Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Rare Political Moment


I'm not very political. I never really have been. I voted for Bush twice, the first time because I was young and stupid, the second because I figured everyone deserves a second chance. I have to say I, like the majority of Americans, have been disappointed with his progress in the Presidency. Instead of making us a nation that can view the world as brothers, or bringing the American people together under a common banner, he rode the wave of terrorism to the highest approval rating we've seen, then crashed with it when the wave broke.

The Bush Presidency has been a one-note wonder, with that one note being a horrible loss of life in New York City in the first year of his term. After handling this, he began to be some absurd vaudeville act. "Abbott and Costello Get Elected", only without the funny fat guy and in full color and sound. In history, George W. Bush will be remembered for being less effective and more destructive than his father both internationally, economically, and domestically. His term, filled with rhetoric, has divided our nation so completely that one wonders if the damage can ever be repaired.

This can still be salvaged, however.

Bush can open lines of communication with Cuba. Let's face it, the whole "ignoring Castro" thing made a lot of sense when it was us who helped him get into power by educating the man. When Castro led a ragtag group of rebels against a large government backed by the full power of the U.S., we were embarrassed. It continued with the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The truth is we're not ignoring Castro for ideological reasons, and never were.

We dealt openly with the USSR when it existed, and continue to deal with China, both of which were/are Communist states. So why not Cuba? It has nothing to do with Communism, and hasn't for a while. Originally it may have been because we didn't want a nation that was so chummy with our greatest potential enemy to survive. Now, with the decline and fall of the USSR, I see it as a pissing contest.

So, here we go. People remember Nixon for Detente as well as Watergate. Bush may not be able to repair the damage he has done to this nation, but he can repair the damage he has done to his reputation. Let our President open the lines of communication with Cuba so we can start dealing with our neighbors. Let the world see we're willing to dispense with old grudges that no longer apply for the betterment of our hemisphere. Let us extend a hand, not of domination, as we have done so often, but of cooperation and assistance, across the gulf that divided our two countries.

Castro has resigned. His brother will most likely take power. The diplomatic hatred must end here, with two countries about to undergo a change of leadership. This is the 21st Century, and let us try to make it less like the last one. Let's at least make an honest shot at a century of relative peace in the fraternity of nations.

If Bush is going to go out, let him try to go out with class. Let's open the doorway to Cuba.

Course, that's just my opinion.

-J.C. Tabler

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