The Bush Legacy.
The words alone send shivers down my spine and causes my blood to boil. For eight years, we have seen this administration tear apart virtually every part of our lives. War, recession, torture, job loss, deregulation, stripping away civil rights- it seems that nothing has come through this time unscathed.
And while I think that we have the chance to turn the corner today, we will be feeling the ripples of the Bush years for generations to come.
I personally think that these past eight years have been worse for the LGBT community than even we admit or realize. We all know the horrible policies put in place or expanded, but I'm not sure we realize the scars left on our community from Bush.
The tone created by the divisive politics of the Bush administration have trickled down- perhaps the only "trickle down" theory that has worked from the administration. The inflaming of the "culture wars" and the sheer hostility towards the LGBT community has caused backlash against any forward momentum in equality.
Divide and conquer politics, the Rovian attitude of "us versus them", have defined our fight and how we move forward. We've had to play defense on the basic rights we have, effectively slowing, if not sometimes completely halting, our march to equal rights and recognition.
Bush has changed how we act as a community. He's stolen our ability to trust, believe, and, in many cases, hope for better days. He created a tone in our country where the only way to be heard was to scream, not discuss. He brought out the best and worst in us.
And while we may be facing a new day that calls for a new way of thinking and acting, it will take time. Wounds don't heal in a day. Concerts, speeches, and cheering crowds won't erase eight long years of being in the wilderness.
But action will.
We need to see the change that is talked about. We need concrete proof that there are better days for our community and for America as a whole.
So today I celebrate the end of a dark time. I allow myself to see a glimmer of hope. But I also know that tomorrow we roll our sleeves up and get to the real work of moving beyond the Bush years.