Dark Days for America
These are dark days for America. Burning questions are coming to the foreground in American affairs. Bush’s first term in office can hardly be considered all prosperity, success, glory. Foreign complications—quagmire in Iraq, stalemate at the UN, abandonment by our closest allies—are crippling the nation. Worse than all, the close of the Bush administration will likely see wide financial distress prevailing in the country. All these things will tend to embitter the contest in 2004, which will be a death-grapple between imperialism and constitutionalism.
Some are predicting that Bush will be forced to retire early to the peace and delight of his own hearthstone at his Texas ranch. During the three years of his stormy administration Americans have become keenly alive to the great questions of the hour—questions very largely of foreign policy. The nation is going blind, helpless, struggling on its untried path of nation building. The inefficient Congress, the vast public debt bequeathed by Clinton, the general disorder, insecurity, and impoverishment in Iraq are filling the country with foreboding and despair. Behind any attempts to enlarge the national authority is the dreaded specter of approaching Orwellianism. The suggestion of a strong central government always arouses the suspicions and hostile fears of patriotic Americans. Even the soldiers of the empire, sitting around their Humvees or assembled in their staging areas, grimly mutter, “Is it worth it?” A long, bitter contest between friends and foes of the Constitution has engulfed the nation.
It is probable that Bush’s ardent, imperious nature may have led him into some mistakes. He did not perhaps estimate the importance of maintaining harmonious relations with our European allies, while his own nation was dealing with all the great problems it had to face in invading and occupying Iraq. Having now returned to the UN, he has found hard lines. People are tired and disgusted with the war. A wave of popular indignation is sweeping over the land—a sudden thunderbolt to the neocons holding the reigns of American foreign policy. The first years of the Bush administration are clouded by public anxieties and private embarrassments. The oak is bending to the storm at last.
These are indeed dark days for America. The 2004 contest for the presidency will be strong and acrimonious to the last degree. Bush may well retire from the presidency an embittered and disappointed man—though in his own eyes a hero, for he has always regarded himself as playing the part of a pure and enlightened patriotism. We can only pray that the tide turns in favor once again of freedom in our nation.
October 29, 2003
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. He is currently finishing his latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon.