Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thanks for the Education, George!

Blog doc 17 How Much Reconstruction?

Soon there may be a legitimate President in the White House, one which has honestly won an election, one which has campaigned with some sort of implied promise to purge not only the fiscal effects of criminal looting from our economy, but also the wild psychology of the adolescents who have looted our national resolve with their puerile fear mongering.

The cleansing of Abramhoff, DeLay and others of their ilk was a mere scratch on the surface. Granted, each of these minor abrasions revealed more and more of the incredible “classism” of a spoiled draft dodger with the ambitions of an eight year old. As American people, we are cynically adapted to the idea that we will be robbed by “a thousand cuts” no matter who has reached power [Similar to “Being nibbled to death by ducks.”]. However, this time even our long suffering numbness has been insulted by crassness and savage incompetence as we have patiently watched ourselves being robbed.

Civility has been a problem. Any public American has been reluctant to openly and brazenly refer to the executives of the country as “criminals,” or “liars,” or even “corrupt fear manipulators.” No public speech has stood to say clearly that we are foolish and cowardly victims of our own fears, that we are presently suffering the consequences of our failure to stand up as adults when it was the moment for us to face our challenges.

It may be time to reconsider our classical past. Can we reasonably suspect that the Roman Senators would have been so sheepish in either speech or action given the general historical image of their ambitions? Of course, there were limits within such a body, some imposed directly by fear of the consequences of being too blunt or overly suggestive of acts of political competition. Still, we have to assume that even the “low bar” of Roman Senatorial speech in such a place was significantly more direct and specific than the mouse-like drivel of our day, oration filled with obfuscation, blurry generalities and innuendoes.

We must now consider whether or not our blurry, modern concept of oration will ever possibly be direct enough to be a foundation for the correction of the improprieties which have been foisted upon us by our present autocrat. George Bush’s puerile, adolescent attacks on American Constitutional Law have been neither sophisticated, that is, of such a complex and subtle nature as to not manifest themselves in concrete absolutes of criminality, nor hidden away beneath layers of conditional possibilities which might sustain any question about their seriousness. Very little effort has been made in an attempt to present these crimes as confoundingly complex, to establish a continuing idea in our thoughts as citizens that perhaps, “We wouldn’t be so upset if we actually knew more about these matters.”

It is clear, now, that neither our educated and critical opinions nor even our unbiased intuitions have been given any weight in the autocrat’s concerns. He has simply acted, in the behavior of a young boy, to consolidate any advantage he perceives possible, regardless of the appearance of such an act to us. This may represent a greater affront to the citizen than the actual substance of such crimes. Of course, the scandalous actions of his government and his cronies constitute a direct and material loss to us, but his willingness to act in these ways without an accompanying attempt, no matter how mediocre, to at least confuse our perception of such crimes is nothing less than an arrogant and magnificent insult.

In the first case, we might, when our government has become reestablished after the election, launch out in a revolutionary frenzy to expose every tiny instance of his record. Every lie, every cheap manipulation through false fears, every instance of greed and looting, every corrupt redistribution of power, every grotesque “religious” ambition, and every other destruction of our cultural heritage -- legal, economic, social and in spirit -- might be revealed. Once the perpetrators and the abettors and the benefactors have been identified, the next phase of such a reconstructive undertaking might reasonably be a Stalin-esque purge of these parasites.

If this response were selected, the most notable of these self-descriptive elitists should experience the horror of the prisons they like so much, that is, not the “tennis-court” incarceration always mysteriously provided for the careless criminal nobility of the past, but the “real thing” inhabited by the victims of their own inspired, self-righteous laws. It would present them with another, so-far unexplored, opportunity to not only flesh out their claims to populist ideology, but also to establish an environment for them to learn new and exciting lessons about life in hopeless, endless terror. You know, Iraqi civilian style.

The alternative would be one extracted from a more Sunday School response to these attacks we have suffered. Because we will be so occupied with new challenges necessary to “get America moving again,” we might, in the shade of reconciliation and economy, just let these things go, just think of the future, just let the past die its own death.

Pursuing this alternate path, we might feel certain that the rest of the world would be quite reassured to notice that Americans are not vindictive, that they really only care about such luxuries as justice and honor when The Great Economy disregards past infractions and directs itself toward brighter days in the future. These foreigners, after all, might need to understand that our dedication to the Constitution can be reasonably mitigated, that is, we can tolerate such violations and move on, when the time and effort to pursue them would inconvenience our traditional, pragmatic interest in progress and growth.

Such a presumption might be more destructive to our international perception than all the ill conceived nonsense of the autocrat we will discard. We will simply consider the comparative down side of such an image as it is balanced by our previous “faith based” disaster relief, abstinence based AIDS relief and free-market ideology and “faith-based” designs for national reconstruction (after our “shock and awe” approach to “faith-based” regime change and its inevitable, “faith-based” post-bombing house cleaning).

The world might, finally, comprehend. The phrase, “Oh those Americans! No matter. Boys will be boys.” might be the seed for a new, more positive world view of our culture, but, unhappily, the disastrous opposite might more likely be the case. Can we, as a nation, dare to continue our insipid claim that “Gee, it seemed like a good thing for us to do at the time.” as a panacea for all these tragedies of our past greed and our past fear?

We might need to think a bit more seriously. We might find ourselves formulating a new message to our leaders.

“If your plan involves handing our tax money over to your cronies so they will support your campaigns, if your plan involves dropping bombs from the planes we citizens have paid for, if your plan requires holding people for years without lawyers, trials or charges, if your plan defines the cunning required to prepare the electorate to vote against its own interests as a result of your deceptions, we are not interested in your plan.”

“Please be advised. We have become a little more testy about being made into patsies. Many thousands of us have graduated from the Bush School with advance degrees and the scars from our long painful studies.”

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