by Kevin Egan
I promised myself when Dennis asked me to contribute to Operation Itch that I wouldn’t write about politics, considering almost everything on the site is political in nature. I also can not express myself politically as well as people like Dennis so I usually write about what I know best: music and film. I do, however, plan to take this next week to let out my final gasps of frustration at what has happened over the last eight years. I just want to get in a few more final jabs before the bell rings, ending the fifteen round. I’m well aware that nothing I write will cause the knockout I wish it would. Obviously, my opponents are too powerful to be punished for their sins but like Rocky Balboa in the original Rocky film, after he realizes he can’t beat Apollo Creed, I just want to know I went the distance and I did my best and got a good few shots in before the end of the fight. Although, the truth be told, the damage done over the last eight years will be echoing throughout the world for years to come, much like the brain damage Rocky suffered after going the distance against Apollo.
Okay. That being said…
I was a lone man, sunk in the middle of my couch, crying like a child. President-elect Obama was on the television accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Although, there were parts of his speech that were moving, I was not crying because I was touched by what he had said. I was well aware that he was a politician, an expert on rhetoric, knowing just what buttons to push to tug at our hearts and minds. It was an historic nomination but that was not what brought me to tears.
Obama had dedicated a bit of his speech to the last eight years of our country’s history and how troublesome they were. That was nothing new for someone who had been screaming “Treason!” since the stolen election of 2000. Still, for some reason, at that moment, it all hit me at once. Every awful moment, from the stolen election of 2000 to 9/11 to the lies that sold the Iraqi War to the war itself to the stolen election of 2004 and beyond, hit me like a stack of concrete blocks square in the gut. I felt my stomach curling up. It was the same feeling you get when you first hear the news that someone close to you had died. And then the tears came. They poured down my face uncontrollably. I was at their mercy. They couldn’t be stopped and if they could, I wasn’t the one that could stop them.
Eventually, they subsided and I felt a cleansing of sorts wash over me. I felt a peaceful calm inside of me for the first time since this disastrous mistake began. I had spent the entire eight years filled with such feelings of anger and hatred that I truly hadn’t even realized how large of a shithole the Bush Administration had dug for us. The reality of all those soldiers dying for the sake of one man’s obsession to please his father had suddenly felt real and tangible. It was no longer something you read about in the paper or talked about in a bar. I could see the faces of those dead soldiers and their families. I could also see the piles of dead, innocent Iraqis that were killed just to satisfy Dick Cheney’s lust for power. It was horrible. And finally, there was the fate of Democracy, the foundation on which this country was built, that had fallen into the filthy, bloodstained hands of Karl Rove. It WAS like I had lost someone close to me. I had lost my home: America.
I plan on celebrating next week. And though I realize the historical and cultural significance of the Obama Presidency, I will be raising my glass to the end of one of the most villainous collection of scoundrels that have ever seized control of our government. What they had done was illegal, immoral and incorrigible. And sadly, as much as I cheer for the end of their treasonous reign of power, the truth is, no one will be punished. They will walk away and wipe their hands clean of the entire ordeal, leaving the rest of us with the task of cleaning up their disastrous mess.
It’s going to take a long time before the effects of this Administration are no longer felt. I hope President-elect Obama has plans on beginning that healing process. He has “talked the talk,” as they say. Now, it’s up to him to…well, you know the rest of that saying.
Anyway, it would be nice to have a home again.