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The Darwinian Case For Impeaching The President

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A significant portion of Article I of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's articles of impeachment against President Bush has to do with his lying to justify a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Okay, so nobody's perfect. But he could be the "best" our species has to offer at the moment. What I mean to say is that he may well represent the vanguard of our species' future evolutionary development.

As the only animal that is aware of its own intelligence, we vainly call ourselves, Homo sapiens [wise guy]. Admittedly, we've done pretty well since the wheel. But should we ever stop congratulating ourselves and remove our blinkers, the equally characteristic, though less laudable, devious side of our nature would be revealed.

Relax! We come by this dark side naturally. Being the only primate species with concealed ovulation, we are literally conceived in deception. And our apprenticeship in artifice begins with our first breath.

Consider how much time is spent deceiving or being deceived. I don't just mean out-and-out lying. I mean deceptions of exaggeration or omission, of facial expression and body language; deceptions that are meant to either spare another's feelings or to exploit them. Think, "Great dress, honey. I love the chartreuse and the sparkly stuff."

Ask yourself, if our species is not predisposed by evolution to be both deceptive and, in equal measure, gullible, how is it that we are so completely susceptible to propaganda, photo-op rhetoric, televangelists, and backseat affirmations of love?

Very "wise guys" make up these lies and we believe them because it's easier than trying to figure out why we shouldn't. So, given our species' proclivity for deception, a more fitting nickname might be, Homo sapiens-fallaxcis [wise guy who lies].

Though often well practiced, most of us approach deception in much the same fashion as we do muscle tone, developing only enough to get us by. George W. Bush, however, belongs to that breed of Homo sapiens that has, with notable exceptions, developed its evolutionary predisposition for deception to Charles Atlas proportion. To stand out among this breed-charitably referred to as politicians-one needs the advantages of both nature and nurture.

Anyone with half an eye to President Bush's rise to the Oval Office will appreciate the role that nature and nurture has played. Being blessed with the genome of a successful political family, you can be certain that the y-chromosome wasn't the only piece of genetic information passed on by Papa "read my lips" Bush. You can also be certain that it was Papa Bush and his buddies who nurtured the current president through many of life's trials and setbacks.

In the "survival of the fittest" world of national politics, George "We will be honest with the American people" Bush has proven himself the alpha male in a pack of presidential prevaricators.

Recall that Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon was forced to resign because of a few falsehoods and a few real hoods.

Recall also that in a sworn deposition during the Iran-Contra affair, Ronald "my heart and my best intentions tell me it's true, but the facts and evidence tell me it's not" Reagan deceived no one but himself.

Finally, recall that William "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" Clinton endured an impeachment trial because of one little slip-of-the-tongue.

But we shouldn't judge these men's lies by contemporary presidential standards. After all, their evolutionary predisposition for deception was not augmented by the genes of an ex-president. Their dads, like most of us, were only middling fibbers.

George W. Bush took full advantage of his evolutionary and familial endowments and began lying to the American people with impunity the day he announced his candidacy for president. And he hasn't stopped since.

Considering both the ease with which the president bamboozled a good portion of the American people into supporting an unjust war in Iraq, and the apparent lack of outrage at this affront to their sapient selves, one has to wonder if our species has not arrived at one of those telling evolutionary moments.

Might not ten thousand generations hence use the Bush y-chromosome as the genetic marker that signals a further branching of the genus Homo?

Ecce Homo fallaxcis! Behold deceitful man!

However, should we choose to follow Congresswoman McKinney's lead and impeach him for his lies, we might send a signal to future generations that we sought a different evolutionary path.
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Biography: Robert Weitzel is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience ( His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI.
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