(USNewsLink) February 28, 2001 - In case it hasn't dawned on my fellow baby boomers, our collective psychological adaptations as to how we view and accept the office of President of the United States have changed. NEXT: ALERT! 'Adios' to First USA Bank N.A.
When we were born the world was at war and the returning hero, Dwight David Eisenhower, was a white headed father figure upon which our nation depended to restore normalcy.
Via the great white father image that we projected upon President Eisenhower, and FDR before him, we duped ourselves into believing that the President of our United States could be counted on to be normal, to be honest, forthright, and dependable. We wanted our President to be a Harry Truman type of guy who mollycoddled his mother-in-law and abided by his wife's wishes in most matters other than politics.
But now? Forget it!
All we ask "now" of whomever occupies the White House is that "she/he" be honest and forthright and careful in their dealings on our behalves. We hope they will conduct themselves with aplomb and courtesy and behave themselves in public in such a manner that doesn't embarrass us.
In short, our roles have reversed. "We" have become the benevolent parents, and "they", the White House occupants, have become "our" charges. If they misbehave, we punish them, but not too severely for fear of breaking their spirits. If they refuse to fall in line, we rely on the Fourth Estate to ridicule and expose them for the vapid, silly, foolish people that they are.
In short, the USA has grown up. And in growing up, we have assumed the rights and responsibilities of our forefathers. You remember them? They're the ones who fought and died for our democracy.
So as a benevolent "parent" who is a living, breathing, voting, member of our American democracy, this is my wish list for the year 2001:
1. that George W. Bush stays sober, exercises every day, and doesn't do anything that will embarrass the country;
2. that Laura Bush remains steadfastly at George W.'s side, because we all know that if she caves, George W. is soon to follow;
3. that Daddy and Mamma Bush (Big George and Babs) remain vital and strong and continue to influence their "boy" to behave himself in public;
4. that the country elects a Democratically controlled Congress in 2004 to counter-balance George W.'s right wing administration which threatens the stability of our domestic economy and the lives of millions of poor Americans and the rights of minorities and women.
5. that we raise our collective voices in outrage if George W. gets too far out of line with his right wing policies of big military spending and budget cutting for social programs.
6. that we avoid becoming "passive" parents to the "child" in the White House so as to prevent the ill informed, unprepared, "child" from leading our hard fought and won democracy straight to domestic hell in a right wing hand basket!