One of the worst things about Bush - and it's a long list - is how he alienates people from one another. The combination of his strange cult of personality and his massively irresponsible leadership creates a situation where I am routinely forced to look around at my fellow Americans, including some that I know well and respect, and wonder what on earth is wrong with these people that they aren't positively sick to their stomachs over what Bush is doing to the country.
I always feel conflicted in these moments. My friendships are more important to me than politics. But in this particular moment, as I'm trying to digest the information that Bush authorized secret, warrantless wiretaps and then concealed it (to the point of materially lying to the public about it several times) for years, I can't help but feel that from this moment forward, it will be very hard for me to spend any significant amount of time with anyone who is not openly outraged by this behavior to the point of wanting George W. Bush immediately impeached and thrown in prison.
Ethridge explained earlier how people can justify Bush's behavior to themselves. And that's fine for them; it's between them and god, or their ego and their superego or whatever. I myself cannot countenance such an attitude, not pushed to this extreme. I am not a nationalistic man, and it takes a great deal to stir any nationalistic ardor in me. But today I must stand up and say that supporting the illegal, warrantless use of a federal spy agency to eavesdrop on phone coversations is a crime against America and everything it stands for. From this day forward, if you are a supporter of this president you are an enemy of this country.
Often we on the left get accused of hating America. Well, I love America. Of all the societies in the world, this is the one I would most want to live in, despite all its many faults. Indeed, that's why I live here. But if we cross this line, today, and fail to hold our president accountable for abusing his office and violating the rights of every single American, then we're just a warm, rich Russia or a big, temperate Cuba.
We mowed down the amber waves of grain years ago. The spacious skies are long since choked with smog. All we've got now is an experiment with rule by the people and their representatives serving at the people's pleasure, instead of rule by the wastrel sons of the idle rich.
I once believed in a far-off but attainable national unity. I believed that we were all essentially after the same goals, but stubbornly insisting on pursuing them in different ways. I believed that in time, with great difficulty, we could become truly one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
That dream is fading today. If George W. Bush serves out his term of office, the Republic is dead.