Friday, May 21, 2010

The Story of Ben, Revised

David Brooks creates a very touching character in his gentle Ben, the angry voter. But let us, for a moment, take Ben's life down a different path.

In early 2001, Ben watched as Al Gore raised his arms in triumph. The hanging chads were unhung, the Florida miscount was recounted and the 8 years of Bush never happened. Gore and the Democrats did not lead us into disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Wall Street was not allowed to run unfettered, and we were not misled down a path to near depression. Government was not the problem, but the solution.

It is not governing that is the issue. It is bad governing that precipitated our decline. Bad choices and bad motives left the world that Barack Obama inherited a nightmare in plain sight.

Ben may have a short memory as to why the Republicans were left for dead in the 2008 elections. The Ben we encounter today, had the Democrat taken the Presidency in 2001, is not an angry young man, but one in support of a government that protected him throughout the first decade of the new millenium, in ways he hardly could imagine.

To the Ben of Mr. Brooks' creation, be angry, but direct that anger at those who cared little for you, who failed to protect your interests, and who left you disillusioned and distressed. Cast that vote with your head, and do not respond as George Bush did, from your gut.

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