Yet, Bush will win

If you live in America and even have a passing interest in politics, you will either love or hate Bush. Chances are that if you are an international resident alien (that term is indeed degrading, if you stop to think), you most definitely will hate him. But if you examine his campaign and presidency objectively, you will wonder how he is holding a double-digit lead over his rival, John Kerry.

Bush is waging a virtually lost war in the Middle East and the country he invaded is on the brink of a civil war. The American casualties have crossed a thousand — a third of the number killed on 9/11. He has made more enemies than friends all over the world. Erstwhile allies have turned into vitriolic opponents who deride American aggression as diktats of a tyrant in a tantrum. America doesn’t feel anymore safer even after a $200 billion [and counting] war. Lies and cover-ups are almost a every day story and have become an alarming regularity of the current administration. The atrocities at Abu Gharib have blurred the distinctions between a civilized society and barbaric one. The defense secretary still holds on to his seat while the misguided intelligence buck is being passed on to the perennial whipping boys at the CIA. Terrorism has spread its tentacles to other powers of the world like Russia and Spain, in spite of a “systemic war on terror”.

Personally Bush hasn’t been yet able to explain the holes in his National Guard service and the obvious pull that his family deployed to let him avoid an unnecessary albeit real war. The sugar-coating of evaluations seems plausible although the official records are proven to be forgeries. Domestically, jobs are vanishing faster than they can be created, a bludgeoning deficit is a fact and talks to borrowing funds from Medicare and Social Security are no longer mere worst-case scenarios. Corporate misappropriations pointed all the way up to the White House The nation is as polarized as it can be and divisive politics like proposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is given top priority. The VP uses an F word in the Senate and later likens a vote to Kerry as support to terrorists (remember “Either you are with us or against us” line) America is at an all-time low, in spite of the rosy picture painted by the Republicans. You can sense the fear and apprehension all around.

Yet the incumbent President enjoys a double digit lead. I find this baffling. Is the electorate burying its head in the sand and refusing to see the stark reality? Has it been carried away in jingoistic rhetoric hovering on few keywords like freedom, terror and God? Semantic Overload offers a plausible explanation by segregating the demographics into Republican and Democrat voters, which have further distanced from each other with a tiny (less than 3-4%) undecided voter base. But in spite of the ideological differences, isn’t incompetence punishable these days? Other democratic nations routinely punish incumbent governments for failing to deliver; the latest being the Indian election. Joe Klein at Time elaborates more on the Democrat puzzlement over using the American mess to their advantages. It turns out that Republicans are simply good at marketing themselves and Democrats are slow to whip up frenzy over a minor goof up. But yet all the marketing doesn’t change the ground realities, will the American electorate wake up in time or Bush will just coast to victory?

I bet he is chuckling away to glory at the naiveté of American voters.

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  • Kiran

    Essentially the vast majority understands that America was attacked on 9/11. They would have been attacked for two reasons:
    1. For a good reason. If that is true then it is perceived that Bush is trying to rectify that fault of America’s by trying to set-up democratic institutions in the Gulf, that will help alleviate some of the hatred towards the royalty and thus the US administration that supports them.
    2. For no good reason. In that case, it is good that America is kicking some ass in return.

    Whatever the reasons for the war, the American populace believes that it was not the US that started the war, and now that it has started they want to win it – and are not risking an undignified retreat under Kerry.

    As an Indian, I would support anyone against the hypocrite called Kerry whose wife’s company sells FMCG’s in India, but who himself is against outsourcing to India.

  • ShaL

    hi patrix, my first visit to ur blog…came in from kiran’s blog..

    well, i think kerry is a weak candidate for the office of the president of the united states, for several reasons but what i find tragic is that such a vast country, such a thriving democracy has not thrown up someone who can show the country the rite way coz Bush is bird-brained and corrupt.

    wat does that country lack i do not know, a spiritual leader maybe but wait a minute any suggestion of that and the whole ‘america is a melting pot’ story comes in…so wat kind of spiritual leader would it be…smone like jesse jackson? but those are called the fanatics (they are a bit fanatical and fathering more kids than they know of rite)……at this point of time even a small country like India has a more competent person at the helm of affairs an economist like Dr. Singh..

    so why is the US incapable of creating leaders like that, why does the american public have to choose between a clown and a gigolo? ….

    maybe they need smone like mahatma gandhi….actually considering the US’ current status as leader of the world we all need their leader to be the rite guy just as much as they do……..maybe even more so.considering that an ‘almost rite’ guy like tony blair is also not able to do much coz the political equation is such that much is in the hands of the one holding the office of the president of the united states….

    man, thats the longest i have ever written on a political issue !!! :D ……

  • Spaceman

    I think Jay Leno best described the problem when he said it was strange that there were only two choices for choosing a President while there are over 50 choices for choosing the next Ms. America!

  • Patrix

    Kiran – Whoa!anyone but Kerry? Bush does get his support from strange places :) Kerry’s opposition to outsourcing is merely a political statement..he knows that neither he nor Bush can do anything about it.

    Regards the war, I think almost all americans secretly believe that the Iraq war was a mistake but somehow they are willing to go with the incumbent president who started it all becoz they see only him as fit to lead them. Kerry doesn’t impress them in that regards. Kerry might be a better candidate (lesser of the evil) but Bush’s campaign team is just too strong.

