Apropos of nothing... (because I posted it as a comment on uggabugga)
Posted by C
Psychoanalyst Alice Miller wrote about the rise of Hitler that a lot of Germans positively identified with Hitler in part because he was like their authoritarian dads, a comforting association in an insecure time, when society was fast changing around them in ways they didn't understand or know how to deal with.
American voters today are in similarly insecure times, but we have deeper psychological associations with movie and television heroes than with our dads. We didn't know, or didn't care about W's record or background any more than we care about who Arnold is in real life while we are watching a Terminator movie. We like brash, posturing heroes who make wisecracks.
9/11 left most Americans in a state of fear. W rose to the occasion. He said we'd get OBL dead or alive. Whoever W was in real life, whatever his motivations, he swaggered. That's all he had to do. We swooned. Or pumped our hairy fists in the air.
We are sick of this war and frustrated with this economy, but we haven't suddenly evolved as a species. We arguably haven't even learned anything. I don't hear much of anyone saying, "My God was I a boob! I supported a lousy president and a stupid war." No, we're just ready to leave Iraq because we're tired of it, not remorseful for destroying it; ready for a new president, not feeling bad about having once supported the old one.