Ask Not What Sacrifice You Can Make For Your Country; Instead, Ask What Gift Mr. Bush Can Give the Ultra Rich
Morbo, posting at The Carpetbagger Report, raises a topic that toasts my cookies (er... uh... oatmeal, not chocolate chip):
Great political leaders are not afraid to call on the American people to sacrifice.Oh, absolutely.
[snippety snip snip]
I have to wonder if Americans today — even if they had a visionary leader worth following — could be successfully called to sacrifice again.
The question is kind of academic right now. The narrow and crabbed MBA worldview of President George W. Bush does not permit him to conceive of such a thing as “sacrifice.” A leader with vision, a leader capable of inspiring the people, could call for shared sacrifice and perhaps do great things — maybe even save Social Security. That’s not Bush.
Bush has spent five years encouraging Americans to be selfish and fantasy-prone. Why should anyone sacrifice for the greater good when the reigning ideology in Washington are the twin messages of “Just look out for yourself” and “Buy, buy, buy”? (What were we told to do after Sept. 11? Go buy something.)
Consider terminology. The very term “Social Security” conjures up the image of the greater society around you. It’s two simple words, but they convey a powerful message: We’re all in this together.
Contrast that to the Bush alternative: private accounts. What message does that send? It says, “You are on your own. Make the right choices, and you’ll live well in retirement. And the guy down the block who made bad choices? Not your concern.”
If these wars were so just, so real - real in the sense of responding to some legitimate threat from Afghanistan as a whole or Iraq plus or minus Saddam - wouldn't the president be asking for sacrifice?
But there's the nasty issue of Bush creating an American condition where perhaps he doesn't have to reduce himself to ask. There would seem - recruitment slumpage notwithstanding - to be no end of young people ages 17-27 who don't have a full-time job paying a livable wage, who can't get into college because scholarships and ed loans are tough to come by, and who don't have much in the way of an immediate future. That these young people are not all hopping to join the war may be an indication of how even red state America doubts this war and this president's game plan (one we're not allowed to question).
It also reminds me of a discussion - if you can call it that - with a fellow who likes to tool around everywhere around here, usually when his lard ass is the only occupant of the vehicle - in his huge-o Hummer. Its large rear end - to differentiate from his large tusch - is decorated with several "support the troops" emblems.
Me, unable to contain myself as he stood in line at the village market boasting yet again of his vehicle, asked, "So how do you think you're supporting the troops by driving around in a vehicle larger than some low income housing units, that gets 2 mpg, when the troops are sent in to fight wars for the fuel you burn so freely, and when most of those troops will never make as much in a single year of pay as you spent on that gas guzzling monster?"
This guy's idea of sacrifice is to plaster some cheapo ribbons on the back of a vehicle that symbolizes the reason we're at war.
Mr. Bush, for his part, not only changed tax code so that this fat ass could buy this monster with a big tax break, but his idea of sacrifice is to give more of the tax money from the middle and lower class wage earners to millionaires and billionaires - those who support him, anyway. Where's the first family's sacrifice? Barb and Jen had to cut back on those $5K a night club tabs? Hardly.