That Vision Thing
When George HW Bush won election in 1988, the part of the country that accepted Ronald Reagan’s vision thought that his Vice President had seen the same vision. They wanted to be told that they had a right to be wealthy and ignore the rest of the country. The poor were all the suckers and losers; if you had money you had a divine right to it. But George HW Bush hadn’t heard the train whistle. He didn’t have a vision to share with the American people. The working class who had suffered for 12 years under the Reagan vision and never saw any of it come true were ready to latch onto a new vision. Bill Clinton had a vision that was different from Ronald Reagan’s vision. But, the people wanted a leader with a vision as opposed to someone without one. So, George HW Bush lost the election because of that “vision thing.”
Every good leader needs to have a vision. It isn’t about what that vision is, it is about what the country could become. We do these things as a nation so that we can become a better nation. The vision is what we might become.
In the past many elections have been a competition between visions. The potential leaders tell us what their visions are, and we choose where we want to go. But, in recent years the reverse has become the trend. The leaders no longer tell us what their visions are for a future with them in the leadership role. Instead, they tell us to fear the vision of their opponent in that same leadership role. The electorate becomes entangled in trying to pick the least bad vision of the future. And, when a real visionary emerges he is shot down by his opponents who tell us how impossible and unrealistic his vision is. The message is that we can’t trust a leader with such outlandish and impossibly unrealistic ideas. He certainly must be hallucinating in order to have such wild visions.
Apparently the Bush family is the antithesis of vision, because George W Bush lacks vision just like his father. Occasionally he announces a new vision, but he lacks the skill to convince us that it really is his vision. It is more likely that he has an advisor that suggests to him that it is about time to tell the American people that he has a plan. These plans don’t fit into a bigger picture. Instead they are plans announced with the hopes that we can conjure up our own vision of what he is telling us. He announced a new space objective to land a man on Mars a few years back. Those who like and study science may still be imagining this amazing journey. Most of the rest of us have long forgotten this. Was this part of a larger vision for this country? Actually it doesn’t really fit into the rhetoric of a president who doesn’t trust science.
Even the George W Bush vision of spreading Democracy around the world has lost its luminosity. In the last seven years we have invaded two countries under this premise. But, a larger vision would include diplomatic and political efforts to free many more countries from the oppressive rule of tyrants and military governments. We are never reminded that General Musharraf Pervez is a military dictator who overthrew or sabotaged several democratically elected governments. General Musharraf Pervez has gone against democracy by arresting opposition leaders and even a Supreme Court Judge. A true vision of democracy can not coexist with embracing leaders like this.
It is actually more likely that George W Bush has a personal agenda, rather than a vision. He is in the White House to weld power for his friends, family and loyalists. His actions demonstrate this louder than any words that he has spoken. The appointment of incompetent loyalists to positions to which they were not qualified has lead to many disasters - where Katrina is at the top of the list. The appointment of the unethical Alberto Gonzales is another on this long list. The reasons or intentions of these appointments don’t fit into any vision for America. Instead these appointments fit into a personal agenda for George W Bush. America is only beginning to see this, because George W Bush never shares this vision with the American people.
Now, as we think back to 2000 we might ask ourselves if Al Gore would have had a vision for America. And, because you don’t need to be president in order to share your vision with the world we can say that Al Gore certainly has a vision for America. He has spent the last few years telling us about the “Inconvenient Truth.”
Al Gore’s vision is to make America better, by putting and end to global warming.
We could argue that terrorism might be a bigger problem. But, if you actually look at the risks and probability Global Warming is actually a bigger problem. Global Warming will effect our food production, our coast lines, and our infrastructure. Terrorists may occasionally destroy a building and show the results on TV in order to terrorize us. Global Warming will work 24 hours a day seven days a week gradually damaging our country piece by piece. But, because the destruction is a hurricane here, a flood there, a drought over there we don’t see this as clearly. And, therefore we are fooled into thinking that the terror problem is worth a larger effort than the Global Warming problem.
And, it turns out that Al Gore’s vision, without even being president, is making a bigger impression than George W Bush has on almost anything except his debacle in Iraq. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be president to make an impression and get your vision out there. Of course, if Al Gore were president he would certainly have more power to make an even bigger impression. Of course, its really important to have that vision thing.
Don't forget what Stephen Colbert said, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit