Thursday, March 02, 2006

Angels, the devil, and George W. Bush

One of the first things Preggo said to me today was, "When is it going to be enough?" She was referring to the latest White House fiasco. (Right. Sorry. I should be more specific, since there are SO MANY latest White House fiascos to choose from.) Specifically, she was referring to the transcripts and videos showing that Bush knew damn well before Katrina hit that the city was not prepared. This is a fact that, I'm sure, most of us have suspected all along. But now here it is in print.

Surely this will be followed by public outrage. Surely the American people will stand up and demand that this man be taken out of office. Surely, after the constant string of lies and incompetencies, we've finally had enough. As Preggo says, "We took Nixon out after ONE lie." I'm right there with you, Preggo. You've got Nixon. You've got Clinton, who's greatest (proven) crime was having "sexual relations with that woman" and lying about it, something I could give a flying fuck about. (Who hasn't had sex and then lied about it?) And then you've got Bush, whose lies and incompetencies actually result in the deaths of innocent people. And what do we do with him? We elect him to a second term. Brilliant, people. Fucking brilliant.

I don't remember the context, but several months ago The Kid and I were talking about the president and the fact that Mommy doesn't like him. The Kid wanted to know why, so I explained that he lies, and then lies a little more, and then lies while dancing a little jig, just for good measure. I also explained that he makes decisions that have nothing to do with the best interests of the people he's supposed to be protecting; that are, in fact, often directly counter to the best interests of the people he's supposed to be protecting. And that he doesn't care.

The Kid's response: "That's not very nice. Why does he lie? Is he the devil? We should have an angel for the president, cuz they don't lie. And they're pretty."

So, I ask you this: If my preschooler can call the man out as the devil that he is, what's the matter with the rest of us?

(And I also ask you this: Who the hell's been teaching my kid about the devil and angels??)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of talk about Mr. Bush being a liar and, yes, I read the news. I have been trying to figure this personality trait out. Although some might like to chacterize him as dumb, I don't think this is so. Some might put a paranoid, conspoiratorial spin on this predeliction to play loose with the truth. I don't think this is so either.

I've got a different but unreassuring idea. These stories Mr. Bush makes up are confabulations not lies.
con·fab·u·la·tion (kn-fby-lshn)
n. The unconscious filling of gaps in one's memory by fabrications that one accepts as facts.

Confabulation is common in children as they seek to fill in the blanks in their memory with manufactured thoughts that are eventually believed as true by themselves. A confabulator believes his ideas to be true. These beliefs can be even stronger if reinforced by people around the confabulator. A liar knows his fabrications are not true but says them anyway.

Confabulators have infantile traits to their personality. They think that if they say "it" , ït" must be true. They have ego problems about their importance [and that of their words] in the grand scheme of things. They love being listened to. They have no insight into the "truth" of their statements. They live in the moment. Confronting them with reality does not work.

Unfortunately, this profile can lead to stultifying laziness. Doing your homework is not perceived as important. A confabulator is easily manipulated by other more cynical people who feed him the talking points and need only to feed into his belief system. He will walk in front of the cameras and he will say anything and believe it as longs as it fits into his predrawn picture about himself. Notice the preoccupation on self.

I think we have a lazy, arrogant confabulator with a smug value system. This is not good news given the power he is given and the even larger measure of power he has or wants to appropriate for himself alone.

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