might be killed in the resulting crossfire from Old West-style shootouts and the like.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the continuation of such mass killings, which have taken a much higher toll in lives over the years than even the tragic September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. But then, what can we do, when "stuff just happens"?
It would seem that Defeatism is the Name of the Game in the Republican Presidential Camp, so much so that a realistic slogan for their benighted 2o16 campaigns ought to be "STUFF HAPPENS." Jeb Bush is far from alone in that abysmal view.
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)