Wednesday, November 03, 2004

SOBERING UP This morning, as I navigated through a succession of disagreeable thoughts, I found myself deeply worried about our country. Having spent the day mulling things over, I've had the opportunity to gain at least a bit of perspective.

And I'm even more concerned about our future.

Let's face facts: At a particularly serious moment in our nation's history, we have re-elected the least competent, least effective president to come down the pike in decades.

This is a man who has consistently put the interests of his political benefactors above those of the nation; who has been unwilling or unable to hold members of his own administration accountable for cataclysmic errors; and who has been an unmitigated failure as a spokesman for America to the world.

He has expanded the size of the deficit without curtailing spending. He has supported enormous tax cuts, but not the steps required to secure the homeland. And he went to war without planning for the conflict's aftermath.

These criticisms, while rooted in a left-leaning view of the world, are not about ideology. Ronald Reagan wasn't vulnerable to these kinds of charges. George H. W. Bush certainly wasn't guilty of these faults.

Yet at a moment in our nation's history when we can ill-afford such a dangerous mix of incompetence, arrogance and cronyism, we have now signed on for more of the same. And we have done it by a margin of nearly 3.6 million souls.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: At times like this, there's often a lot of talk about the inherent decency of the American people. About their strength, character and wisdom.

But the American people blew it on Tuesday. They blew it big time. And as nation, we will be dealing with the consequences of that mistake for years and years to come.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.