Hello, I’m Fake C., and I’m a member of the Lefty Fringe.
Even though I’ve been attending these meetings for awhile, I need to better understand how I came to be in this situation, so here goes…
It all started when I was reading about this George Bush guy that was running for President. This woman who used to write about Texas politics and its quirky nature put up a series of stories that gave you the impression that there was nothing good about this guy.
So I voted for Al Gore, because (I thought) he would make a better candidate. It turns out it was just a sign that I’m a member of the Lefty Fringe.
Don’t get me wrong-it’s not as if I haven’t sought help…but it just isn’t helping.
The news isn’t all bad.
I’ve been able to, with the help of my Conservative friends, admit that I’m addicted to hating America and all it stands for, which was a tough first step, but a necessary one.
I’ve also been able to recognize that the higher spiritual power of basic human morality can give me the strength to continue to seek a better future for America-and to realize that I have to work hard to own my government.
But then things start to get a bit fuzzy.
I’m supposed to be able to examine and make amends for my past errors, and I just can’t figure out what I’ve been doing wrong. They say a mentor can help you identify your past mistakes-would you like to help by telling me where I went off the track?
I remember thinking way back in 2001 that North Korea was not really as big a threat as this Administration seemed to want us to believe, and I don’t think I was wrong about that. But if you believed that point of view, you were a member of the Lefty Fringe.
I remember thinking that rolling back environmental protections was a bad thing; but lots of smart folks thought my complaining made no sense, suggesting once again that I’m stuck out there on that Lefty Fringe.
And then there was September 11th. I heard Condoleezza Rice telling me that this sort of attack was “unprecedented”, even though crashing a plane into a building as a terrorist action had already been attempted in 1994-seven years earlier. Of course only Lefty Fringers would doubt such a highly placed individual…but that’s me, I guess.
And I’ll never forget the day my friend Steve and I talked about how he was going to an anti-war protest…and I told him he was wasting his time. Being on the Lefty Fringe and all, I was pretty sure this decision had already been made (maybe even before Mr. Bush came into office), and our opinion wouldn’t mean squat. But he’s even farther over on the Fringe than I, so he gave it his best shot…
And why Iraq, anyway?
We on the Lefty Fringe knew that almost all the hijackers were Saudi.
We knew the “aluminum tube” story was bogus, and if we didn’t know it already, in this case even the Administration’s own experts were trying to tell us so.
You know what else we knew? We knew that Shi’a would get revenge on the Sunni that had been oppressing them once Saddam was out of the way, and that a civil war that we could not control would be the result. We might even find ourselves in a quagmire, some thought; killing American troops to remove a guy who “wasn’t worth much”. Of course, there were lots of people who thought having these sorts of doubts was enough to not just put us on the Lefty Fringe, but to make us enemies of the State.
Lefty Fringers were confused to be in the mainstream when that awful Mr. Clinton was running Federal surpluses; and we are now back in our normal place with the far more economically traditional Mr. Bush’s Federal budget deficits, which seem to be in place to go on for many years to come.
Here’s the craziest part of all: I’m forced these days to defend the Constitution and the concept of separation of powers while my Conservative friends tell me I’m just giving aid and comfort to my enemies for my Lefty Fringe ideas. Here’s where I get really confused: these days, my Conservative friends suddenly trust the Government to do the right thing, while I’ve remained the principled skeptic.
I even use Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan as examples of Presidents who understood that talking to our enemies is the smart thing to do, while my Conservative friends (who you might think would be Reagan supporters) tell me I’m some sort of appeaser for my thoughts. Thoughts like this Richard Nixon quote (substitute Iran for China, if you will) “. . . we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates, and threaten its neighbors…” are somehow considered ill-informed and inapplicable in today’s world.
Even today, apparently because of my addiction to hating America and all it stands for, I don’t think we’re making the slightest bit of progress in this “phony war on terrorism”. (As it turns out, I’m not the only one who hates America.)
Now if I really seek recovery, I’m supposed to make amends for my errors, and adopt a new code of conduct; but how do I do that?
Am I supposed to be sorry that I knew in advance that the Administration was wrong on every one of these issues?
Should I apologize to Pat Robertson for doubting that invading Iraq would be a good idea? Should I encourage my own godson to reenlist, knowing that this war is just about over-that “enormous success” is assured because the insurgency is in its last throes?
Should I adopt the traditional Conservative worldview that just assumes the Government should be trusted when it comes to war because Government knows what it’s doing at all times? That the Government will always be the guardian of the best interests of the citizens?
Maybe it’s because I’m addicted to hating my country so much, but I just can’t seem to do it. Instead I mistrust Government, and I want to control it, rather than the other way around. I hate this country so much that I want a Government that isn’t running around “nation-building” every chance it gets. Most of all, I hate America so much that I want other countries to admire us, respect us, and maybe even join into coalitions with us-to work on other global problems that even our own EPA recognizes will have huge impacts worldwide.
So that’s my testimony for today, and if someone will just sign my slip I’ll see you all next meeting.