Ground Zero for the American Way: Ignore the War?
"Speak softly and carry a big stick."
This is a recipe for diplomacy, tact and behind-the-scenes efforts, as opposed to grandstanding, posturing and belligerence.
It is a concept that is being completely ignored by the closely held corporation that currently controls the executive branch of the United States government. In order to gain and stay in power and pursue their agenda, they use a tactic of emotional appeals that works on half the people all the time, and over three quarters of them - while we are "at war" .
Count on it, we will remain "at war" in some sense for as long as this tactic works to maintain support for a rogue, minority government that relies on dishonest rhetoric and slander instead of clarity, honesty, and debate.
Why? Why has this been the choice of those who I am studiously refusing to refer to as "our leaders," whether we face real or imagined crises?
It is not for any useful "foreign policy" goals, that is for sure.
It is not to promote the true American ideals and values around the world. These values traditionally include such radical tendencies as rule of law by and with the consent of the governed, freedom of conscience and association, due process of the finely tuned system of justice, and other such long term successful experiments that collectively comprise western civilization.
It is not even to honestly promote the safety and interests of the individual American citizen.
The reason the usurper George W. Bush and his small, select coterie of backers want to stay in power is to enact their radical right-wing political agenda, which consists mostly of reactionary social policies and savagely inhuman pro-business ones.
These include (never forget this while waving your flag to cheer "our boys and girls" on to a dubious "victory"!):
- To make abortion illegal once more. Not to reduce the demand for it, but simply to prevent it being legally available. To do this worldwide is a high priority goal for these men.
- To likewise prevent the use of any forms of birth control (besides abstinence, of course), in the United States and of course, worldwide.
- To make any acts deemed (by them) unpatriotic not only illegal but socially dangerous, a la McCarthyism, in order to be able to marginalize them.
- To force students in public schools to recite mainstream Protestant Christian prayer on a daily basis - inasmuch as they condone the continuation of free, publicly-financed education at all.
- To render illegal, or at least dangerously unacceptable (once again) any sexual acts or behaviors that do not align with their attitudes based on one peculiar fundamentalist interpretation determined by one religious sect - a sect that claims to speak somehow for all the adherents of its brother and sister denominations, and even for those who do not subscribe to its mythology at all.
- To infiltrate the life and institutions, of a free country where it is constitutionally illegal for the government to support any particular spiritual belief or system, with publicly-funded mainstream religious organizations.
This seems strange in a country where freedom of religion is such a fundamentally established right of the individual. In America, perhaps alone in the world save for a few other liberal western democracies in Europe, the individual can have as much religion as they want in their life! They cannot be restricted from pursuing their spiritual leanings whatsoever. It is simply illegal for them to use the machinery and power of government to inflict their beliefs on other people, as has been the sad history of so much of our species.
- To cut the graduated taxes based on income as much as possible, or even beyond that point.
This fine point is important - there have been no movements to cut non-graduated taxes at all, or most tellingly, the regressive taxes and fees used to pay for government services. This trend overall decreases the cost of government for the wealthy and increases it for the poor.
- To reduce, "reform," and generally cut egalitarian, non-partisan social programs as much as possible.
You will notice that, generally, the social programs they seek to devour are ones that, in their need to be fair and universally applicable, either contradict their personal fundamentalist religious beliefs or tend to attempt to rectify the natural economic inequalities that develop through the actions of free enterprise economic activities. They do not believe in freedom of thought or the most basic premise of a democratic capitalist meritocracy - that of a "level playing field" for all contestants.
- To eliminate what they call "liberalism" in general.
It is ironic that not only are the greatest strengths of this republic direct products of Liberal thought, but are also some of the holy mantras of the radical right, too. These include:
- Capitalism, invented as we now understand it by liberal thinkers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
- The affirmation of individual freedoms - as a way to avoid state repression of religious sects and nascent political movements.
- The recognition that a government that can intrude too much into individuals' private lives is a threat to everyone's personal safety and liberty.
- To eliminate environmental and workplace equality, safety, and rights of organized negotiation, as far as they see them as restrictions on profitable business activity.
- To once again institutionalize the embrace of racism. This is done largely by tapping into white male anger at "lost" opportunites (usually a result of these same rulers tax cuts and pro-big-business programs) in order to promote a pro-white-christian orthodoxy.
- It may even extend as far as that thing we all think is bad, until we disagree with its targets - book banning. If not done in a simple de facto way, we will see it in the restrictions placed on places like public libraries (in the "war on terrorism"), and the heavy cloud of suspicion and social opprobrium that will be directed at those who wish to avail themselves of certain texts (or art, movies, music, flags, web sites, etc.).
- And back to the world stage of so-called "foreign policy," to enforce an American hegemony of uniformity and fealty to every narrow part of the spectrum of thought that they hold dear, rather than promoting what could be the true American Empire ideals of variety, creativity and individual freedom by our example and encouragement.
THEY WILL ULTIMATELY FAIL.
Sadly, this failure will probably come about after many years of repression of thought and freedom, when these incursions finally reach a boiling point that is perceptible to the majority of average citizens, not just the people whose lives, careers and productive efforts have been destroyed along the way.
Mr. Bush and his ruling cabal must be given their failing grade - now! We cannot wait until History finally looks back on what she will regard as the first truly successful American fascist movement.
To do this we must look beyond, or behind, the "war" to the machinations here in this country, and identify, fight, and prevent the assaults on the constitution and individual freedom being attempted by these radical right wing zealots.
3/21/03 - 3 AM
(Note: on the day this was written, it was the only file available to visitors to this site)
© Huw Powell
Printer-friendly version - (no indent)