Friday, January 12, 2007

Bad Examples Also Serve

Years ago, Kurt Vonnegut in his eerily humorous novel, Cat’s Cradle, coined a phrase that seems to fit the circumstances George W. Bush finds himself in today. A wrang-wrang is a person who serves as a bad example to others by showing what happens when a line of thinking or action is carried to its logical conclusion.

The president of a democracy who believes in the joys of liberty and speaks of them all the time, but acts like a dictator, ignoring the will of his own people – that president serves as a wrang-wrang to leaders of would-be democracies throughout the world. Don’t become a democracy if you don’t want to be undone by the will and authority of your own people.

I believe we have reached that point in America where the people will not stand for it any more. No more blood for oil. No more raining devastation on civilian populations. No more time wasted when we could be developing our own energy and health care solutions. No more turning away when we could be proudly joining with other nations in finding environment solutions that will help the whole world.

A president always hopes for a legacy. There certainly is one now. But in a curious way the image of Bush as a wrang-wrang could serve to strengthen our own democracy as Americans rise to reclaim the power and goodness that has always been ours.

Gail Murray 1/12/2007