Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Dangerous Coward

I always thought of President Bush as a fox in sheep's clothing. How could one man start a war; unravel the Constitution; increase the power of the Executive Branch; complete the Reagan mission of transforming this country from democracy to oligarchy; increase the gap between the rich and the poor beyond our wildest imagination (think hedgefund manager: $3.5 billion/year), and get elected to office twice, all the while, harboring the brains of a "sheep"? It's not possible, or is it?

Is George W. Bush a puppet? Do the real brains belong to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives who have worked incessantly since the 1970's to achieve the aforementioned that I just gave President Bush full credit? We may never know who deserves the "credit", however, most of us do know the President's lion-king, military bravado, masquerades the cowardly innards of a sheep. So, why did we elect him twice?

Picture the word "coward". The first thing that may come to mind is someone lacking an ego... someone apparently frail, timid, maybe cowering in a corner, afraid of his own shadow. What are our expectations when we see that kind of person? Pretty low, right? Therefore, if he is indeed a coward, he poses very little danger to anyone, because his chances of winning a position of power are slim to none.

However, whose to say that underneath that "cowardly" veneer may beat the heart of a hero... think Clark Kent, Dennis Kucinich. Someone's unpresumptuous and unassuming appearance just might camouflage a man who faces adversity and injustice head on, sacrificing his self-interest for the noble cause...a man who is not afraid to acknowledge his own mistakes, and realizes that leaders accept responsibility for the mistakes of their subordinates -- "the buck stops here". He then fully engages himself and stops at nothing to make amends for "his" defective judgment.

If we stop and think, we understand that the truly courageous do their very best not to bully, not to deceive, not to evade responsibility, or engage in thoughtlessly bold behavior. They do not risk the safety and lives of others unnecessarily, or condemn people to death without batting an eyelash. Yet we knowingly elect people into positions of power whose very character is defined by this kind of behavior. For ex. John Kerry, the war hero vs. George W. Bush the draft dodger... just one example of what we knew about George W. Bush beforehand and elected him anyway.

George W. Bush had big ideas, big goals, a big ego and an unflinching certainty that refused to question himself, as if he were incapable of making a mistake. Like a small child who tackles the ocean without the faintest idea of how to swim, George W. Bush tackled the world without the faintest idea of how vast, complex, how far beyond his comprehension...and most importantly, how infinitesimally small he and "We, the People" are in comparison. However, unlike the child who innocently risks only his own life, George W. Bush, without the excuse of innocence, risked the lives of millions of people without any risk to his own life or the lives of the people who matter, the "power elite".

Bob Woodward confirmed what most of us suspected, on Fresh Air, a few days ago, when he said President Bush knew we were "losing" the Iraq war but told the American people how well things were going anyway. President Bush told Mr. Woodward, 3 1/2 years into the Iraq War, "this is not something you rush," from the comfort of his plush surroundings.

In addition, President Bush did not attend critical meetings when the level of violence in Iraq was at its peak...six to eight attacks an hour, where one attack could result in a body count of fifty or twenty-five throats slit. In other words, prior to the surge, when Iraqis and Americans were dropping like flies, President Bush had "other things to do", as he told Mr. Woodward.

Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to rely on superficial and sparkly appearances. Cowards come in all shapes and sizes, however, the dangerous ones, the truly cowardly, take cowardice one step further. They conceal their lilied livers by disguising themselves in lion's skin, roaring slick slogans, and simple ideas to extraordinarily complex problems, and bash anyone who might reveal the tail between their legs.

With information literally at our fingertips, we have no excuse for not taking the time to dig beneath the surface before we decide who should lead the way.

2 comments:

the movie guy 13:11  

did you know there is a movie called "the dangerous coward"?

i agree. there is nothing more dangerous than someone cowardly in power because in order to assume that much power, they must have an over inflated sense of who they are and if there is nothing there to backit up, no substance...whoever, is controlled by that person will undoubtedly suffer.

Roth's stepchild 17:48  

No, I didn't but thanks for telling me.

You're right. Big egos go hand in hand in politics. One of the reasons we have so many problems.

Politicians can say they want to change things for the better however, that often conflicts with self-interest and an inflated ego. That's why it's so important to get someone in office who takes the time to reflect on the decisions they make from time to time, something our current leader is not willing to do.

THanks for the comment!

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