Cultural Psychology

Stop Blaming Bush!

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The New York Times lead editorial for January 11, 2007, titled, “The Real Disaster”, stated:

The disaster is Mr. Bush’s war, and he has already failed. Last night was his chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation, and he did not take it.”

I must protest this point. While I’m no fan of the war and never have been, I don’t think it’s fair to make Bush the scapegoat. The Senate and House–Democrats and Republicans–supported the war. They could have stopped it before it started, but were afraid to.

Why were they afraid? Because they believed the American public wanted it, and they didn’t want to risk their jobs by doing something unpopular–like taking a moral stand.

Why did they believe Americans wanted the war? Because not enough Americans spoke out against it.

Therefore much or most of the fault the American public’s. And blaming Bush (however much he may deserve it) is further failure of the American public to own up to its responsibility.

Regardless of what happens in Iraq, we must come to grips with with a terrible cycle that characterizes citizens and political leaders–a pattern we can see even as far back as ancient Rome: the collective “shadow” of the masses seeks expression (here that means millions of oil-greedy and materialistic Americans wanted to “secure America’s interests” in Iraq, and perhaps, more darkly still, sought an outlet for their collective wrath.) To this end, they first elected a hawkish president, as though in anticipation. Then they encouraged, by silence if by no other means, his actions. And then, after wreaking havoc in Iraq, they now seek to cleanse their guilt by making a scapegoat of Bush.

Reject his plan and get us out of Iraq, if that’s what conscience and common sense dictate. But stop demonizing Bush. That’s the same kind of irrational and emotion-based thinking that produced the problem.

Let those with eyes see.

John Uebersax PhD


Written by John Uebersax

January 12, 2007 at 9:04 am

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