Flush with Clintonian surplus, a wide-eyed George W. Bush wanted desperately to re-make America in his own brush-clearing, compassionate conservative image. So the president fed us some lines straight from the hook-line-sinker playbook, preying on our post-90s naiveté by touting his [ready-to-profit friends’] vision of The Ownership Society.
He's failed miserably. Here's the closest the Bush White House has come to achieving their Ownership Society: With its bailout largesse, private dealmaking and specially financed loans, the federal government does now own much of our society. Ironic how seven years ago we’re told to boycott the French; and here we stand now, adopting their very ideals.
Instead, Bush's brazen ideological architects will leave office having produced, more astonishingly, The Schizophrenic Society. After eight brutally deflating years of embarrassing misadventures and horrible policy-making, nobody out there quite knows whom to believe and whom to trust, where to turn and where to hide. We don’t know who among us is ultimately right and who is unfathomably, unconscionably wrong, who has our best economic and social interests at heart and who wants to make a special rapey kind of love to our faceholes. We're in a constant state of ever-deepening paranoia.
The Bush administration over the last eight years has resurrected the concept of the schizogenic mother, the idea that parental behavior causes mental illness in the child. Says my good friend Dr. Hoobs, a foremost scholar of all things psychology, by presenting two (or more) conflicting messages, the child's put in a double bind -- a damned if you do and damned if you don't unanswerable conflict that can cause intense psychological damage.
These schmucks in the White House are so expert at inflicting this mental illness that it, more than anything else, has fundamentally changed the outlook of the nation. More than 9/11 and the war, more than the Wall Street meltdown and the subsequent bailouts, more than the whole using the Constitution as toilet paper thing, the Bush administration's constant stream of conflicting messages on every issue has left the American populace in a delusional state of reality.
They tell us we have to go to war because of an imminent threat, that there are weapons of mass destruction. But we also have to depose tyranny and keep liberty on the march (offer not valid in North Korea, Cuba, and most of Africa). They tell us free-market economics is the only way to keep democratic capitalism alive. But we also have to intervene in the financial mess with nearly a trillion bucks worth of your money. They tell us we have to protect the founding father-inspired rights of our citizens. But our fingers were totally crossed, brah. Sorry for the sour body language.
Often times, Dr. Hoobs tells me, the schizophenic child reacts to this illness by creating an internal world of fantasy, contributing to an utter confusion as to what's actual reality. And you can see this manifesting itself in the ever-present escapism we see on a daily basis: reality television, interactive gamer culture, Internet communion. Our brains are constantly inundated with images outside our genuine experiences, furthering our rampant delusions. We're fucked, and it ain't just the economy and the war. We're well and truly fucked...in the head.
So when someone asks, "Do you think we need a bailout?," the right answer should be, "Why ask me? I'm fucking lost. I'm fucking sick. I'm pleading insanity, and so should you." How do we know who's right on Georgia, or a financial rescue, or what constitutes torture? How do we know whom to follow? You're asking complex issues of people that at this point in the country's history could all plead insanity on everything from the election to the economy to the world at large. And a president in search of a legacy just found an incredibly unflattering one: the Schizophrenic Society. Congratulations, folks, you've inflicted illness on the American public.
Liberals playing its not-so-friendly game of I’m Gonna Git You, Moosesucka with Us Versus Them Specialist Sarah Palin thought they had their checkmate when Charlie Gibson threw down the now-famous Bush Doctrine Gauntlet to the world’s most politically dangerous Lenscrafters model. Gibson failed miserably because his non-smoking gun backfired: It’s fairly easy to prove beyond all doubt that the Bush Doctrine actually has as few as four and as many as six wonky definitions.
So perhaps we should put aside the idea of the Bush Doctrine from public consciousness. We should be talking about the dreaded Bush Syndrome. It's a doozy.