Continuing we find ourselves at Ways #6 and #7. The next 2 ways are probably the most all-inclusive surefire ways to shoot Democracy and render it dead as a doornail. And we may never see it coming.
6. Give up on America
Get a hobby, golf maybe. The word for today is APATHY. Distract yourself, your mind, your life’s endeavors, and passions from riding herd on those you elect to public office. Never criticize our leaders who are in control of your tax purse strings and moral compass as to what America means to us and the rest of the world. In short give the reigns to the idiots we elect to serve us and go play golf and fish and shop. A little self-time and personal enjoyment amidst all this war, crime, and hunger in the world couldn’t hoit. Oye.
After a year or so of ranting about the unmitigated atrocities created by the Bush/Cheney presidency in their irresponsible reign of world terror on the “shock and awe express,” I began to lose many friends. They peeled silently away and left me to ponder why I paused long enough to comment on the madness that took us hostage for years after 911. It almost felt like they approved of our attacking and occupying Iraq based upon Bush’s lies. So they played their golf, they did their was and went their came (in the immortal spirit of ee cummings). In short, I became a bore. Talking trash is no fun to crowds of fun-seeking people. I don’t judge them for ebbing away with distracted frowns. Who could blame them for wanting to be entertained, not charged with the harshness of standing up for what they believed was in the best interest of our country?
Many, who had always wished me well, thought I had lost it. Had the cheese had fallen off my crackers, or what? Why would I go down the dark rhetorical roads where there was no money in it? Where no solution to the problem was in the offing. Just more of the same dark dead-end alleys. America had been attacked. And we needed to hit something and blow up some people and dog them for years. Without reason we needed to get even. Just randomly striking out because we were hurt. We had been wronged. How dare them terrorists. Even Rummy said: “Iraq makes a better target.” We had lost our sanity, but wait, when is our T time tomorrow?
Why would I care? Was I my brother’s keeper? If it did not affect me, and there was no money in missing sleep over lies and atrocities our leaders made us swallow, then maybe I was crazy. I began to entertain the idea. My first mentor in column writing for free wrote me an email that had some politically correct points within. He expressed concern that I always emphasized the negative and needed to start talking positive and forget the negatives of that which had transpired and became a footnote in the history books. Whether it was wrong or not. Whether people cared or not.
The constant indigestion of knowing that if America just attacked the better targets, that we would have fallen into Nietzsche’s abyss: “When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into thee.” We become a mindless mass of vengeful persons. And running over Dixie Chicks CDs in pickups and hating the French for their non-support became the norm. That was our America, the new one. Freedom Fries.
I got to say that it hurt me to know that the masses, including some scholars, did not want to look the truth in the good eye. It took years for me to realize that truth was not the object. As it was in the O.J. Simpson verdict truth was not the life’s blood of our being. Truth had become subjective snuff that you sniffed sparingly lest the universe would collapse onto itself. Truth became the stuff of witches and wizards and learned psychiatrists who could interpret truth most any way they chose. And who could or would challenge them on it? After all, “What is truth?”-Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Some of my old acquaintances thought I had become a flaming Liberal. I had gone off the deep end, they whispered. You can’t save the whole world, they advised. Relax. The Muslims are not like us, you know the drill. They want us dead, you know, just read all about it in the Koran. None of them never read it and still haven’t.
Some of my friends and contacts were kinder. They thought I was a Democrat, unaware of the political correctness of the day: Conservative and Republican. They, like the Wizard of Oz, bade us to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Forget that Bush and Reagan for 16 years cumulative borrowed more and spent more on imaginary will of the wisps like the “Evil Empire” and the Axis of Evil. The combined 16 years of their scary presidencies caused the United States of America to add a cool $7 Trillion dollars to our National Debt. Not to mention the interest we paid to just the Chinese and Japanese who lent us the money to keep our country afloat. No wonder so many world powers want to see the dollar go down the tubes as the world currency. At this point our large creditors don’t even seem to flinch at that thought. They are weary of a country eat up with bible-thumping and (self) righteousness. And a 17 Trillion dollar National Debt and counting. They don’t want any cheese; they just want out of the trap.
So if I would call anybody out in Congress or the White House for screwing the American taxpayer or the brave Reservists in every state who suddenly found themselves in the midst of long, multiple tours of combat in Iraq, nobody really cared (yawn). Not my problem. Most of my friends and people I encountered would simply yawn, return to the sports page or order more drinks and chuckle about me and give the ceiling tile a high eye roll. After all why spend so much energy on it all? You’ve got a great life to live and enjoy, they counseled. Why rant and rave about things you can’t help? After all what could we do about Bush lying us into war with Iraq? Shock and Awe was to come, regardless, so why not step back and know that we were defending our country from the terrorists? Good questions. Just go buy stock from Raytheon, Lockheed, and Halliburton or any other Military Industrial Complex No-Bid Crony Corporations who fund wars and profit from world shooting matches and destruction.
Another tack that proved better than bitching about the (no money in it) truth about how we and our country were sold down the river on Iraq, was to do the only sensible thing: make some money on it all, fool. Why not? Some were persuaded by their false self that it would be a righteous thing to work for the other side. If the money was good enough. Enter Dick Morris. The dude who worked for Clinton during the latter’s campaign for president. He used to be a Democrat and do work for Democrats until he switched. Now it is an unspoken ethic of the political consulting business in DC to set your course on just one political party and never switch. If you did the light would shine on the political consulting business as one full of whores just out for the almighty buck. And doing so seemed to prove that truth does not matter. And if you do switch party lines it follows that you will kiss and tell (or course) due to your having had the confidences of the other side. And that said, now you can exploit the secrets and weak spots of your old party. You were a snake in the grass, so to speak, and no better than the politicians you lied to to get elected. Or the Fox News gangs who hired you to make you fair and balanced.
Nothing matters in cases of turncoat politics. Only the money. And if you don’t believe it and go behind the scenes and switch hit both ways in secrecy, then you are revealed to be a dumb-ass mercenary. With no scruples. But then who cares about scruples? Honesty? Truth? And doing the right thing?
7. Embrace Apathy
Show real indifference to issues and government. Buy into whatever the powerful propaganda money is peddling as truth. Whenever Americans just buy into what the forces in power are selling as truth the rest is easy. One old acquaintance of mine said I shouldn’t waste my life railing about the crimes and sins of the Bush family because that was just the way things were, like the way of the world, so to speak. When might is right, look out. Don’t fight it. Let the money and the power do its thing, what it was meant to do: write its own history with little regard for truth, change governments, and further human suffering on the planet. You can’t fight it, right? Not.