George W. Bush's Fatal Attraction
George W. Bush loves us. This much he made clear in his acceptance speech Thursday night.
Why, he loves us so much, he began his speech by unveiling a long list of new government giveaways and reforms he says he’d like to sign into law one day. There’s just one catch, however. He’ll not start work on any of it until after we elect him to a second term.
For some reason, Bush didn’t love us quite this much during his first term. Before his Thursday speech, this new list of promises wasn’t even a blip on his administration’s radar screen despite the fact that the Republican-controlled Congress is eager and willing to rubberstamp almost anything he might propose, no matter how pernicious. Since he’s done so little to advance such an ambitious agenda to date, some might question whether he really means to. Some might think he’s just saying he does to win a few more votes come Election Day. Pay no mind to such skeptics. We know he loves us anyway, right?
And he loves the whole world too. He wants to give the world the gift of “liberty,” whether they like it or not. And if they don’t like it, he’ll make them learn to like it. He’ll school them by killing, maiming, and torturing all who resist. That’s the kind of “liberty” he wants the world to have. He loves the world just that much.
He wants to “expand the circle of liberty” for us here at home as well. Why then does his expanding “circle of liberty” feel more like a tightening noose?
During the Republican National Convention, for example, New Yorkers were swept up and off the streets in mass arrests merely for voicing their dissent from Bush administration policies, or for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though not charged with any crime, thousands were summarily “detained.” At the very moment Bush spoke of expanding our “circle of liberty,” these innocent New Yorkers languished in a makeshift prison some christened “Guantanamo on the Hudson.”
In truth, the real Guantanamo probably has more creature comforts. This hellhole on the Hudson was formerly an abandoned and dilapidated old bus depot. Its innards are laden with seventy years worth of lingering residues from toxic contaminants, including asbestos. The New Yorkers corralled therein were given neither chairs to sit on nor beds to sleep in. So, when they needed to get off their feet, their only option was to sit and even sleep in the toxic crud that had long ago settled on its oil-stained concrete floor.
An ex-NYPD officer intimately familiar with this dump said he wouldn’t pen stray dogs in such a place, much less human beings. George W. Bush and the City of New York, on the other hand, not only would, but did.
In this way, residents of New York City, though they had violated no law and committed no crime, experienced George W. Bush’s expanding “circle of liberty” first hand. For some, it took a very concrete form, as expanding circles, not of liberty, but of skin rash, induced by the prolonged toxic exposure they were forced to endure.
But we know George W. Bush loves us anyway. He made this obvious when, at the emotional climax of his speech, while reflecting upon the families of the fallen and the wounded soldiers he’s comforted, his eyes moistened, his lip quivered, and his voice nearly broke.
Never mind the fact that the evidence does not support his administration’s official 9-11 fable. And never mind that a Zogby poll recently found nearly half of all New Yorkers presently believe that 9-11 was an inside job perpetrated with the foreknowledge and complicity of the very man whose moist eyes, quivering lip, and quavering voice made you feel as if he actually loved every single surviving family member of the men, women, and children his administration so cynically sacrificed to gain the pretext it needed to wage endless war.
And never mind that the war which took the leg of that brave soldier Bush jogged with we now know was needless folly, based as it was on a mountain of lies, each one shamelessly told by the very same man whose moist eyes, quivering lip, and quavering voice made you feel as if he loved every single soldier his administration so callously conned into paying the ultimate price without good cause.
Facts are irrelevant for many, it seems. Feigned feelings are all that matter. And Bush’s feigned feelings Thursday night just screamed, “I love you all!”
The GOP delegates in the Garden certainly felt the love. They were mesmerized by the president’s performance and gazed upon him with adoration, as if they truly believed him to be their loving savior. Even the savior of the world, apparently, for the band struck up and sang “all you need is love to make the world a better place” as the president gloried in their adulation, and the balloons dropped.
Yes, indeed, George W. Bush loves us. And he loves the world. He literally loves us and it to death.
We’ve all seen this kind of “love” before. Its most memorable dramatic depiction was in the movie Fatal Attraction. It’s the sort of “love” Glenn Close’s character, Alex Forrest, passionately felt for Dan Gallagher, the character played by Michael Douglas.
Lovers who “love” like this may think it love, they may even call it love, but the unfortunate objects of their deranged affections know better. They know such “love” is merely love of self masquerading as love for another. It's the kind of “love” that allows the ones they “love” no other choice but to love them in return at least as much as they love themselves. It matters not to them that a love not freely given is really no love at all, for real love is not what they truly seek. What they seek, like some demon from hell, is possession. Their super-self-concentrated ego is a black hole that annihilates everything it gets close to, even the fundamental personhood and autonomy of the ones they can only pretend to love.
Needless to say, spurning the unwanted affections of such a “lover” can sometimes be dangerous, for murder is but one small step removed from objectification. Mere things may be casually discarded, after all, once they are deemed no longer desirable.
This is exactly the kind of “love” Iraqis are receiving from George W. Bush as we speak. So are Afghanis. The protesters who dared to raise their voices during Bush’s acceptance speech got a small taste of it also, as did the innocent New Yorkers swept up indiscriminately and cast for days into a noxious, toxic cesspool.
It would be far better to remain unloved than to be “loved” like this.
In the movie Fatal Attraction, Alex Forrest, no matter how hard she tried, could not force Dan Gallagher to love her. She could not make him her possession. She got a dagger through the heart instead.
If George W. Bush’s administration gets another four years to stalk the world like Alex Forrest stalked Dan Gallagher, will America’s fate be any different?
This essay was first featured at PrisonPlanet.tv.
Take a glimpse inside Bush's toxic "Gitmo on the Hudson":