With the election of George W. Bush to the presidency, the PNAC posse found a sheriff they could, and did, manipulate at will, a man with no redeeming qualities, no individual spirit, someone who had spent a life operating in the shadow of a much more powerful (and capable) father, a man who was but a shell, a puppet, waiting to be maneuvered by those with more depth and capability. George W. Bush's record as governor of Texas is only surpassed in incompetence by his record as president, but in both cases his tenure succeeded in empowering an elite few who made their fortunes by manipulating the words and actions of the empty suit holding office.
There is an ongoing struggle here in America for the very soul of the nation, one that pits a dangerous cabal of neoconservative ideologues against two centuries of American democracy. It is a stuggle fought both in secrecy, behind closed doors, and in the open, waged before our eyes. What makes this struggle so very dangerous is that most Americans are unaware that it is taking place. Battles over fundamental principles and values that define us as a nation are disguised as "bureaucratic exercises" and "politics as usual." But there is nothing normal about what is occuringthe death of a nation for the self-interest of those who would corrupt the very cause of liberty championed by the people.
But it's not all aimed at King George & PNAC. Ritter has a fair dose of criticism for the American people.
Ultimately, there is no difference, and indeed there can be no difference between the people of the United States and the government of the United State, because thanks to our constitution, we the people of the United States of America are the government.
We really have no one to blame but ourselves. Yes, the Bush administration sold us the Big Lie concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but we collectively bought into it. The media, Congress, and the people of the United Stateswe are all collectively culpable. We didn't ask enough questions, we didn't demand enough answers, and when someone had the gall to do so, we played "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" in an effort to avoid considering that when it came to weapons of mass destruction, the emperor had no clothes.
I fear that many in America have come to expect the benefits of being an American without first making the investment of citizenship. We are a nation that has stopped voting. We are a people so accustomed to wrapping ourselves in a cocoon of comfort that we fear anything that rocks the boat of prosperity, even if the ship is sailing toward the abyss. We have ceased being a nation of citizens, and instead become a collective of coddled consumers. We have ceded our role as citizen to those power elites and have become blind to their abuses of power and the destruction of what we stand for as a peopleso long as these power elites keep waddling down the path of relative prosperity.
Unfortunately, not enough people heeded Ritter's warning and King George was recrowned in 2004. But it's not too late. We will have more elections, and we can win back our country if we will just start giving a shit. Take an interest in your government. Vote. Impeach Bush. Write your representatives. Run for office. Do somethinganything.