George W. Bush was not my favorite person in the world; let's be upfront about that. I am unable to conceal the acrimony that just gushes out whenever I'm describing him. But with that said, don't you kind of miss him? Just ever so slightly?
I do. I truly do. And as the hash marks of the days of the Obama administration start adding up, I think I may end up missing W more and more. I, like many, reveled in November when President Obama won and again in January when he was inaugurated, but to be honest with you, the jubilee was short lived as I realized the weight of the task ahead both for our president and for the rest of us Americans.
You see, there are going to be failures, just like there are going to be victories. During our victories (the order to close Guantanamo, for example), we can rejoice that justice and the rule of law have returned to our glorious nation, and it was because of Him, Barack Obama (no, I don't mean Jesus), and that He (President Obama) is because of us, the voters.
We can now assume full responsibility for the good that we do, which is fantastic, but the reason I miss W is that I have lost my scapegoat if we do bad. If it should happen that our government continues to act irresponsibly in certain arenas, well then, it is now His (Obama's) fault, and by extension, our fault, because we voted for him!
I had gotten comfortable with shirking responsibility, passing the blame on to the Neocons, spewing out my nasty invective at someone that most of us considered an "other," a mistake that we would not claim as ours. I would often say that we (and by "we" I mean you, the ones that voted for W in 2004) were duped into voting for him because of the fear-mongering campaigns that we (you) fell for.
But that's behind us, now. It's gut-check time, now. We've grown up, now. If we succeed, then it is us (you and me) that succeeds.
When we travel abroad, we can proudly say we are Americans again, and Obama is our leader. Personally, I'm planning to visit France, hold my head up high in downtown Paris, and tell the Frenchies that our fries are their fries again, that we have abandoned the tasteless Freedom fries, that we can rejoice in our solidarity once again with the world.
I feel so emboldened that I may even try to convince the Iranians to take up Danishes, again. My point is that we can personalize our victories from now on.
Which, of course, means that if we fail (as Rush Limbaugh would like for Obama to), if we continue to relinquish the "moral high ground," then that's also on us. We can no longer blame that certain member of the village, anymore.
I don't know about you, but what this means to me is that I've been given a call to action. I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and become more involved in my civic duties, whatever they may be (I didn't even know I had them until I heard our new President say that I do).
So, it's like an American of the previous generation once said, "Let's rise up and live out the true meaning of our creed."