I am a bitter man. I admit it. I'm neither proud or happy about it. But it's not my fault, either.
Eight years ago I was annoyed, but I wasn't bitter. Being annoyed with government is the natural state of the governed. It's the catalyst that keeps politicians paranoid about what we're up to out here while they, hopefully, try to do enough things right to get our vote next time around, even if resentfully.
But bitter is a different kind of catalyst. It's the emotion that freed these former colonies from Britain. It's the emotion that motivated American blacks to come together in the 1960s and demand an end to segregation, once and for all. At the turn of the century in Russia bitterness caused the Russian people to put an end to careless, self-indulgent, wasteful monarchy. Before that, in France, bitterness among the peasantry caused a whole lot folks to loose their heads -- literally.
In short, bitterness is a motivator -- maybe the motivator when it comes to the forcing of social tipping points.
So, while I'm bitter that this administration has turned me bitter, I am crystal clear on the reasons why I'm bitter:
I am bitter because this administration led my country into a completely unnecessary war. A war they justified on flawed, and what history will surely eventually prove, entirely fabricated intelligence.
I am bitter that this administration has soiled, not just America's image, but it's very soul by resorting to the kind of brutal treatment of prisoners for which we once tried, convicted and executed enemy commanders.
I am bitter that after the hard lessons of Vietnam, a war that took the lives of over 50,000 of my generation, that this administration repeated those mistakes, costing the lives of over 4000 of this generation's best and brightest -- so far -- and counting.
I am bitter that the only reason our kids must continue dying in Iraq is soley to buy time for this administration to get out office next January leaving the mess and clean up to the next administration.
I am bitter that this administration mismanaged the only justifiable military action they took -- the invasion of Afghanistan -- allowing the men actually behind 9/11 to escape capture and punishment, and to continue to spread their twisted ideology and murderous activities.
I am bitter that this administration gutted our national treasury, pissing away a $5.2 billion surplus by lavishing tax breaks on the already wealthy and then, once out of money, putting an additional $4.5 trillion on the national credit card.
I am bitter that this administration has so bankrupted my nation that we can't provide health coverage for nearly 50 million of us but instead continue to borrow $12 billion a month to fund operations in Iraq.
I am bitter that our students continue to be "left behind," to test below average -- often far below average -- when compared with students in other developed nations, and that we have neither the money or will to do a damn thing about it.
I am bitter that, thanks to this administration's cynical manipulation and suppression of scientific evidence, that my children and grand children will spend their entire lives battling the potentially deadly effects of global warming.
I am bitter that this administration has engage in the same kind of religious fundamentalism for which they criticize in Islamic nations. That they can't or refuse to recognize the inherent contradiction in their support for such things as prayer in public schools and other government-funded "faith-based" programs and Islamic government funded madrasas they condemn in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.