In the blinding euphoria of the recent election, before we endow them with messianic auras, let’s remember they’re just politicians—all of them. Decent human beings who care about family, country, etc? Yes. But all of them, in every country on the globe, are enmeshed in a system (created by their political forebears and promulgated by their own attempt to consolidate power) that forces simplistic solutions on multifaceted problems. They often have to put deeply-cherished principles aside (or force those principles on others) and cater to that ubiquitous, destructive political expediency—National Interest. What does it mean? It’s the worst problem affecting the State, an absurd attempt to force a common viewpoint upon millions of individuals by reducing intricate relationships and aspirations to one-dimensional explanations and actions that often exacerbate the situation by band-aiding complexity with naivete.
Two major issues face the President and the new Congress–War and the Economy. A little retrospective might be painful but necessary if history is to teach us anything. Dare we acknowledge that we might at least have been partially responsible, through decades of our arrogant foreign policy missteps, for fermenting the cauldron that brewed the 9/11 attacks? No, because that might force us to confront the ogre in the mirror and would also offer a comprehensible explanation for the rise of Al Qaeda. It’s much more palatable to believe that terrorist organizations are peopled by unreasonable zealots capable of random acts of destruction, whereas our actions that devastate innocent lives (through drone attacks or bombs, etc.) are logical responses to protecting our National Interests and keeping our country safe. So we continue to be at war! Or that unmitigated deregulation of financial institutions and greed (through the tenures of both parties) led to an economic meltdown? No, because the stock market must continue to soar and success on the American Way is calculated by how much money we make. We can’t “hope for change” without some introspection and many mea culpas!