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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Fighting swords with safety pins
George McGovern opened my eyes. No, not when he got his ass handed to him during his presidential campaign. It was because of an article that he wrote in a 2002 issue of Harper's magazine that described the Bushies' take on political life. It boiled down to this: Anything goes.
Prince Machiavelli would have been impressed. A world view and an action plan in two words. I guess the only logical response is: 'Shit!' My own, resultant, personal world view and action plan.
So much of what is happening as the Bushies dismantle the country -- like some Leveraged Buyout junkie on a binge -- is elegant, simple and downright evil. It's brilliant, in an inhumane way.
McGovern wrote that for Bush and the Gang to play by the rules, they'd have to respect the rules. They would have to believe that the rules apply to all who play, which, of course, they don't.
He further postulated that that can never be the case because Bushism, like Reaganism, is a revolution. Using an analogy; for George Bush to consistently tell the truth to the American public would be like our Founding Fathers deciding they kind of liked being a suburb of Britain or the Black Panthers deciding that Bull Connors wasn't that bad of a guy. Revolutionaries don't believe in the existing system; they want it removed.
A lie told to benefit a revolution is a glorious thing -- ask Oliver North. So, each time Bush says he cares about the poor, each time he gives another reason (other than oil) for going to Iraq, each time he talks about saving the environment, he is basking in the glory of his true believers.
A couple of observations and how they fit in with the Bush Revolution:
1. If everyone is rich, no one is rich. If a million dollars a year in salary is universally achievable, there are no more rich people, no more special interests and no elite class. How this fits in?: It means, 'Poor people wanted.' There have to be scapegoats -- preferrably of a darker hue and different accents. Under Republican administrations, the rich have become so much richer that it would take generations for 98 percent of the Americans now living to match their accumulated wealth.
2. A government that tries to solve social problems is bad. So, quality public education (or, for some true believers, ANY public education) is a bad investment. Welfare is very bad. Social Security is bad. And, Affirmative Action is the worst. Oddly, despite a market for abortions, that is bad, too.
3. Religion is the banner for the revolution. In a great deal of history, including the move to America by the first colonists, religion has tried to expand freedoms. Modern revolutionary religion is a means to restrict freedoms, a way to keep all the flocks in line. Some examples: Bob Jones University, a religious institution, bans interracial dating; the Mormons view black people as descendants of an inferior biblical character, one of the fastest growing religious industries is the white supremacy sects. How does religion fit in? Well, I'm going to take a flyer and say my guess is that Bush, Frist, DeLay, Cheney and all those other revolutionaries, aren't truly religious zealots so much as they are religious opportunists. L. Ron Hubbard once said the only way to get rich in America is to start your own religion. Subsitute "power" for "rich" and I think you see into the Bushies' Christian souls. The coolest thing about religon, though? The faith thing. Adherents never have to give any better answer than, 'God would want it that way.'
4. The middle class has grown too large. Too many people make too much money and are able to compete for some of the amenities of the super-rich. Middle class people are more likely to vote, more educated, more likely to own homes and more likely to pass some of their wealth on. And, the newer ones are more likely to vote in counter-revolutionary ways since they are relatively recently removed from the poorer class. Poor people are the best subjects in a revolutionary society because they know the No. 1 rule: the rich make the rules. The middle class feel too entitled.
OK. The point I'm making is that liberals, leftists, moderates and a whole bunch of very reasonable people are getting kicked in their collective ass because of the nature of their convictions. In a phrase, their convictions may be summed up as: "I see your point."
They've lost the battle right there, as far as modern political power goes. Certainly, they stand on a higher moral ground -- but it may as well be in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans for all the political clout it gets them.
You can't say to your potential rapist-robber-murderer-garage mechanic-assailant, "I see your point."
Revolutionaries see that as weakness. They will never see the other person's point. 'God will kill you because you're gay.' 'I will kill you if you have an abortion.' 'You should be in jail if you use drugs (unless your name is Rush)' -- get the point?
This the brilliant part. It is hard for intelligent, moral people not to see the other's point of view. It is a human thing to do. It is human to say I've been broke; I've been hungry; I've been cold and I empathize with you. Not so for a revolutionary. Ann Coulter is a perfect weapon for the revolution. She is the coldest, most callous, most unfeeling human being I can recall being exposed to. She is this era's Eva Braun. She believes those who disagree with her viewpoints should be killed -- a perfect revolutionary.
Do you want to know what the revolution has done? Check for the empathy. Where is the empathy in the new bankruptcy laws? Where is the empathy in 2,000 soldiers dying in Iraq (and 50,000+ Iraqi citizens)? Where is the empathy in our environmental laws? Where is the empathy in decreasing college grants? Where is the empathy in our drug laws?
Life is fluid, Bushies are not. In certain moments, certain shades of light, they may appear reasonable -- that is a mirage.
The left may want to start thinking about a revolution of their own.
link | posted by Jae at 12:58 PM |
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