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Monday, October 13, 2003

A Word on Bush Hatred

Submitted to the Boulder Weekly
As an innocent bystander to the Bush hatred which permeates political discourse in this town, I’d like to offer some observations.

The Feel Good generation doesn’t feel good anymore, and they’re pissed. I can understand it: life has disappointed, the world has changed and it’s not fair. The world was our playground and then it rained on our parade. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, and since George Bush isn’t one of us, and we didn’t vote for him, and it happened on his watch, then it must be all his fault that we don’t feel good anymore.

When Clinton was president, people weren’t crashing planes into the Twin Towers and we weren’t facing the enormity of balancing the luxury of freedom with the necessity of safety. We enjoyed great prosperity, which we used in the quest to Feel Good. Remember the bumper sticker, “Sh*t Happens”? Well, it’s true, and it’s altogether possible that George Dubya didn’t cause it all.

Statistically, in the summer months, the incidence of rape increases, as does the amount of ice cream eaten. Yet, applying rationality and logic, it would be ludicrous to infer a causal relationship. I’m not saying there’s no relationship between President Bush and current events, but it is not enough to note their concurrence. To discriminate cause and effect requires exercise of the intellect. If our response to the important and complex questions of our day is naught but an emotional reaction, we increase confusion at the expense of clarity.

The Feel Good generation has always considered themselves important and has always wanted to Make a Difference. Well, here and now is the chance. Having subjected us all to your temper tantrum, can we not move on? Can we not dig a little deeper? How You Feel may be the most important aspect of current events for you, but it has become a dead weight on the conversation.

After years of therapy and self-improvement, one would hope that the lessons of all those workshops might now pay off. Your exorbitant anger is not interesting to the rest of us, and it has not helped. Surely, as we try to discern right action, we can come up with something more substantial and less hasty than the conclusion that all good resides with you, and all evil with the President. Quick and easy is helpful only when making dinner.

The world has changed and so must we. “Random and senseless” may have been a sufficient philosophy for the Clinton years, but it so happens that more is required of us now. Instead of random, let us choose that which is consistent; instead of senseless, let us become thoughtful.

Anne Lieberman