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the big thing

ronald reagan got everything wrong, as i’ve said numerous times already in these blogs. you could look it up.

except that he got the one big thing right. the soviet union and the cold war. say what you will about that rat bastard, and i do, he got that right, even when at the time everyone was telling him he was getting it wrong. he stuck with what he thought was right and it turned out to be right.

was he lucky? i don’t know. were we lucky? damn straight we were.

and now, having read the brilliant newsweek account of the election just past, i realize that kerry had going for him the nearly unbeatable combination of not being george w. bush and not being george w. bush. but due to a mostly inept campaign, he managed to fumble the football, even though he got more people to vote for him as a loser than any other winner in presidential election history.

and now, belatedly admitting what i always knew deep down to be true–that this election was a classic hobson’s choice–i’m left with this thought.

what if george w. bush is wrong on everything? but right on the one big thing? is that an acceptable tradeoff?

don’t get me wrong. i still believe that the war in iraq was wrong, wrong, wrong, that it turned the country into a haven for terrorists and gave them numerous reasons to hate us for hundreds of years or more, which for them is a drop in the bucket time-wise.

but i also know that, at the time, i thought reagan’s deficit spending to fund all that defense buildup was an unpayable mortgage of america’s future, and that we were on the road to ruin as a result. was i wrong? you can debate the fine points, but it’s hard to argue with the big picture look at it. he spent the russians into oblivion, and as it turned out, didn’t spend us into oblivion.

now we’re replaying the same tape. it seems so much worse this time, even though i’ve mellowed and moderated a bit with age.

i hope that unforeseen events turn in our favor and that bush turns out to be right about the big thing. of course, we may have the pyrrhic victory of successfully fighting back terrorism to protect a country that is left with a badly tainted constitution, lessened civil rights, and is bankrupt monetarily and morally.

so maybe bush is right about the one big thing. and maybe he’s wrong about everything including the one big thing.

and maybe reagan was wrong about the one big thing. maybe we’d be better off with the ussr still in place to give us a big bogeyman against which to look good in the eyes of the world.

this blog is a logical mess. reflective of the state of affairs, past and present, in this great land of ours.

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