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MY SWEET LORD
By David Podvin
In the movie “Slingblade” the protagonist is a mentally damaged, painfully inarticulate man with an unfortunate penchant for mayhem. On November 7, 2000, most voters decided this plotline was better suited for a film than for a presidency. However, the Falangist majority on the Supreme Court soon intervened to declare that the loser was the winner, and Justice Antonin Scalia exalted the ruling as being inspired by God Almighty. As a result of God’s affinity for appallingly incompetent governance, the world’s only superpower has since been run by a menace whose contact with reality is tangential at best.
George W. Bush claims that he was ordered by Jesus Christ to conquer Iraq. Christ apparently also insisted that Bush steal Iraq’s oil, and being a devout Christian the former Texas governor readily complied. As the story goes, the Lord had previously commanded Bush to subvert democracy in the United States and eradicate it in Haiti. Yet even divine beings are entitled to a certain elasticity of principle, so now the Big Guy has told Bush to cultivate an Iraqi democracy, and to do so by killing lots of Iraqis.
The Scriptures reveal no discernible evidence that Jesus favors the Pol Pot method of democratization, but Bush swears it was none other than the Prince of Peace who decided Iraqi soil must be stained red. This blasphemous version of the Nuremberg Defense has struck a responsive chord with religious conservatives, serial killers, and other psychotics who find plausible the concept of homicidal missives sent from above.
Nevertheless, there are citizens who remain dubious that the Almighty is a Bush accomplice to mass murder. Cynics suspect that the bloodthirsty deity whom Curious George channeled was actually the disordered halfwit staring back at him from the mirror. These Americans reject the argument that suffering a terrorist attack somehow excuses the United States from the obligation to be civilized. They do not understand how evil magically becomes virtue when swaddled in the Stars and Stripes. They recoil in horror as the U.S. military emulates the terrorists by raping and torturing and murdering, even when the troops do so while whistling “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.
Conservatives regard as seditious any disapproval of the way the war is being conducted. From the right wing perspective, the critics are traitors who seek to cut and run rather than achieve total victory. John Wayne is the conservative gold standard, the fascist benchmark of total victory, because the Duke didn’t stop killing Indians until they were all dead. Anything less would have seemed effeminate, and the prospect of seeming effeminate terrifies conservatives, including the ones who are female.
As a result, the right wing has never met a war it didn’t want to perpetuate. Conservatives are still grief stricken that they ever had to leave Vietnam, although Republicans find some solace in the fact that American armed forces saved a million Vietnamese by killing them before they could be indoctrinated into Marxism. After experiencing the humiliation of seeing Vietnam overrun by the people who live there, reactionaries are determined that Iraq not suffer a similar fate.
Never mind that by any coherent standard America has already won in Iraq, assuming that winning is to be equated with killing defenseless people and stealing their stuff. Gone are the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction that threatened our very survival. Gone is the tyrant who was so barbaric that he tortured civilians at Abu Ghraib. Most importantly, gone is Iraqi control of Iraqi oil.
Having proven once again that the world is America’s bitch, conservatives have earned the right to swagger home victorious, secure in the knowledge that every country across the globe fears it just might be next. The time is ripe for the GOP to recall the troops, appreciatively throw them a parade, and then slash funding for veterans hospitals.
But except for the last part that scenario is not going to happen. The Clinton Era proves that absent a foreign bogeyman Republican presidential candidates cannot gain a majority of the popular vote even when they engage in massive electoral fraud. This daunting realization has required conservatives to create an endless loop of escalating crisis, so Republicans won’t be declaring victory against the Iraqi enemy until they can contrive a more ominous foe.
Therefore the abomination will continue. Though camouflaged in piety, the rape of Iraq has been a most brutal escapade. The corporate media chooses not to obsess about it, but dropping napalm and white phosphorous on civilians is a spectacularly immoral thing to do, the kind of wickedness that Joseph Stalin would have found gratifying. Confiscating a nation’s wealth is also something with which Uncle Joe could have strongly identified, and so is conducting cosmetic elections designed to project the illusion of freedom.