    Shal – Nice to see you around. The way American politics works is that only a moderate can hope to get places. Extreme views make rake up public opinion but do not get you votes. Dean is a living example of that. Bush turned right only after 9/11; his last election campaign was subdued with him making cliched republican speeches. Regards India, Manmohan Singh may be the PM but we all know who holds the strings to his puppet. I don’t see anything to be proud about that. Mahatma Gandhi wouldn’t last in these violent times.

    Spaceman – I couldn’t agree more but do you really want a swimsuit round for Bush and Kerry? Might make us sick for days.

  • Parag

    To quote one of my colleagues: Bush is the idiot that you know and Kerry is the idiot that you don’t. You have to make a choice between continuing the current idiocy or take a chance hoping that unknown may mean better.

  • Patrix

    Parag – If we go with Kerry, at least we have the slightest hope that he might not bungle up the way Bush did in the past few years, right?

  • Wandy

    naiveté or plain stupidity…
    the difference is in the way we look at things and also the lens we wear when we do so…

    take care!!

  • Patrix

    Wandy – So many people cannot be stupid at the same time…or can they? :)

  • Queer

    A couple of issues ago, Time magazine had an article focussing on the next generation conservatives…bashing Bush. The article is titled “The Right’s New Wing”, Issue Aug 30, 2004. Its a good read.

  • Patrix

    Queer – I remember reading that..Time is leaning slightly towards the left these days, right?

  • Minds Eye

    I remember discussing the possibility of war with an American client of mine just before the American troops launched what was called “Operation Iraqi freedom.” He didn’t come across as naive, he knew what the Bush administration was upto and it saddened him that his fellow Americans were naive enough to believe it or worse, just not bothered.

    The Bush administration has consistently lied to the public – a significant number of Americans still believe Saddam had something to do with 9/11. Around the time of the handover, CNN had this CNN Special where correspondents spoke to people across America – from the mid-west to Texas right up to NY.

    It was disheartening to find most of these simple minded people lamenting about the “lack of global support” their President had received during his war against terror. The lies that had been fed on TV for some reason still rang true… most of them had this “Why us? Why did 9/11 happen to us? We are a noble people” attitude. They were happy that the American trrops were in Iraq – brave men fighting for the freedom of the Iraqis and just couldn’t figure out why the Iraqis were so hostile!

    It’s sad that the Americans feel like the aggreived lot when this is far from true. The American foreign policy has been nothing but a sustained effort to protect the interests of the American nation and not to mention that of their rich allies – other W. European countries.

    I guess popular perception has a lot has to do with what the American govt. and media portray to the public. But its surprising that people don’t question the discrepancies, does that make them naive or stupid or plain insensitive?

    I don’t mean to say Americans are an insensitive people but let me put it this way, their lives are so different – it’s probably near impossible to fathom the kind of problems that exist in developing nations. They see it on TV, their hearts cry out for the lesser privileged, the American govt. tells them about the billions of dollars poured into these countries as aid and the public therefore has this heightened sense of “America the saviour”, often blocking out the unwanted image of a “Ruthless America”

    In the end, we all see only what we want to see and it seems like the Americans want to see Bush as a brave leader who did what he did, and not what he really is… a lying s.o.b

    (Pardon the profanity but I’m just taking a leaf out of Dick Cheney’s book or profanities) ;)

  • Patrix

    Minds Eye – Whoa!this was much longer than my post…I hope it is not the result of my “not enough femal e political bloggers” post :) But don’t worry about abusing Bush on this blog…its is not only your right, it is my pleasure :) your thoughts on America are harsh but true. Watch Bowling for Columbine for a nice insight. The oceans had so far protected America from the harsh realities of the world beyond them but unfortunately its is a changed world now..they will take some time to grapple with reality.

  • Mind’s Eye

    Patrix – politics is one of my interests :) though I’m not able to study it as keenly as I would love to… work being my only excuse…

    And this isn’t the result of your post… it’s just that some political issues really get to me…

    I agree – it will take them a while, but will that change their foreign policy?

  • Ash

    hmmm, you know of all the interesting stuff that was dredged up by MM in Farhenheit 9/11, one thing that got to me in particular is how the Bush administration has been putting fear into the minds of the American people.

    The govt has been playing up the perceived dangers being posed to the country. Normal American citizens, who tend to be disinterested in the political process, are getting this message – America is at risk; the very core of America is being threatened by ‘them’ and the only way to protect the American way of life is to get rid of ‘them’..and the only person with the balls to do that is George W. Bush. Kerry is a wimp, who wants to lower America’s standing in world politics by disgracefully retreating from the war against ‘them’.

    Which is why, even though there are considerable numbers of anti-Bush Americans, and the voting this time is going to be a more active process, I have a really bad feeling Bush is gonna win this time too.

    P.S Anyone notice how very much he looks like a chimpanzee… ears sticking out of his head, that weak jaw, the shape of the face, those eyes with that dumb look in them… shucks, thats actually an insult to the poor chimps !

  • Patrix

    Mind’s Eye – You would be one of those geeky Pol.Sci professors if politics was your ONLY interest…protests did change their policy although for a lil while after Vietnam but they are repeating history with Iraq…hope they realize that soon.

    Ash – LOL! Guess you got a lil bit carried away with the Bush-Chimp comparison but heck, the chimps are insulted or maybe Bush never evolved (I bet he still believe in creationism). You are right, anything that always works is the culture of fear…make everyone shit scared of the world..shoot first, ask questions later has been the norm.