We have suffered through nearly seven long years of the most venal and inept American government in history and there's no end to our agony in sight. I say "we" because the Bush administration has inadvertently achieved one thing-it has created a community of distaste and fear that spreads from Wisconsin to Vladivostok, Kansas to Kathmandu.
For make no mistake, more Americans despise their government and their president than ever before. That puts them in a global majority. The current inhabitant of the White House, with his inheritor's lack of intellectual curiosity, desperate grin, and murderous, incompetent ways, evokes righteous anger in a truly ecumenical group of people-the real international community. Nearly 200 million of them are American and it's time to come together and build upon Bush's aversion base.
Let me say from the beginning that I am a huge fan of America. I think it is the only truly modern country, the only nation built on consensus and shared dreams that are constantly kept relevant by the white heat of public discourse. I think the American people of whatever political stripe are among the most decent and well meaning anywhere. Most US citizens believe their country's role is to do good in the world, and they are increasingly appalled at the evil their president and his appointees have wrought in their name.
I am confident that if you survey opinion around the world you will find much the same thing. People in Iran, India, South Africa, and Polynesia like and admire the USA and want to emulate its constitutionally binding commitment to freedom and democracy. They would like to have open economies and the rule of unbiased law, like America; they want to embark on joint projects with the US people for the greater good of the planet.
But in Washington for seven years now, we have endured an anti-American government which spurns the founding values of the people that elected it, that recklessly embarks on military adventures and exploits tragedy to enhance its power, which sells off valuable public assets to its cronies, and enriches the richest while spurning the poor. Narrow religious values are shamelessly promoted for electoral gain, in defiance of the secular principles of the land. Science-America's greatest gift to the planet-is demeaned and diminished while deserts spread and ice melts. As Al Gore, a real and quintessential American, describes it, there is an "assault on reason".
So it's time to come together, perhaps under of the leadership of one such as Gore, or Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton would be welcome to join, and decent Republicans like Thomas Keane, Senator Arlen Spector and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York. There are millions of others and a great many will come from the serving ranks of the US Armed Forces, which has never before been so dissatisfied with a commander-in-chief.
Such fine, upstanding, real Americans from outside the world of big oil and Washington lobbying need to get together with people from Europe, Africa, and Oceania and send a solid, unmistakable message to Bush and Cheney. That message is "stop now". Stop the military adventures and plundering of the public purse in the name of national security. Stop ignoring climate change, stop making the rich richer at the expense of the poor, stop pushing a narrow fundamentalist Christian social policy. Stop damaging the planet with your incompetence and cynicism.
Think of it as a global Jana Andolan that uses the internet, international television, and the pure, driving decency of most people in America and around the world to enact lasting change. Earth deserves no less.