Politics in the Past Tense
Can America be Salvaged?
By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which proposing a new and better version of corporate-plunder masquerading as national healthcare gets you burned in effigy for being a socialist stooge by gun-toting angry mobs.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which the same people who hate you for being a socialist simultaneously hate you for being a fascist.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which angry mobs of supposed anti-socialist demonstrators scream at their congressional representatives to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which claims that the government is going to start killing off seniors are taken seriously by tens of millions of people.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which people are all worked up about government czars, but sat silently while the Bush administration destroyed the Bill of Rights and used a thousand signing statements to write Congress out of the Constitution.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which deficits have all of a sudden become the source of enormous anger among people who said nothing about them previously, as the tax cuts for the wealthy, off-budget wars based on lies, and unfunded prescription drug Big Pharma giveaway transmogrified the biggest surplus in American history into the biggest deficit ever.
I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which politicians can rant incessantly about other peoples’ sexual morality, get caught screwing prostitutes, and then still be reelected to the highest ranks of government by trashing the president.
I could go on and on, but what would be the point? The positions of so many Americans on so many policy questions are truly inane – yes, for sure. I wish that was all that concerned me. But it all goes so much deeper than that.I doubt anyone has ever reminded us of this ongoing danger more eloquently than did the famous American diplomat, George Kennan, when he wrote: “The counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until peoples learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves – as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government – this sort of thing will continue to occur.”