America’s longest-living President, George Herbert-Walker Bush, passed away in Texas last night. It’s been a rough year for elder statesmen in this great nation, the American people are only just now finishing glossing over the casualized racism of John McCain’s bloodthirsty foreign policy and putting to the back of their minds his airborne strafing runs against innocent Vietnamese civilians as a volunteer Navy pilot fail-son. In these trying times, with all the mean tweets, blatant cronyism, and the backbiting, the passing of the senior Bush so soon after losing McCain feels like the passing of an American generation, one that more adequately and eloquently hid its profoundly disturbing contempt for humanity and heinous crimes in the Global South behind a veil of need-to-know National Security and a veneer of unquestionably patriotic civil service.
In H.W’s day, one wouldn’t brazenly castrate an institution like the glad-handing White House Correspondent’s Dinner by banning all comedians, no, you’d invite your SNL impersonator Dana Carvey to the White House yourself, effectively co-opting and neutralizing an effective critical satire. Politicians these days might blatantly sell their influence to the highest bidder no matter the ethical cost or concern for their reputation because the sedated American public is largely one paycheck away from starving, but Bush lived in a simpler time when one could rely more on a media monopoly more effective at masking a candidate’s blue-blooded Nazi war profiteering family ties or admission in nepotistic, shadowy secret Ivy League college fraternities of silver-spoon wealthy rape-pigs with no ideology other than power and profit. Back then, we weren’t talking about shady real estate deals with adversarial dictatorships, we just looked away as one family bought up the largest state in the country to plunder the natural resources of with little to no concern about later environmental impacts and we were happier that way. Wouldn’t it be nice to get back there? That was a time in an America this “radical centrist” knew, loved, and was comfortable enough during to have an unquestioning blanket support for the ruling class’s status quo.
Radical leftists might use this time of grieving to highlight how Bush was instrumental in the Republican’s bigoted “Southern Strategy”, peeling off members of the John Birch Society and integrating them into the right-wing as he campaigned against Civil Rights at the inception of his political career in the early 1960s. They might bring up how he was a steadfast defender of Richard Nixon and helped steer the RNC away from imploding, ever being held accountable for their erosion of democratic institutions and helped cement it as an inter-generational white-collar criminal enterprise that has defenestrated America out of the Overton Window; where it is presently hurdling at terminal velocity to an undignified, likely brutal and cannibalistic death in which its flag will be as globally reviled as the swastika within the next half-century.
Maybe they might raise the issue of Bush’s tenure as head of the CIA and implementation of Operation Condor, where he clandestinely financed dictatorships and death squads in Latin America responsible for the wanton slaughter of more than 60,000 people. That’s just the 70s! The Iran-Contra Affair? The chemical warfare campaign of crack cocaine in low-income minority neighborhoods? The abandonment of Kurdish groups in Iraq after they were no longer politically convenient as a casus belli? NAFTA? Clarence Thomas? Willie Horton?
Be pragmatic, put it all out of your head, and recognize that this was a man with an eccentric collection of socks, that loved baseball, and who was nice to Michelle Obama on at least three occasions. He did a lot of charity work too! Remember the Thousand Points of Light? Nevermind that most of it went to pro-life groups desiring a theocracy not unlike The Handmaid’s Tale and were likely helping fund the Army of God to kill doctors and terrorize scores of women seeking medical care. Damn you people that read, understand history, and refuse to let the nationalistic sentimentality of pseudo-royal pomp and circumstance during a State funeral get in the way of the realization that most prominent American political figures are genocidal fascists with better image consultants. I’m trying to virtue-signal my moral high ground through pretend-mourning a man that would barely take time to exhale if I were hit by a bus, not remind myself of my complicity and total lack of actionable protest through an era that deserves a comparable level of national shame carried by Germans that voted for Hitler.
Sure, a proto-Horseman of the Apocalypse shot out of his cock in 1946 and he nurtured and advised that Armageddon jockey through a stumbling, drunken campaign of ethnic cleansing, Orwellian eroding of civil liberties, criminalization of dissent, and top-heavy wealth concentration, but his wife, his high school sweetheart, just died, and this is where I leash a lifelong jackal, frothing at the mouth, to Johnny Cash and June Carter, a nostalgic cultural romance so indicative of blind idyllicism and uncritical Americana. Barbara and George are finally together again, likely at an ethereal Eyes Wide Shut party in the Heavens, bathing in and drinking the blood of Iraqi children as they sodomize each other in rubber Saddam Hussein masks and watch their brood of lizard offspring continue to smile while they skull-fuck the vast majority of us in an effort to stay in silk underwear for all of eternity.
Reagan and Nancy, God rest their souls, thrilled to see their old friends, briefly pause the blissful, immortal coprophagia ouroboros they’ve locked themselves in to have a hearty laugh about AIDS.