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I Can See Clearly Now

How I learned to stop worrying (and love George Bush).

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In the past, I dishonored this space by expressing doubt about the conduct of the present presidential administration. My only excuse is that I was born to liberal parents, who were themselves the children of poor-to-working-class people who naively attributed their physical survival during the Depression to Franklin Roosevelt.

I know it's not an adequate reason for more than 40 years of mouthy, flagrant liberalism, but I was damaged by hearing the name of FDR pronounced with love and reverence by all the adults I knew. (I like to think that they just didn't know any better.) So, I was indoctrinated in the cradle, and somehow Vietnam, Watergate and the glory that was Reagan failed to open my eyes. Not even those globally significant blow jobs in the Oval Office set me straight. (I thought it was none of my business!) But now my heart has been opened. I was blind, but now I see.

The instruments of my salvation were Tucson Weekly readers who reached out their loving hands to me after every blasphemous remark about Bush. These letters were forceful, imbued with the close reasoning and civility for which the right is renowned. One reader, for example, referred to me as "a f-----g airhead." The letter writers failed to achieve two of their apparent goals. They did not succeed in hurting my feelings, because that's impossible. (I work for a newspaper.) Nor did they make Jimmy "The Chimi" Boegle reconsider ever printing my irresponsible swill again. (Actually, all of us here at The Weekly get five bucks extra for every denunciation that comes in, plus 50 cents for each trace of spittle. A verified assassination attempt is good for a week for two in Aruba.)

But my correspondents did accomplish another task: They revealed to me--a twisted, hardened liberal-- the foolishness of my unpatriotic opinions, and the scales fell from my eyes. So, like Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor, I'm a newly born convert to the Republican Party.

Hi, there! (That's a greeting from the new me!) I've got a subscription to The Weekly Standard, a photo of Ayn Rand on the wall and a radio permanently tuned to AM. Of course, I'm a female Republican, so reading and listening aren't really necessary for me: Nobody likes a Hillary. That goes double for the movement's fiercest warriors, those soft, balding, white men who, even in middle age, must struggle every day with crippling mother issues. I like to leave all the brainwork to them so I can devote myself to being a happy, helpful Martha. (The one in the Bible, not the indicted one!)

But it seems plain selfish not to share with others the peace I've found. Finally, the three curses of the left--compassion, worry and critical thought--have been lifted from me. Since the hour I first believed every word issuing from the nectar-exuding mouth of our beloved president, everything has been beautifully simple. Plus, I can finally buy an SUV! I was lost, but now am found.

Here's just some of the pointless crap I no longer have to waste my time on: drought; Arizona's banana-republic power structure; kids becoming fatter, sicker and more ignorant; icecaps melting; habeus corpus vanishing; Africa; the whereabouts of the Sept. 11 commission report; immigrants dying in the desert; looting; a global population heading for seven billion; the deficit; uninsured children; new diseases and that ridiculous canard, in-home arsenals. (Guns don't kill people; weapons of mass destruction do.) All those liberal anxieties floated away like airy bubbles once I understood in my heart that none of these things matter unless our adored and magnificent leader says they do. My only role is to support his wise actions without question, to join my humble voice to the mighty unison. I know that the All-Potent One will vow to punish the wrongdoers. Such are his many vows that, at their utterance, troubles melt like lemon drops.

There's been such a sea-change in my whole way of being that I can no longer fathom how people who call themselves free Americans can snipe at an administration that invariably tells the truth, fulfills every promise and moves logically and patiently to accomplish its well-thought-out objectives. With Osama bin Laden safe in a cell next to Saddam Hussein, thousands of WMDs located and dismantled, terrorism wiped out throughout the world and our soldiers all safe at home from Iraq and Afghanistan--now hopeful, peaceful, pro-U.S. democracies--it's a lowdown sin to nitpick. Domestically, the outlook is just as rosy. The number of jobless keeps going down, and both the personal bankruptcy rate and the deficit keep plunging. Corporate evildoers are being sternly punished even as consumer confidence, powered by tax cuts that put more nickels in the little man's pocket, explodes through the goldarn roof.

My fellow Americans--if they have the nerve to still call themselves that--should all sit down and ask themselves one simple question: Am I better off than I was three years ago, at the end of the long nightmare of recession and war that was the Clinton years? "You bet your life!" is the only possible answer. (Plus, would you want to see Clinton in a flight suit? No way!)

In conclusion, friends, I cannot too highly recommend the hard-right path. If you, too, are tired of thinking about that big old world out there, and if you're longing for an ideology that does your reasoning and fact-checking for you, just turn your radio (or Fox News) on.

The truth shall set you free.

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