The Airing of Grievances
Monday, October 18, 2004
The Reality-Based Community
I'm a little late on this one, but the New York Times Magazine came with another must-read article, this time on our fearless leader, Furious George. Money quote:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.I don't know about you, but I find a statement like that fucking terrifying. Scarier still is the fact that such an approach to running the free world is so attractive to 45%+ of the country. These guys are on to something.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."