The ground has just shifted under our feet.
For eight years, we have been struggling against the agenda of George W. Bush – against attacks on the Constitution such as government spying against Americans without a search warrant and electronic database dragnets, against anti-environmental shams such as the idea of “clean coal” and expanded offshore drilling, against the blending of Church and State through corrupt government kickbacks to politically active religious groups (known as “faith-based initiatives”).
We thought that if we were able to get rid of George W. Bush, we would get rid of these rotten programs and bring America back to its tradition of liberty and progress.
Now, we’re learning that the problems go far beyond George W. Bush. These issues aren’t just problems with Bush Republicans. They reflect a pervasive decay in American civic culture.
You see, with the 2009 change in the White House, we’re learning that Barack Obama supports every one of the right wing programs I just listed. Barack Obama, in spite of his promise of change, is following many of the same policies as George W. Bush.
It’s a disorienting thought, but the struggle against Bush’s ideas is far from over. The struggle has just entered a new stage that, in many ways, will present more of a challenge to our idealism than anything we’ve experienced so far.
When the champion of progress turns out to be its enemy, there’s no one left on the big stage to stand for us and tell us where to go.
We’re on our own.