This is a personal perspective of the years between 2000 and 2016. This post is not meant to provide you with a high-level view of the world during this period. Instead, it is from the viewpoint of the 54-year-old to a 70 year-old with some pretty significant Aspie traits, although I didn’t know it had that name.
This time period started out with a possible constitutional crisis which was a month-long series of legal battles led to the highly controversial 5–4 Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore. It was the first time in over one-hundred years that a person became president without winning the majority of the votes. But given what’s happened since it may be becoming the norm at least for what is left of the Republican Party. George W. Bush, who was the son of another president, he would run on the label of “compassionate conservative” but proved to be anything but compassionate.
Then came September 11, 2001 where a Saudi terrorists group with box cutter managed to take down New York’s World Trade Center and did damage to the Pentagon. 3,000+ American lives were lost. Ironically the country of origin for a big majority of those terrorists were never punished. Instead we sold them even more military weapons.
To retaliate for the 911 events we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, neither of which had much of anything to do with the attack, but they were causing troubles in the Middle East. Like many of his Republican predecessors President Bush was a strong believer in military force. Soon after the initial invasion he would declare “victory” in those conflicts, but they would go on to be the longest military conflict in our nation’s history, and yet to be resolved.
The Bush presidency would end as several other Republican presidential administrations have, that is with a financial crisis. I don’t know exactly where the switch was made but the Republican Party started out as the party of Lincoln. Somewhere along the line they became the party of primarily corporate interests. They believe that if we just leave our corporations to do what they wanted America would prosper. This “leave corporations alone” got our country into a severe financial crisis beginning in 2008 and peaked as a new untested Democratic president came into office. Almost miraculously we managed to avert a severe downturn by pumping billions into the very corporations that caused the problem.
This period was also the serious beginning of the “Us vs Them” mentality. It began in earnest with the “Tea Party” and Newt Gingrich soon after a black man became president. Some say the Tea Party wing of the Republican congress was organized to keep him from accomplishing any of his goals, and for the most part they did a pretty good job of doing exactly that. Except for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, he was not a very effective president. Perhaps it was because he was more of a dreamer rather than a doer. Except for the meager attempt at universal healthcare, the GOP stifled almost all congressional activity during his eight years in office.
But, one thing Obama’s presidency did was to enrage the white supremacists. KKK’s membership surged during that eight-year period. That along with those who simply panicked at the thought of America becoming the “white” minority country. Their subsequent activity was like throwing gasoline on a fire of our times. That would lead to the presidency of a totally incompetent narcissist who has done everything he can to keep these groups in his back pocket.
This Us vs Them panic sadly became the death knell for several Christian organizations. They too latched onto the slogan “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) and sold out their Christian principle of being our “brother’s keeper”. This last ditch effort in joining the previous two groups will likely prove the downfall of much of Christianity.
The next “Into the Looking Glass” report will be perhaps the most difficult to cover. It will prove to be the most traumatic events of my lifetime. More on that next time.