In my lifetime, I’ve learned the importance of setting and enforcing boundaries and the importance of balance. Only when I embrace both those things do I have any hope of living a life that benefits me and others. As they say, you can’t give away what you don’t have…which is why there is so much imbalance in the policies of the Bush Administration and the Republican dominated Congress we have subjected ourselves to.
Take the Bush administration’s policy toward space exploration. It was and is true that NASA needed a forward vision and that the call for manned participation and exploration is a needed one. But like almost everything else this administration has done, its approach is one-sided. Because other extreme approacheslike the war in Iraqare sapping the life out of the American economy, the Bush guys have undertaken a myopic program that is threatening advances in aeronautics and space sciences. Such a tact will damage the country’s advances in these areas for decades to come and do nothing to enhance an already declining engineering base. Believe me, today’s college freshman and high schoolers are watching how the administration handles this “transition”, and the massive layoffs that will almost certainly result will do nothing to enhance enrollment in aeronautics or aerospace engineering.
It’s no coincidence that the Houston area where I live is seeing unexplainably high rates of cancer in areas near some of the city’s large industrial plants. We are the state where environmental controls have been relaxed instead of enforced all in the name of a Bushonian philosophy of pandering to big business, and the oil business, specifically. Anwar, the Alaskan wildlife refuge whose opening to oil drilling was finally and sadly approved by this Congress, is now open to that same fate, albeit via a different execution. Even if no spills occur in Anwar, the impacts of the drilling on wildlife will not be fully known until sometime after drilling begins, no matter what they tell you. It is sure to be negative. Just the presence of drilling in the refuge (and it needs to be renamed the Bush Alaskan Oil Preserve) will mean its beautiful clean, unfettered vistas will be forever lost. But, no matter. The country needs the oil. God help us if we have to conserve.
I’ve heard a lot of screaming from Republicans about the “culture of life”. Yet, they exhibit no compassion for any creature except homo Republicanus and consistently demonstrate that quality of life issues are lost on them. They still are “the party of intolerance”. Don’t let them claim to be anything else. Any other action makes a hypocrite of us all.
The intervention of the U.S. Congress into the sad affair surrounding Terry Schiavio is the latest and greatest example of how “out-of-kilter” the federal government is. The Republicans claim they are the party of “least government” as they reach around behind their backs to play God with the private lives of citizens. The Schiavo affair, no matter how one feels about it, IS NOT a federal matter. Yet, the Congress and the President have made it one because they are less interested in protecting freedom than they are in being moralists and imposing their brand of morality on the country.
Couple this with the Republican based, big-business loving overhaul of the bankruptcy laws, and it’s easy to see that the average American doesn’t stand a chance against the Republican juggernaut. We’re going to continue to see a degradation of individual rights and legal protections as long as the Republicans can charge forth unchallenged. The country is out of balance, and more so than anytime I can remember.
It is no coincidence we are seeing the highest prices at the gas pump we have ever seen, nor that Americans continue to die in Iraq, nor that we are waving the red flags of military action against any country that dares to oppose American will, nor that civil liberties and rights are being degraded under the too-loose banner of “national security”. One has to wonder where it will all end…what kind of bottom we’re going to have to hit before we wake up. Hopefully, it will be sometime before the dream of American is so badly damaged it ends, sliding into a bog of complacency and fear.sissy maid kelly