Of power and adulation

… Add non-environmental global warming, if you must!

The American mainstream press has found a way of cleansing its sins without going through the confessional. We are starting to read (and hear) how the leaders of Europe and other parts of the world “might be” coming around… to reconcile with America, to accept Bush.

To be sure, there is an ever present pragmatism in all living things inhabiting this earth, including humans… evolution of the species I believe it’s called. And, let’s not forget the presence of fear toward those holding power, even when there is a total lack of respect. Four years probably seem as a very long wait to leaders of other nations, particularly when the prospect looms large of four years turning into four decades… as they see America being reshaped, sculpted anew by what they view as fascist hands.

Some journalists-in-penance are beginning to see Washington softening its stance with the many rebellious heathen of both East and West. Because of America ’s failure on all-fronts in Iraq , they see a plausible acceptance by Bush of a more centrist position in Mid-east affairs, thus creating a redeeming political safe zone for an American no-longer-free press. Editorialists and columnists are incorrectly forecasting wishful global warming to Bush and an administration that “may not be so bad after all.” A man of convictions, as the press depicts Bush; as if convictions provide license to whitewash misdeeds, make up for shortcomings or even excuse criminal acts.

…Will someone tell the press that convictions are beliefs, not a measure of equanimity?

Bush did earn some political capital after 9/11, not only domestically but internationally; apparently enough at home to carry him successfully through an election few outside of the US thought he could, or should, win. An election, like no other in the past, clearly uncovering what’s in the hearts and minds of America’s voting majority.

We have yet to see Bush, a supposedly president of all Americans, amid the diversity of an American crowd. Instead, he’s always been encircled in the safety and adulation of carefully staged partisan crowds… and a self-censured domestic media. Now the adulation even extends from that media, possibly cowered by intimidation and the prospect of that “demonic” liberal media label, a truly undeserved title for decades.

Is the media correct in assessing a change of heart towards Bush by the international community? Well… not a change of heart, but perhaps a change in protocol to the extent that many foreign governments are becoming resigned to the inevitability of America’s November-choice and its consequences. However, that is not the case with the people, whether from friendly nations or those we rush to consider as foes. For these people, the outcome of the election did not give Bush added stature, while it certainly diminished that of Americans. Our international friends are looking at the US with incredulity, as if coming to the realization that perhaps they never really knew Americans well.

In all my surfing of the international press since the election, or the many conversations with ex-pats and foreign journalists, I have yet to experience any change of heart; only resignation to the reality brought about by the political actions of a people once widely liked… and now growingly feared.

Even the prospect of Putin taking Russia back to a closed, monolithic society does not seem to enhance US’ position with other NATO members. Lacking an inimical ideology to go together with military might, as a future Russia is seen, most Europeans no longer experience fear from the East. And with China and India due for entry into superpower status in the next two to three decades, many Europeans feel that a more equitable and balanced world is likely to emerge… a world, they believe, without aspiring empires.

…Why then would the world give servile flattery to the likes of Bush? One thing is to recognize who is holding the power, and quite another to act with hypocritical praise. Warming up to Bush? Most foreigners bluntly say, “Not if our lives depended on it!”