“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”- St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Every now and then we have a thought or even a dream that motivates us to wake up and pursue whatever it was we had envisioned in our minds. This post is no less one of these epiphany moments…
Ten years ago, a young and very inexperienced man was elected into office. I guess I cannot blame him for all the ills that we have inherited as a society today but I will lay a greater part of the blame on his very experienced counterpart, who despite his many years on this earth, went against every shred of human decency and dignity to expose and channel the worst of a nation’s people.
The turning point 10 years ago, as many of us are already aware was that tragic day in 2001, which for now shall remain nameless. It was shortly after that time when this same young and inexperienced leader stood affront of a bruised and battered Nation and gave one of the most moving speeches of our young American history. Part of that in which he said,
“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.” – President George W. Bush
Sadly, that was never to be. It was in these gleaming moments of this sheer human consciousness, when our US President was at his best. At that pivotal moment, this President shone like a pillar of strength – despite your political affiliation. In fact, it went beyond political affiliations. In just one day, the borders of every nation melted away … the winds of change were upon us and almost every Nationality was for a time, an American. This was our Grinch moment… a time when everything and anything appeared to be taken from us yet we came together as one and sang like we had never sung before. What an inspiring day it turned out to be.
What ensued, however, became the legacy of a simple man thanks to the weighty force behind him. Then Vice President, Richard “Dick” Cheney, hastily stole the thunder and cleverly persuaded the young president to do his bidding for him. Failed policies from a disgruntled old man coupled with greed and a penchant for vengefulness quickly took hold and spread like wildfire among the cabinet. In less than one month, Armed forces were deployed to Afghanistan for a full-fledged war, followed by yet another in Iraq less than two years later.
The Eternal Bogeyman
Osama Bin Laden, for many of us, has become the great ghost… the eternal bogeyman ready to leap out at us at any given moment. And if it is not the ghost himself, it is most definitely one of his minions. This is also one of the many reasons people in these United States believed we were entering into a war with Iraq – obviously Saddam Hussein, like Bin Laden must have had a dark connection predeceasing September 11, 2001. Or, maybe it was the “WMD”… commonly known as the notorious weapons of mass destruction. But that, too, like Bin Laden have become the eternal bogeymen. As long as we were chasing a ghost, whether it was him or some other random guy in the Middle East, Vice President Cheney instilled fear and hijacked most media news networks with his “clear and present danger” scenarios. By the time all was said and done, seven in 10 Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was connected to the events of 911. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said at the time, “Every member of the administration did the drumbeat. My mother said if you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes a gospel truth. This one became a gospel hit.”
Thus became the legacy of the Bush administration. Because of his lack of caution in believing everything that Cheney told him, President Bush inadvertently ushered in a new era of plutocracy. The “war machine” was in full stride. War profiteers directly or indirectly connected with Vice President Cheney were making bank on the backs of the American tax payers, both civilians and uniformed soldiers. Major war earners included Haliburton/KBR and Blackwater, among others. The real “don’t ask, don’t tell” secret is not the one involving the US Military… in all truth, the DADT of the modern era can be attributed greatly to Dick Cheney, as he practiced it with his clandestine affairs with big money day in and day out throughout his tenor in the People’s House.
In the end
By the end of his second term, the country was in such financial dire straits that President Bush was forced – by in large without VP Cheney — to take action for the “too big to fail” industries on Wall Street. Thousands lost their retirement savings and had to begin all over again. The fact of the matter was that this fiscal crisis had ushered in the near economic disaster only compared to the economic depression of the 1930s. Americans were rightfully upset: companies were going bankrupt, taxpayer money was funding two wars without end (and the war profiteers, to boot); jobs were rapidly on the decline, families were losing homes and after a summer of extreme gas prices, people were ready to storm Washington.
In 2008, a fresh face arrived on the scene — someone young and inexperienced, but hardly gullible. To some, he was the unseen hero who had come to save the day… to some he was a threat … to others; he was just another politician… but whatever the belief was, change had not come soon enough. Our leadership, including the mass media leading up to 2008 had fallen asleep at the helm. The ship was making its way into the perfect socioeconomic storm without a captain and crew. Our countrymen and women were engulfed in anger, despair, destitution… and rightfully so! Two wars, two major hurricanes and economic calamity had ushered in an era of more fear and more instability. But where were the angry outbursts during those eight years? Where were the libertarians, the Independents, the Tea Party, and the freedom-loving Americans who wanted to salvage the US Titanic before it hit the proverbial socioeconomic iceberg? Just where were they? Did they not understand the repercussions of what was happening affront of them? No. Was it those carefully-placed rose-colored glasses that made it easier to overlook the ensuing hardships? Where were they when our government was all about BIG government? Where were they when the fiscal walls were falling in around them? Where were they when the trillions upon trillions of dollars were being so generously donated to war profiteers? Where were they when jobs were being shipped overseas? Where were they??? But I digress… it is a day late and a dollar short. We are where we are…adrift but slowly regaining our course with a steady hand at the helm. No one ever said the journey would be free from perils, but at least we did not strike that iceberg… at least we did not succumb to the perfect socioeconomic storm… today we are one knot closer to pulling through the murky waters.
The hardest word to hear sometimes is simply “NO”. It hurts to tell someone he cannot have it his way or right away. But sometimes that is the only way to make things workable — through restraint. No, you cannot have it your way this time. No, you cannot hypocritically protest one administration when you did not protest the originator of the socioeconomic mess we are now in. NO! As quoted earlier, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Please rethink those “good intentions” and understand that today those good intentions are a day late and a dollar short.
OPED by CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd – Social Media Sorceress on current events, social media, philosophy and more!
Copyright – ALL Rights Reserved