The Fool on ‘The Hill’

Well on the way, head in a cloud; The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud. And nobody seems to like him. They can tell what he wants to do. And he never shows his feelings. But the fool on the hill sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see the world spinning around. — “The Fool on the Hill” (Words and Music by Lennon and McCartney)

IS IT JUST ME, or does George Bush’s self-satisfied smirk grow more irritating with each passing day?

What galls me the most is how, only three years ago, not only would I have defended that smirk, I even liked it a bit. Chalk it up to personal growth and an eye-opening ride since then, but, these days, that grin gets my goat.

Now, before you pin me down to one side of the aisle or the other, let me share my voting history with you. Back in 1992, despite years of conservative thought, I voted for Clinton — then in 1996, I once again cast a vote for Bubba, regretting it sorely within months. You see, once ‘lame-duck’ Bill knew he’d no longer need to run for public office, his true colors (primary and otherwise) emerged. By the middle of 1997, America had gone ‘special prosecutor’ crazy, polarizing into opposite lines like middle schoolers at an eighth grade dance. Meanwhile Bubba et al stepped up to the international trough without fear of reprisal.

Why didn’t he worry? Havana Bill knew something the American voter didn’t — the Democrats’ dance card had run out. Washington New World Order fiddlers had created a brand new dance, and only certain ‘former democrats’ were invited. Long before the first hat hit the ring for 2000’s election, those carefully orchestrated, second term Clinton scandals assured the Neocon men and women of a first-row seat at the aforementioned trough. Goodbye, donkey. Hello, elephant.

Yes. Me, too. I saw it coming, but I didn’t even flinch. Dutifully, as if programmed, I punched chads with Elephant stripes. Bubba’s party wasn’t getting another minute with me! I’m a conservative, right? So, George Bush is the man!Enter the new president — grinning like a lemur.

Cue the ticking sound, and advance the calendar to 2006. America’s fighting men and women are pumped into Afghanistan and Iraq like so many bus tokens, while their stateside families and neighbors grumble over gas and mumble over meals. Washington pronounces the economy healthy, and we all know better, yet we trudge on. Like Scarlett O’Hara, we choose to ‘think about it tomorrow’ once the kids are out of school and we’ve paid down those bills. A new brand of beer will help dull that stab of guilt. A newer car might ease the pain at the pump — a new car with a hefty price tag. Feed the machine, don’t ask questions, and never question the government.

And that lemur grin widens into a crescent moon.

Another election is in the wings. Who will be the fool this time? I’m leaning toward the middle, certain that it’s a more independent place, far from the polar dance lines of right and left. But is this my own, original thought, or someone elses? Is there a moderate tempo striking up in the band of Red-White-and-Blue Fiddlers?

And the president grins like the fool on the Hill.