America’s most controversial writer Gore Vidal has died….
First things first, Vidal HATED the Bush’s. All of them. He called W a “cretin”. He was a ferocious, and often isolated, critic of the Bush administration. In his controversial polemic, ‘The Enemy Within’, Vidal unleashed an awesomely scathing attack on W’s Presidency, calling for an investigation into the events of 9/11 to discover whether the Bush folks had deliberately chosen not to act on warnings of Al-Qaeda’s plans, using the attacks as a pretext to enact a pre-existing agenda to invade Afghanistan and crack down on civil liberties at home.
In The Last Empire, Vidal argued that ‘Americans have no idea of the extent of their government’s mischief … the number of military strikes we have made unprovoked, against other countries, since 1947 is more than 250.’
A pompous and self-righteous aristocrat, an unreconstructed isolationist in the Senator Henry Cabot Lodge/anti-Treaty of Versailles tradition, Gore Vidal was one of the grand old men of American letters. He understood American history in the way few Americans do today. Thomas Jefferson, a fairly radical democratic republican, hoped the average American would be smart enough to elect governments from an educated aristocracy of merit. Not that he’d be surprised if we fucked up – the founders assigned a complicated set of federal checks and balances. This whole thing lost its equilibrium with W and is racing further downward with this year’s cabal of idiots. Gore Vidal urged Americans to return to the ideals of the Enlightenment as expressed in the Constitution of 1787. The alternative, Vidal knew, is one of those “revolutions” Jefferson suggested were needed every generation or so to set things straight again.