This is a recent trend I’m already tired of. This is a letter to the editor in our local alt-weekly, the Valley Advocate:
It is with great shame that I must admit to being a former supporter of George Bush. I thought he would be a strong leader who would unify our country and its allies against its enemies, strengthen our economy and bring bold new visions to a war-torn world. Instead, he has shown his interests lie in serving big business as usual, has shredded our Constitution, and has treated common folks as fodder, dupes, inconsequential and disposable. Rather than a strong leader, he has become an absolute ruler, ruling through intimidation, deceit and secrecy rather than cooperation, openness and trust. Instead of the promise of peace, he has only brought the spectre of unending war. In his speeches he states, “Democracies don’t wage war,” yet in his next breath he claims the right to preemptive war. Who can believe this man is interested in spreading democracy as he asserts his right to use torture and extraordinary rendition, to spy on American citizens and start wars at his will–as he, his family and his friends make no sacrifices, lose no sons, daughters, brothers but only grow richer, more powerful and wanting more? As they, the rich, grow richer, who pays? We do, and our children and their children and their children.
And what will we leave them? A war-ravaged world, fighting over scarce resources rather than developing new ones. A world scarred by toxic emissions from nuclear weapons and nuclear power and by the exploitation of finite resources; global warming; never-ending debt; and a world where the rule of law descends into the law of survival. He says the Democrats have a pre-9/11 mentality. Yet he is pre-1776, destroying the ideals this nation was founded on: self-government, checks and balances, human rights (where is the right to torture in the Bill of Rights?). He is pre-neanderthal in his assertion that we can attack any nation we want, just because we want to.
Lately there seems to be a growing number of people claiming to be former Bush supporters who know now that he’s not what they thought. While I’m glad to see people finally snapping out of their hypnotic trance, but I have to wonder about some of them and their rhetoric.
The writer doesn’t say when she supported Bush. That is, whether she voted for him in 2000, 2004, or both. But either way, I have to wonder.
If it was in 2000, what exactly made you think he’d be a good leader? The man entered the race having done nothing except be a weak governor. He had absolutely no federal government experience and his business record was appalling. What about him made you think he had what it took to be President? And by 2004, if you didn’t already know that he was full of shit, it was because you didn’t want to know. By 2004 there was more than enough evidence that he served only the wealthy, disregarded the Constitution, and had contempt for the average American. So how exactly were you “duped”? What did you think you were getting with Bush, either time?
You mention torture and extraordinary rendition as things you can’t support. Did you support them in 2004? It was known that this was being done before that election. What changed? How did you justify it to yourself then?
In addition, I’d like to ask this author, and people like her, this question. The points you raise in the second part of your letter are all valid ones, but they’re nothing new. People like me have been saying them since long before your conversion. What exactly did you tell yourself at the time to convince yourself that they weren’t valid?
I’d love to welcome people like this to the world of reality-based thinking, but I can’t help but think that this is more of a fashion thing, now that Bush’s polls are plummeting. “I used to be really into Bush, but now I can’t believe I ever really liked him.”