A Nickel for your Thoughts

My random thoughts about politics, cars, computers, sports, the environment and so on. For free. And that's about what they're worth.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Four More Years...and They Haven't Even Started Yet

Together with the rest of the world, let us resolve to move forward from the beginnings we have made. Let us continue to bring down the walls of hostility which have divided the world for too long, and to build in their place bridges of understanding--so that despite profound differences between systems of government, the people of the world can be friends.

Let us build a structure of peace in the world in which the weak are as safe as the strong--in which each respects the right of the other to live by a different system--in which those who would influence others will do so by the strength of their ideas, and not by the force of their arms. (Italics mine)

Let us accept that high responsibility not as a burden, but gladly--gladly because the chance to build such a peace is the noblest endeavor in which a nation can engage; gladly, also, because only if we act greatly in meeting our responsibilities abroad will we remain a great Nation, and only if we remain a great Nation will we act greatly in meeting our challenges at home.
--Richard Nixon, in his second inaugural address, January 20, 1973.
We've made so much progress in the past 32 years, wouldn't you say? Now, instead of this touchy-feely '70s hippie crap about peace abroad and focusing our resources at home on candyass legislation like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act (all passed during the Nixon administration), we're diverting billions away from our domestic budget to occupy--oh, pardon me, liberate--a country which had not attacked us, which had no weapons of mass destruction nor the means to make them, and which hadn't done a goddamn thing since the first Gulf War. Obviously, the "different system" Nixon was talking about was Communism, but if you replace that with Islamic theocracy, his words are just as relevant today.

While he did a lot of shady things, I'd trade our current president in for Dick Nixon any day of the week and twice on Sunday. When he wasn't being "Tricky Dick," he was normalizing relations with China, getting us out of Vietnam with a modicum of dignity, forming the Environmental Protection Agency, and signing the aforementioned legislation.

Can you imagine if G.W. Bush had been President during the Vietnam War? Jesus H. Christ! It'd still be happening, except it would now be known as World War III and I'd be writing this from the comfortable confines of my 10'x10'x8' "nucular" fallout shelter. Hell, Cat Stevens probably would have been arrested as a suspected terrorist...oh, wait....

I long for a time when Republicans gave a shit about the environment, believed in the separation of church and state, and understood the value of diplomacy. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait at least four more years, and probably a lot longer.


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