What I Fear

We have reached the point that the President of the United States and his administration no longer have any real credibility left. This has been true with the world at large for quite a while, and has also been true with the left side of the political spectrum in the United States. Now, it is true of the center, and even among some on the right side of the spectrum.

The nation has been poorly governed before, and has known that it was being poorly governed in the past, but this situation is particular and different. For it is in the matters of the utmost seriousness that this President is most untrustworthy: national security and commitment to the basic norms and covenants of democratic constitutionalism.

What I fear is that the United States will come under a terrorist attack. I believe that, at this point, so many people would doubt the official story of the event that it would trigger a political crisis.

What I fear is that the present administration would launch a preemptive attack against Iran and that most people would not believe their arguments for its necessity.

What I fear that is that a close outcome of the midterm elections -- one in which Republicans narrowly maintain control of one or both houses of Congresses -- would not be seen as legitimate or honest.

The top officials of the present administration are in genuine risk of being indicted for war crimes, under US law, and the Supreme Court has already declared all of their potential defenses to be without merit.

In short, any serious problem demanding governmental action in the next two years will place the nation into uncharted territory.

I do not have much hope that the Democratic Party, or even Congress under the control of the Democratic Party, will be reliable grown-ups in the next few years. My hope from them is that they will gain enough positions of power to demand the truth of what has happened since 2000. They will be instruments that will bring this administration to heel, but only because such action is being demanded of them by a civil society mobilized to defend democracy, civil liberties and the constitution.

Liberal Religion faces new tasks in the coming period of history. It is time for us to start preparing for what lies ahead.


  1. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Just to add to the fears (sorry!)

    From your post:
    They will be instruments that will bring this administration to heel, but only because such action is being demanded of them by a civil society mobilized to defend democracy, civil liberties and the constitution.

    I fear that the civil society that you speak of (or hope for) doesn't exist. I'm a 50 year old MA resident, employed / surrounded by scientists and academians, mostly liberals, I thought. Yet MANY of the people I talk with still think that Bush et. al. are on the right track, incredibly. With their 'me only' attitudes, blinders on to anything outside of their own personal spheres, how will they see anything to demand of our government?

    I can only hope that your bit of optimism is warranted!

  2. Good Lord, Anonymous.

    Bush has an approval rating of about 35 to 40%. That means about one third of the population has moved from approving of him to disapproving of him in the last couple years.

    Yet, it still means that slightly more than 1 out of every three people you meet and talk to will think he is doing a great job.

    Individual perceptions of where the body politic is lining up as a whole is an impossible task. It leads to either overbearing arrogance (everybody thinks like I do) or defeatist pessimism, to which I fear, O nameless one, that you have fallen prey to.

    What are the implications of what you have taken the time to comment on in this blog? Why post it?

    Is it that you believe that since civil society does not exist, and so therefore, Bush and all are unstoppable? That is your position. Right?

    1. Do you think therefore that democratic measures are futile, and so therefore think we need to move to a stage of armed struggle?
    2. Do you think that if you say that Bush is unstoppable that this will somehow motivate people to work harder to stop him, a sort of a reverse psychological ploy?
    3. Or do you think that we should all wander around muttering, "Jesus, we are so screwed. We are so screwed. We are so screwed", ad infinitum?
    4. Or does saying so reinforce a decision not to be active politically, since it is hopeless anyway, and therefore why not have a "me only" life myself?

    The title of my post is "What I fear." I don't think that I am projecting a huge amount of optimism. I will refuse to be completely pessimistic, though.

  3. Anonymous12:27 PM


    No, I'm not whining, “Jesus, we’re all screwed!” And no, I’m not making excuses for my political inactivity – I’m a campaign volunteer for Jim McGovern. I’ve been on the losing side twice with GREY2K. I vehemently encourage my Republican friends and family in my native PA to oust Rick Santorum.

    A 60% disapproval rating on the president’s handling of the Iraq war certainly does not equate to 60% of voters choosing a non-Republican Congress in November! Even pro-Bush lifelong Republicans may not agree with him on the single issue of the war!

    What I don’t see is Americans paying attention. “An Inconvenient Truth” was a wakeup call for some, yet many believe it’s not true or don’t care, or think that Gore is “just being political.” And I don’t see less SUVs or more car-pooling on the roads.

    What would it take to turn American attentions away from American Idol and other entertainments and towards the important fact that our nation and world is in serious trouble? Short of another major terrorist attack on our own soil, I can’t think of anything. I don’t think that a civil society alone can change things. What we need is an aware society. Sadly, I don’t see that now.


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