I think of all the things I love about my species, it's that when they do perceive the error of their ways, they change.
I think of all the things I hate about my species, the tendency to mind-bomb each other with memes and catchy sayings and Pleasant Illusions (as opposed to Difficult Realities) is the worst. It's the root of the groundwork of all evil.
What's interesting is that the second is derived from the first. We try to find the truth. Not knowing better, we trust what The Other is doing:
(a) The crowd. Usually our friends, coworkers and family.
(b) The media. It's published, it must be true.
(c) The Science. Even though it explains only part of a complex situation.
(d) The Man-God. Specifically, what the crowd thinks God thinks.
In other words, most of the time our brains are filled with other people's reactions. They see something, they freak out, and they'll feel bad if we don't freak out too, so everyone freak out.
Then they make trends. "Well, we here all believe this... you aren't DIFFERENT, are you?"
It's like the first day of kindergarten all over again.
As a result, it's often hard to know what you -- the individual reading this -- think at any given time. (To complicate things, I'm also mind-bombing you, and hoping that better discrete logic and some fun with words will make you see the light I have.)
All this boils down to: most people are wrong most of the time.
This includes smug Europeans who comment on American politics without ever have been here long enough to hold a job, with a hidden agenda of "you are bigger than us, so fuck you -- no really, fuck you America, because we both need you and want to be you." This includes liberals whose undercover goal is to fragment society so their own neurosis doesn't seem so dysfunctional; if you fear you're a defective, you want more defects to hide behind. This includes people who interpret religion like morons and are hoping for The End Times so we can all die and go to that better place that suspiciously resembles a Wal-mart in the sky where we have God's card, and he's got an infinite credit limit. This also includes moderate pundits who think that picking the path between extremes of bloviation somehow makes them "realistic."
One area they're wrong is with George W. Bush. They think he's bad because of the following reasons, which I'll explain and debunk.
* The Iraq war. They just don't like war. No one does. But when you're a superpower, and someone blows up two giant buildings in your biggest city, someone has to pay. If you can't get to the exact someone, take out a possible big ally and, since your economy will collapse if you don't have an oil supply, score the oil.
* Katrina. Local authorities delayed contacting the Feds, who then summoned a large federal bureaucracy that responded slowly and ineptly, as they all do. No leader has ever been able to fix this aspect of bureaucratic government because it's inherent.
* The economy. This one was a bomb from the Clinton days. Playing fast and loose with interest rates, he encouraged wild speculation. The value of money went up. Oh goody, happy days are here again -- but every drunken spree has its comedown. Specifically, the market re-adjusting the value of the dollar from 2000 to the present.
* Paranoia. The department of Homeland Security -- monitoring emails -- TSA -- possible American troops deployed to control us -- on and on it goes, with a new Biggest Threat Evar every week. It never plays out. Why: governments always increase their power, and they actually increased it more under Clinton. You never hear about this.
So none of these things are Bush's fault, and for things we don't like, we have to look at the basic aspects of our system. An economy based on fiat capital. A government that prefers to hire minorities, women, the disabled etc. without checking to see if they're competent first. The conditions of being a superpower, which means that you have to read Machiavelli like the Bible.
Basically, we're not oppressed -- as a voting mass, WE ARE INEPT, and as a result governments just take advantage of us, because they cannot tell us the truth because they'll get voted out of office. Voters prefer Pleasant Illusions to Difficult Realities, and that's why they're slaves to other people's bad judgment.
Blaming Bush is just the latest installment in this. We're all frustrated, so let's blame whoever is convenient, because that's much easier than facing the long-term problems of our civilization. If we were truthful, we'd realize that pluralism doesn't work, and that any society without culture will be dominated by its economy, making us all whores. If we were truthful -- well, that's another essay, but let it suffice to say that very few can understand the truth much less read it.
Keep your heads in the sand. Look for easy answers. It worked for the Romans during their final days, and the Soviets, and the Aztecs. Maybe it will (snicker) work for you.