We saw Oliver Stone's film "W" this weekend, his portrayal of George W. Bush. At the end of the last scene my husband spontaneously uttered "Wow," and I covered my face with my hands and couldn't speak. Lovely Passionate Feminist didn't say anything, but she and I talked about it on the way home, and she agreed.
It's a horror film, really.
The horror of seeing a soul (rich and therefore privileged though he is) unable to find himself. Searching, searching, searching his whole life for what would please his father. Mistakenly believing that to please his father would give his life meaning and purpose. He'd be a real man, and not "a disappointment," if he could win his father's approval. The horror of a lost soul. The horror of what we do to our children.
The horror of seeing religion used as an opiate. George W. traded one addiction, alcohol, for another--this time a much more dangerous one. Religion without the courage of self knowledge is open to abuse on all kinds of levels. Unless they do the difficult inner work necessary, sons who don't receive their father's approval feel powerless. "Conversion" provided the cover for George W's basest impulse for power to come to the fore. George W mistook his own inner lies for God telling him to run for the presidency. Combine that with the evil plotting of Karl Rove and you have political expediency placed above all morality. And that's what elected George W. Bush President of the United States. Twice. Horror of a nation gone mad.
The horror of the neoconservative agenda. I hate with a holy hatred the neoconservative agenda. (Read about it at The Project for a New American Century.) It's American POWER no matter the cost--which of course fit well with George W's immaturity, manifested in his psychological need for power. It's a machismo that would be utterly ridiculous if it hadn't actually surrounded the President of the United States. As it is, the neoconservatives are responsible for the deaths of 4,000 Americans and countless Iraqis. Neoconservatives are responsible for the hatred of America that is so prevalent on this planet today. They are dealers of death and fear under the guise of "freedom." Men with neoconservative agendas are the men that "W" chose for advisors. Men that seem as dangerously insecure, arrogant, and impotent as he. The horror of megalomania.
I could go on. The horror of the last eight years bubbled up within me as I watched this film. (Literally. I had a rare acid reflux attack.) The last scene is "W" in one of his baseball fantasies--he's running under the lights to catch a fly ball, but he's lost it, he can't see where it's coming from. His face is a study in helplessness and fear.
And then the movie ends. Just like that.
I know it's just a movie, someone's idea of George W. Bush. I know our President is not a monster--he's a human being with his good points as well. I know I have my own faults, and I know I could be wrong. But after 9-11 I began to think that our President had a dangerously weak sense of self. Apparently Oliver Stone thinks so, too.