The Iraqi debacle is a logical extension of what has long been occurring in American politics. The united Republican Party has told outrageous lie after outrageous lie to justify doing things that are depraved while the divided Democratic Party has been passively complicit to that depravity. Conservatives are responsible for the squalor of their actions, but if liberals spoke the ugly truth about Republicans the right wing wouldn’t have the chance to wreak such havoc.
The conservative philosophy is predicated on deceit, a prerequisite for charlatans who seek to exploit the many for the benefit of the few. This newsflash should be one of life’s lesser epiphanies, but Democrats who cherish bipartisanship are willfully blind to the fact that conservatives do not believe in the principles they espouse.
Strong national defense? For years prior to 9/11 Republicans thwarted efforts to upgrade airport security because hiring additional guards would have strengthened unions allied with the Democratic Party. Conservatives cared more about preventing the increased union membership that would accompany protecting America than they cared about protecting America.
Smaller government? While under the control of the Republicans, the size of the federal government has grown far faster than it grew under the Democrats.
Fiscal responsibility? Republicans are the masters of creating record budget deficits.
Middle class tax cuts? During the 2000 debates, Bush promised that seventy percent of his tax cut would go to the middle class, but seventy percent has gone to the rich, and there has been no attempt by Republicans to correct this discrepancy. Ronald Reagan similarly lied about who would get his tax cuts.
Original Intent? Scalia has said that the Founding Fathers occasionally experienced a “slip of the tongue” which requires modern jurists to ascertain not what was written but what was meant. This approach entitles right wing judges to perform telepathy on the dead, and by doing so Republican clairvoyants have found that miscommunication occurred only in those cases where the Founders’ positions appear to contradict the right wing agenda.
The litany of phony conservative principles extends beyond the horizon: Supply Side Economics… States Rights… Faith-Based Social Programs… Border Security… Tort Reform… Pro-Life… Family Values… Creation Science… Space-Based Missile Defense… Free Trade… Judicial Restraint… Forestry Management… Social Security Reform… Governmental Privatization…
All these deceptively labeled concepts are designed to manipulate the public into voting self-destructively. Upon examination, every conservative principle is revealed to be political bait and switch. The right wing agenda is not a well-intended but misguided effort to better America. It is a con job designed to separate average citizens from their freedom, and the con job to end all con jobs is The War Against Terror, which is the marketing term for The Brazen Attempt To Keep Americans Scared Shitless So Republicans Can Rule Forever.
Since combating paranoia with reason is invariably a losing battle, defeating the fear mongers requires mercilessly stripping them of their credibility. Only by proving Chicken Little is a habitual liar can rational people persuade the masses that the sky is not really falling, and this is where American liberalism has failed abysmally. While conservatives employ slander to convince much of the electorate that liberals imperil national security, progressives refuse to disparage right wingers with the truth that conservatism is a fraud.
There is a no-holds-barred brawl raging in America, but only one side is brawling. Conservatives call their aggression the “Culture War”, and they intend to purge from society all liberal influences. Towards that end Republicans are implementing the strategies popularized by their longtime role models, the communists. The disinformation campaigns and stolen elections and phony emergencies that abound are a familiar blast from the past, except they are now being musically accompanied by “God Bless The USA” instead of “L'Internationale”.
Those who covet peace should remember that frequently it must be achieved through confrontation. The reactionaries will maintain their death grip on Baghdad and Washington unless progressives convince a Scalia-proof majority of Americans that the GOP cannot be trusted. The facts exist to support a compelling case that proves Republicans are too dishonest to govern, but thus far the will to make the case has been lacking.
Establishment Democrats are loath to confront the reactionaries, fearing that right wingers will respond with frenzied hysteria and launch a vicious assault against liberals. This concern overlooks the fact that hysterically frenzied right wingers are already launching a vicious assault against liberals. Given that it is impossible to alienate people who hate you, progressives might as well do the moral thing by pummeling conservatives into submission.
Should Democrats find the task too daunting or decide that it isn’t worth the effort, additional tragedy awaits this nation and the world, both of which suffer greatly whenever American liberals fail to combat evil. Until there is a vigilant anti-conservative campaign in the United States, Republicans will continue oppressing at home and marauding abroad, all in the name of a right wing Savior who appears nowhere in the bible.
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