Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take Texas

By Capt. Fogg

Sometimes I don't know whether to keel over dead from laughing at the people insisting I think Barack Obama is a Messiah and trying to force that sour confection down the throats of Democrats or to have a fatal stroke yelling at them about how they've been trying to shove messiahs of their own up the other end.

Of course, America is always looking for a hero and wants one so badly we've made heroes out of some strange characters, but one man's hero is always the other man's Devil and nowhere more so than in the USA. Did FDR save us from complete economic collapse and a likely shift away from faith in the Capitalist economic model, or did he make it far worse because he was in fact only a puppet: like Truman and Eisenhower, a Quisling serving his Soviet masters? As I said, one man's Messiah is the other guy's Satan. At least he and Ike and Truman didn't succeed in handing over the reigns to Stalin or Kruschev -- or did they? It depends on the definition of Communism and what looks like a free market to one person is obviously not to another. There will be no reconciliation until long after it becomes moot and the US is a distant memory to be made into an object lesson for propagandists yet unborn.

At any rate the longing for some kind of return to a past that didn't happen as described is alive and thriving like bacteria in some Texas bus station men's room and making it impossible for us to be a real nation rather than the loose confederacy of Hobbsian States they envision. Take Texas - please.

Newsweek says that the tenacity of Texas Governor Rick Perry tells us much about America in the age of Obama. I think it tells us a lot about America in the age of James Buchanan; divided irrevocably on issues that now seem morally and legally obvious to most of us.

The US in the mid-19th century was a cultural hodgepodge, filling up with immigrants speaking many languages, publishing papersk and supporting theaters and associations using German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Czech, French, and other languages. Governor Perry thanks that "hodgepodge" sapping our "moral strength" today. It's strange to behold when in my lifetime civilization was on the brink of collapse because of the far right Utopian dream of ethnic and linguistic "purity." It's a strange kind of freedom that is allowed only to people of certain ethnic and religious backgrounds, but Texas is a strange kind of place.

Governor Perry worries that our country is run by government bureaucrats, instead of the Confederate model where it was run by wealthy landowners, and the current Republican model where free elections don't legitimize a candidate they don't like and where the country should be run by a confederation of wealthy Corporations and perhaps officially sanctioned religious leaders.

Am I making unfair comparisons to pre-Civil War era conditions? Keep in mind that Perry, when asked by Newsweek to explain his Capitol Steps talk about secession, only mumbled about long term debt and "what this administration is doing from an economic standpoint."

No, the government is the enemy unless the government is the enemy: "wants to be the epicenter and one size fits all... we have very, very different ideas about the structure of this country and how it should work," and as far as I can see, they're pretty much the same as those of Jefferson Davis and bear an uncanny similarity to the ideas of many America royalists who quite liked the state religion and its forced conformity, heresy laws, witch trials, and all.

"I don't care how hard you work. We are going to take more," are the words he puts in the mouth of the Democratic Demon. He needed to since it wasn't there in the real world he's such an alien to: the world where the Yankee president is going to take your slaves and let them whistle at white girls and where Obama is gonna take your guns even though he ain't. The Yankees are gonna make it hard for us to use public schools to teach far out fringe conjectures about a 6,000 year old universe and magic creation of men out of mud. Of course, if we taught them that Allah made us out of a blood clot, you'd soon hear the tune change from their "god given right" to teach our children to another assumed right to demonize other people's rights and lie about the data.

So how do you argue with someone for whom the truth is like silly putty; where you need absolute proof of some things and sneer about the entire idea of proof or even ignore evidence with other things: someone who believes in absolute authoritarianism yet decries absolute authoritarianism in democracy? How can the smug insistence that huge debts and massive borrowing is just fine unless it's done by Democrats?

You don't.

How do you argue with someone who insists the Depression started with Roosevelt and not with Hoover's huge tax cuts: someone who insists that FDR's spending didn't end or ameliorate the depression but admits WW II did because of the huge government deficit spending? How can you make him tell you why we should be more patient about seeing results from trillions spent to do unnecessary nothings in Iraq than about seeing a complete economic turn around after 15 months. How do you argue with someone who will defend unto death, or at least until the Thorazine kicks in, that contradictions and unanswerable questions weaken an argument, that freedom is all about ethnic and religious purity, that orchestrated demonstrations of inchoate anger are an acceptable way of petitioning for redress of grievances and undoing elections?

You don't and I can't and I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of listening to How Obama has squelched our freedom of speech, how the midwest meteorite and the earthquake in China are the result of health insurance reform and other totally imaginary, seditious things, many of which are the deeds of previous administration and even supported by Conservative leaders. I'm disgusted to live in a country that allows itself to be eaten alive from the inside and won't lift a finger to help itself.

This won't end well, if it ends at all. It won't end as long as we entertain ourselves with new and ever changing diatribes of just what liberals do and just what liberals did and just what liberals are. No one but the innocent are ever burned as witches, but moreover, we'll never be able to be constructive, we'll never be able to have a democracy that works and I have to believe that the people behind this insanity know it quite well and wouldn't have it any other way.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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