Here’s a radical thought for the day: Stop blaming Bush. Oh, it would be easy to gaze at the wreckage of democracy of the past seven years and point a finger at the perpetrator-in-chief, but blaming Bush, I now realize, would be like blaming, well, a rock.
How did I achieve this newfound enlightenment? By pondering the words of the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. She tells the tale of a person meditating, not really bothered by the clicking of a radiator nearby, contrasting this with another meditator, driven crazy by a man constantly clicking his teeth. Similar noise, very different reactions. The lesson: We know instinctively not to get angry at inanimate objects; it’s harder to have the same attitude about people.
Think about it. Our “president” is just a corrupt little frat boy, a nothing, with the flexibility of a two-by-four. He is, for all intents and purposes, an inanimate object. Now it would be pretty silly to start yelling at a two-by-four, wouldn’t it? So just swallow that fury at him about all the horrific destruction of so much that’s good in our country. He is what he is.
Which is exactly the point. Except for graying hair, he hasn’t really changed. Any thinking person who paid attention eight years ago could have foreseen what a disaster he would be (though it would have been tough, I must admit, to foretell the extent of that disaster). So don’t take the easy way out and blame Bush. Put the responsibility squarely where it lies: on those voters who, whether out of ignorance or mean-spiritedness or misguided self-interest, almost elected him. (“Almost” definitely applies for 2000, and might for 2004, too.)
But there is hope that fewer voters are buying into the poisonous right-wing lies littering the airwaves. MSNBC, in its eloquent liberal glory, as personified most brilliantly in Keith Olbermann, is proving a formidable rival to Fox News (or Fixed News, as Olbermann aptly puts it). This is good news indeed, because even a disappointing center-leaning Obama would be vastly better than a McBush.