The title of this post is taken from a Leonard Cohen song. Even out of context, only a poet can distill these eight diabolical and embarrassing years. A massacre. A massacre, literally, for the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and brave “Coalition” soldiers needless killed in Iraq. A massacre, truly, for the swollen and dead in New Orleans. A massacre, figuratively, for the millions jobless or struggling, or otherwise victims of the Great Economic Collapse. The list of agonies flows on like a forever dropping jaw.
Others have certainly cataloged the cavalcade of Conservatron chicanery of the last eight years with precision. I am more concerned with where the rest of us stood in the massacre.
Remember, remember we must remember fellow Americans the Fear Years. That awful epoch between 9/11/01 and early 2004 when Generalissimo Bush turned any sense of humanity stemming from 9/11 and twisted it into Iraq War II. Disagreement was deemed betrayal. Our real enemies were allowed to skitter away and regroup. The reign of Generalissimo Bush is now almost universally recognized as a mammoth failure. But Bush was no more and no less of a failure in the Fear Years than he is now. He was no more or less of a venal demon then as he is now. The falsity and surrealism of the Iraq venture was evident then with as much critical thinking as it takes to decipher the nutrition label on a cereal box. The only thing that has changed is us. If America had a Parliamentary system then Generalissimo Bush would have been bounced from the White House long ago. Yet, stuck with him as we are, his power has been largely drained by his unpopularity. We proved we could cauterize the wound. Yes Bush deserves the brunt of the blame for the massacre. But we all let it happen.
What more could we have done? I myself argued the evil and stupidity of the Iraq War and Generalissimo Bush in general, often to barking, furious rejoinders from my countrymen. Others marched, which I thought would be ineffectual. I voted the right way. Horror at how Generalissimo Bush was mutating America (and the ineffectual response to it from Democrats) was an impetus for this blog. These are all well and good gestures on the “I told you so” level, but the massacre still happened. Not enough of us made a large enough effort to prevent it.
We all share the culpability of our America’s comprehensive failure during the Fear Years. All we can do now is learn from our errors. Know then, America, that “it” did happen here and “it” can happen here again. The kind minds of your friends and neighbors can be forged and fluxed by anger and anxiety into cheering the violence and delusions of a man of fear and hate. The words of our Constitution and laws are only words. They are nothing if their letter is usurped and ignored. The American experiment is fragile and can be aborted into a bizarre kind of fascism if we let it.
Remember America! Remember the Fear Years! Remember America’s fascist moment! Remember the massacre!