The Neo-Conservatives and their Effect on America's Reputation
In the 2000 primaries, the Republicans claimed their party to be the one of Abraham Lincoln's. Well, with Dubya at the helm, it's bye-bye Lincoln, hello Reagan. I don't think maintaining Reagan's legacy counts as a good thing, though.
After all, this is the guy who gave us the Iran-Contra scandal, and birthed the neo-cons. Now, of course, perhaps you may ask: what is a neo-con? Well, the neo-conservatives are basically people espousing Bush's doctrine of "might makes right" and "subsidise the companies while cutting back on welfare". I don't know about you, but this doesn't make much sense for a party that's been traditionally isolationist and supportive of a tight-rein on the country's fiscal resources.
Sure, Bush cut taxes, but as Greg Palast details in his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, he then participated in a great deal of pork barrel politics, mostly engaging with several large companies. Now, perhaps you might not like paying taxes, but if you're going to pay them, they might as well go to someone who needs them (maybe a disabled veteran or for funding a soup kitchen).
And the interventionist policy of Bush has ticked off a lot of the world's citizens. It's a bit surprising some Americans don't realise it, but a good deal of the world does hate you. Not just the Muslim part, but the number of anti-Americans are growing everyday. The saddest part of it all is that most of these people hate Bush, not America.
I'm not saying the war in Iraq was bad. Saddam was a huge violator of human rights (i.e.: he tossed people alive into industrial plastic shredders). The problem is, Bush had to go and waste his political capital raised by September 11 by sinking it all in the WMDs. If I were Dubya, I'd have played up the human rights issue. There were certainly enough violations to compare Saddam to a mini-Stalin or mini-Hitler.
But noooooo, Dubya has to tarnish the good name of America by belligerently declaring Saddam is a threat to the security of the USA. Somehow I find that hard to swallow.
All this is thanks to neo-conservatism. Colin Powell was perhaps the last decent conservative in the administration, and now he's been replaced by Condolezza Rice. How she's faring is not so certain, but the US government still seems intent on dragging America's name through the dirt.
How? Well, John Bolton for UN Ambassador is a good example. I've read articles arguing for both sides of the argument, but the fact is, it all comes down to this: Bolton has constantly argued for the abolishment of the United Nations. I fail to see how appointing this man to the post of Ambassador to the United Nations makes any sense. It's like electing Osama bin Laden the President.
Now, just because I'm bashing the government doesn't mean I'm bashing the country. Since I was a child I've been fascinated by America's history and culture. I'm not deferent or worshipful towards it, but I'm quite fascinated by America; I like its varying geography, its freedom of thought and speech, and many more things. It's just the government I can't stand. Or, perhaps, more to the point, it's the current government I can't stand.