Sunday, November 21, 2004

Running nose fever

I feel much better today. I have a running nose, but the fever, which was trying to gain ground yesterday, didn’t hold.

I’ve spent most of my day calling my friends, who attended the opening of my library. I thanked them and told them how special they are. They are, but I could see something of disappointment in their eyes, when I didn’t single out one of them to come and stay at my house in Little Rock.

This is normal. If I'm in Los Angeles or San Francisco I stay at my friends' house. If they come to New York, they stay at my place.

Having a lot of good friends is a blessing, but when you put them in one location there is always the jealousy, the struggle to find out whom I like best. At the dinner, when all my good friends were looking at me so hopefully and expectantly, I thanked all of them and told them I still hadn’t healed, I was going home to take a warm bath and go to bed. I disappointed many good friends, who expected special treatment. So today I called them to tell all of them I care.

About yesterday. Although my brain felt cloudy, it has never been more clear to me what is going on. The Republicans are dismantling all the policies I enacted. They are rolling back everything I stood for. It has never been clearer to me that conservatives and George Bush are trying to make my presidency a presidency without consequence. More, they are trying to write me out of the history books. They are trying to relegate my 8 years in office to the footnotes of American history.

For instance, I left a balanced budget. That was part of my legacy. George Bush has major budget deficits. The result is that part of my legacy is gone.

We were an open, respected country in the world, who made the UN work. What’s left of that part of my legacy? We were moving in a direction where respect and tolerance for other people’s lifestyles was the norm. Now we have a Republican president bent on dividing people according to his conservative religious morals. Just look at the ban on gay marriage proposals. What’s left of that part of my legacy? Nothing.

The Republicans are consciously and systematically destroying my legacy.

It has become clear to me that George Orwell was right. He, who has power in the present writes the history. And he, who controls history, owns the future.

We need to wrestle the power out of the Republicans’ hands. If we want to achieve the future we want, our party needs to become the majority party again. It’s as simple as that. We need to start winning elections again. We need to learn to play the game that politics is again. We need to learn to win elections again.

That is my mission for the coming years. Rescue our future from the Republicans and defend my legacy. We need to rebuild the Democratic Party and start fighting back.