Saturday, October 21, 2006

When its all over but the shouting

Many years ago, I believe it was during the Vietnam War, I read an article in the Atlantic Monthly describing 'vision.' The author postulated that one's world vision could be classified by one's horizon. The homeless person in the street probably had a horizon that didn't even make it to the next day, probably just the next meal. I guess children, particularly adolescents, have short horizons. Anyone who has seen a 14 or 15 year old make bad choices knows that. As we mature, the horizon should extend out significantly. Truly great men and women of history always have extraordinary vision and horizons that go beyond the end of sight.

Sounds a little too smug, I know, but there is certainly a grain of wisdom in it for us mortals. If only we all had enough vision to pick those as leaders who had distant horizons on their minds. Once one gets to be President, particulary in the lame duck years, this idea morphs into that of 'legacy.'

In the narrow little mind of George W. Bush, all he can currently think about is his legacy. It makes no difference to him that over 600,000 people have lost their lives in Iraq because of his dishonest scheming (does anyone remember the Downing Street Memo?). What is important to this little, little man, whose horizon does not go beyond the end of his nose, is how people will judge him in the future (if there is a future). Although he doesn't understand the concept, he would still like to be known as a leader with vision. One who consider 600,000 dead people a comma. Perhaps a Stalin, or a Gengis Khan.

It is inconceivable to him that things will not just keep going the way they are. That the United States will continue to be the only world superpower and that people of wealth will control the destinies of not only their own country, but the World.

He has said that he has read 50 books this year. (Well, maybe 50 books were on his "reading list."). I doubt that this man has read 50 books in his lifetime. There are two ways to gain vision and horizon: one is to travel extensively, and the other is to read (sort of a vicarious traveling, but without the personal contact). Bush has done neither and, as a result, has a paucity of the essence that makes a great man. To put it in the vernacular, he is a dork.

But he is not the only one to blame for the situation we are in. I principally hold to account the movers and shakers of the Republican Party, including Dick Cheney, who were so intent on establishing hegemony over the world's resources, at any cost, that they propelled this vapid excuse for a man into the most powerful position that any man has ever had. (particularly now that he can detain and kill without exposure to the rule of law.)

As someone said in "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" (circa 1972): "its a sadness to sad to be true."

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