Another day another sense of déjà vu because thinking about how Bush/Cheney see the world and the way it works reminds me of the two teenage boys from Columbine. In many ways, they remind me too of the young man who shot the 32 people in Virginia last April as well. Bush and Cheney certainly feel that their ideas have been discounted and that they have been disrespected for a long period of time because of them. An odd form of having felt bullied. Yet here we are at a similar crossroad where we can either say we didn’t know what to do or we can recognize that all the symptoms are clear and the remedies are at our disposal if we want to act.
In the case of the young Mr. Cho from Virginia Tech, I have spoken to high school students about him. Those talks have also brought something up that haunts me these days. He was about to graduate from college and one wonders where he could have gone, what could he have done? I often speak about how he ran out of his own fantasy life’s ambitions if he didn’t do what he did last April.
What about the two of them—Bush and Cheney? Just where will they go and how will they ride off into the sunset when their terms end? Can you imagine a life for either of them beyond their dwelling in the galvanizing throes of their own delusions about world domination? Do we really think Mr. Bush will be able to retire to permanent brush clearing and that a life of public speaking will be of any interest to him?
And Mr. Cheney? Just what can one imagine for him? He is even harder to envision out of office with just the grandkids to think about and his wife underfoot all day long. I mean he seems to be at the end of the road for all his other options in life and just where will he go to find the kinds of thrills he has had while ruling the world?
Neither one of them intends to just sit around and pretend they weren’t in power. Yet each in his own way has been caught within the power of a severe and debilitating mental illness that has crippled them, corrupted and bankrupted this country and then brought death and massive destruction to people neither of them knew nor ever will know. Their behavior is definitely suspicious if we can observe them only as creatures of this earth, people just like you and me.
Think about their constant repetition of lies (for which they could be impeached if anyone but Kucinich and a few other congress people had the foresight to know what that would be saving us) and how even when told their lies were lies how they continued to repeat them. It was not propaganda at work after a while, it was sheer madness having taken hold and they were unable to say anything different. Not just because they didn’t want to confess to telling lies or because they felt it would be showing weakness but because they could not say anything else. Compulsions can take hold as well as delusions to such an extent that they will not let go no matter how often we try to correct it. (Think of that senile relative who cannot believe you are who you say you are. You know that relative’s brain is fried and you accept it. The relative doesn’t even know what has happened to him or her.) Then when you think what Bush and Cheney say, about the wholesale bragging about who we are and what we do as a nation, the words begin to take on a different hue.
While it is clear that members of the government do not bad mouth this country and would never get elected if they did, the kind of exceptionalism these two men routinely chose to declaim about us had also so little basis in reality that it became an embarrassment. A man who steals an election or two should have a hard time saying with a straight face that he believes in democracy unless he is so split off from reality that he doesn’t realize his distortions. The rest of his fellow citizens recall his actions in a different light but he goes forward repeating the same old stories, over and over, in a loopy way of talk that is, if he weren’t your president, you would call insane.
This country has a long history of denying insanity. We balk at it as if it were leprosy. When Jesus cured the psychotic man in the bible, the psychotic man knew he was infested with a legion of spirits that he could not control. Jesus cast them out of him and into the animals being herded nearby. The animals leaped to their deaths rather than be inhabited with these awful spirits. The formerly insane man wanted to go with Jesus as a disciple to spread the good news. But Jesus told him not to come with him but to tell people what he had done for him.
That kind of lesson is valuable. If we are blessed enough to see that the insane among us can be cured and can be helped to live peacefully in life, then it is time to stop denying their existence and denying them care. We should offer the same for Bush and Cheney so long as we realize that the road back is not magical and takes lots of hard work.
Let’s find a way to get the two psychotic men in control of the biggest guns in the world as far away from them as we can. The fate of all our lives is definitely in the balance. The world should not have to become another Columbine High.