This was written in response to a post of w3woody's.
You wonder why people are so upset about Bush?
Try for a moment looking at things from their point of view. Not logically, not by the facts - which, I don't care how unemotionally you approach it, you can interpret any damn way you want - but psychologically.
Bush, in their eyes (and mine; I won't hide my own biases), is a perversion of all the things America stands for. People get wild, unpredictable, and dangerous when their most basic assumptions are challenged.
What assumptions are these? Well, first of all, the basic tenets of democracy - that your vote counts. The decision that put Bush into office was made by the Supreme Court. No matter what tactics were used by which side, no matter what the popular vote count actually was, to the average voter it feels like their voice was made irrelevant by the decision of a few judges. And given that voter apathy is already so high in this country, those who voted cared a damn lot about the principle of what they were doing; this was a slap in the face.
The gay marriage issue has really upped the personal antipathy for me and many people I know. It personally pisses me the fuck off that same-sex couples can't get married. And here is a person, in my face in the news and on TV every day, saying that he will do everything he can to make it constitutionally forbidden. It's real easy to make a personal enemy out of something like that.
Another assumption in this country: if you care enough, if you scream loud enough, your voice will be heard and listened to. There have been more and louder and longer protests against this war than any issue since Vietnam. And has it done anything? Have I even seen recognition of these protests from the Bush administration? No, all I hear about is high approval ratings, fifty percent or more of the country who thinks he's doing a great job - but I only know one person in that fifty percent, out of the couple hundred that I know well enough to know their political views.
Which leads me to the next problem, not the fault of the Bush administration by any means, but a quality of this country which makes any strong political divide even larger: people are socially and geographically arranged by their political sympathies. Any major metropolitan area, New England, the West Coast - massively liberal. The Midwest, the South, the rural areas: conservative. If you're from one area, most everyone you know will share your political views, at least on the primary party axis.
Consider that if you believe something, and everyone you know believes the same thing, but the word from on high is that you're the minority: the natural psychological reaction is to either believe that the people on high are lying, or start acting like an oppressed minority: screaming as loud as you can so that they can't forget that you're there, and you're pissed off.
I personally believe that any intelligent person who has studied history *should* be afraid of it repeating itself. Because horrible things do happen slowly, insidiously, and because most people can still lead their lives normally they don't notice. I'm not personally going to say this is absolutely like Germany in 1935; but if we forget the possibility, it could be! Most of my generation has had this beaten into their heads from an early age; read Anne Frank, seen photos from Auschwitz, Hiroshima, even the Japanese containment camps in America, and heard over and over again the refrain of "never again". And now we see the pictures from Abu Gharaib, hear the stories of torture and execution. Can you understand now why so many of us are feeling the danger, the potential parallel?
Oft-quoted, but not heeded nearly enough: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (Santayana) And I don't think the Bushies remember, or care.