You know the business about the frog. You know, if you put the frog in a pan of water and turn the heat up slowly the frog will not realize that he/she is about to boil to death until it is too late. Well, that is the way I feel about what the Bush/Cheney administration has done to me. I don't know why it took me so long to understand this.
For almost my entire lifetime I was never significantly political. I was always a Democrat because I knew Democrats were more or less for the working people and the Republicans were for the rich and business. But I never worried a great deal about elections. I never believed that whichever party was elected the world might come to an end or that anything would change in truly important ways. I never had a real problem with authority, being willing to submit myself to those elected to be in charge for the next four years even though I might have had some disagreements with their policies. I naively believed that government looked out for the people as best they could, some governments being a bit better at it than others. I certainly never lived in fear of my government. I was always proud to be an American and I believed that we were, indeed, the greatest country on earth. I knew, of course, that politicians sometimes lied, but they lied mostly to get elected, not generally because they had evil ulterior motives. In general, I trusted government to do the right thing. For the most part I was more happy than not.
I didn't realize the enormity of the change in me until very recently. Oh, I knew I was getting somehow more and more unhappy, but the full impact of developments in the past ten years hadn't completely registered until now. I confess that after watching what Republicans did to Clinton, and the means they employed to destroy him, plus what has happened with the Bush/Cheney administration in the last six years, I no longer trust my government. I don't trust them at all. I don't believe a single word they say, ever. I am no longer proud to be an American. I am ashamed, ashamed of my country and even more ashamed of my current government, and ashamed of myself for not being able to do more to stop what is going on. I believe the Iraq "war" is totally illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and was unnecessary. I believe war crimes of enormous proportions have been and are being perpetrated by our military at the behest of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice and others. When they claim things are going well, I don't believe it. When they say they will withdraw troops I don't believe it. When they say they don't torture I don't believe it. When they say they don't murder innocent civilians, including very small children, I don't believe it. When they say we are spreading democracy I don't believe it. When they say it isn't about oil I don't believe it. In short, I don't believe anything they say. And as I am sure you can surmise, I am not at all happy. I live in fear. I don't fear terrorists. Where I live I'm sure I would have a greater chance of being struck by lightning or being eaten by a grizzly bear than a victim of a terrorist act. I live in fear of the Bush/Cheney administration which has no regard for civil rights, law, or even common decency.
When they said there were WMD's I was skeptical but gave them the benefit of the doubt. When they claimed connections between Osama and Sadam I didn't really believe it but wasn't positive about it. When they said Iraqi oil would pay the bill I didn't believe it but stupidly thought maybe. When you add to this tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy, the national debt, the lack of medical care, the aftermath of Katrina, gifts to the oil and pharmaceutical industries, contempt for the environment and global warming, scandal after scandal after scandal, and lies so transparent as to be insulting, what is one to think.
I have indeed changed, and not for the better. I have become unhappy, cynical, depressed, bitter, angry, disgusted, even enraged. I want my country back. I want those responsible for my current condition to be held accountable for what they have done to me and the rest of humanity. I want these nightmare years to end.