With yet another round of Dick Cheney disinformation saturating the airwaves, it boggles the mind how the Bush administration controlled the American conversation in the media for so many years. As the public was pounded with fear and loathing of the rest of the world--during the lead-up to the war, the war, and seemingly ever after as long as this crushing tactic works--the Republican leaders tore American democracy and values down, torture by torture.
The Democratic Party deserved to be donkey-whipped, at least symbolically, for their complacence and compliance during these Bush years. They cowered in fear as the Bush/Cheney dictatorship steamrolled over them as the band played on.
Those of us who live abroad had a bird's-eye view of what was happening at home. Frankly, it was sorrowful as well as humiliating to watch the U.S. sell its values out and lose respect from the rest of the world. It was obvious from before George W. Bush was able to go out and pick this war that he was making the world more unsafe. I was astonished at the people who voted him in for the 2nd term--and this, too, was horrifying to the international community. How could ANYONE believe that the evil the Bush administration was perpetrating on its own citizens as well as the rest of the globe was helping anyone, including U.S. citizens?
Let's not forget that the American press also failed itself and us. Repeatedly. The failure of the media was close to comprehensive--and not just those outlets and "personalities" we know as tools of the rabid Right.
Obama was the only candidate who had the balls, intelligence, vision, integrity, and political ability to crush the greedy tyrannical Republicans who led us down our country's ruinous path that has come back to bite us in every possible way. The Republicans were devastated in the election year of Obama. People had finally had enough, put the blame where it truly lay, and voted the bums out.
So fast-forward to the last couple of weeks: How could Cheney have the gall to begin his evil drivel again? How could anyone, and I mean anyone, stand for it?
Are the Democrats complete and utter idiots? I hadn't thought it was worth the heartache for our country to try Bush administration officials like Cheney who lied and defied the American and international rules of law? But maybe they should be tried. In the case of Cheney, I wonder if the man is insane.
As for the press, we better pull ourselves together. Have we learned anything from the last eight years? I don't fall on the side of "citizen journalists" being the answer, though journalism is evolving, and I see this as an opportunity for many good things to happen. But one thing's for sure: everyone is accountable for his or her work. So David Gregory, what in the hell happened to you?
We cannot stand for a repetition of the failure of our democracy, moral values, or a free and open press to balance our society. It's our duty as Americans to hold our politicians and journalists accountable. The American press must find its core and then redefine itself. Dick Cheney and other Machiavellian beasts need to be put in their place before they've infused the national conversation with their venomous lies.
In that spirit, I'm currently creating a series of political "photo-toons" as a new kind of commentary--for those who like the quirky, bent, and edgy. Warning: I pull no punches. I call a hypocritical, absurd, or disinformation spade a spade--with no apology. I call my photo-toon series "Obamarific," and, in it, I'm addressing topics like Rush Limbaugh, Miss California, and, yes, Dick Cheney. Here are links to a few of my "photo-toons:"
Dick Cheney: here
We must keep the faith.
Beth Arnold lives and writes in Paris. To see more of her work, go to www.betharnold.com.