Friday, December 12, 2014

Why go on?

By Capt. Fogg

There's really no point, is there? I mean, I've been protesting and griping and occasionally exulting about things for over 50 years and although it sometimes seems I've been on the right side, sometimes on the winning side, the wins have been so slow to grow into anything and the losers so able to readjust their stories to define the losses as wins that perhaps it doesn't matter. Even angels have to fear the sticky epithets falling on the guilty and the innocent, fear to tread on the right and the wrong because right and wrong can't be discerned through the fog of politics of any denomination. Descriptions mean nothing when our language, our history, our morals are written in water and change with the tide. We are not saved by works, but damned at random.

I don't believe in protests any more. I don't believe in elections. I don't believe in the public's ability to pay attention, to be objective, rational or enlightened enough to do anything but make noise and make it all worse. If we actually feel we've been allowed anything like good government, it's often really that we've been thrown a bone to distract us from seeing that the chuck wagon has rolled off  with dinner. Take the amazing fact that Congress passed a budget rather than shutting down the country they pretend to love. Reading it you may feel like the patient who learns his illness is gone, but there's a disturbing spot on his lungs. The spot, the shadow, the tumor, the poison pills, are riders you won't hear about, unless the Fox decides they can blame them on Obama.

And of course the president will have to support it else we hear more of the chorus of "he's a tyrant, an emperor ignoring the will of the people" even though there can't be a whole lot of "the people" who approve of allowing a huge increase in the amount of money one can contribute to the Republican Party (up to three million for a married couple) and of allowing a return to the reckless bank chicanery with exotic derivatives that caused the recent recession. After all that protest and demonstration and passion! Should we just admit there's no way to control the course of events that involves democracy? 

And of course I've always been told that I hated America, because I opposed a whole shooting gallery of things, like the war in Vietnam or segregation or torture or the end of probable cause or forfeitures without due process. I hated America, it's said, for warning that paying  for our most expensive and lengthy war with tax cuts for the wealthy wouldn't work. I hated America for making a fuss about My Lai 4, for the abomination of HUAC. I hated it for not hating enough.

Perhaps now, with the voice of evil, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros claiming that the only reason we finally admit to illegal and immoral practices like torture, is that Obama wants you to think America isn't awesome, with the ability of  war criminals to define their crimes away, perhaps now I can decide that, yes, I really do hate this evil empire. This abomination of a country that dares screech about FREEDOM but won't let you leave, won't let you live abroad and wants to make you pay U.S. taxes even if you're a foreign national and don't live in the U.S. -- unless you're a corporation of course. I have to oppose it. I can't do otherwise.

No, the center isn't holding. 

Yes, I'm a fool for protesting, for blogging, for hoping. I can't change minds or anything else and even if I did, our country is a runaway train anyway because people do not vote, corporations do. It's a runaway train because no one can do anything without the permission of  the ruling party. Even old John McCain who lost an election because he had to pretend his masters weren't evil, because he had to run with that Alaskan millstone around his neck must hate America for trying so eloquently to hold it to a moral standard higher than the Spanish Inquisition. It brought tears to my eyes. Misery makes strange bedfellows indeed.

Are there enough of us to rebel, to force the money grabbers, the tyrants out of the government? Of course not, and not only because only the worst of us vote. We can't unite because we truly are a small-minded, self-absorbed, uncompromising, and gullible group of fractious fools, and because it's too late anyway and it's all our own fault. The enemy is us. It always has been.

(Cross-posted to Human Voices.)

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  • Oh how your post speaks for me, a near 60 yr old white guy. I used to build your houses but teenagers work for lower wages. I used to be a christian but power turned compassion and love into greed and lies. I used to believe in the Democratic Party but... I want to start a tax-free PAC to say the harshest of truths...GOP policies fuck the working-class 'n suck-off the rich in Anti-Christian, Anti-American ways. I am not a preacher but "Why do Republican pols HATE Jesus, Hate US Constitution & half the Country?" "A vote for GOP = a vote for Satan" We MUST make ReichWing heads eXplode by placing message on billboards, videos 'n online advertising while we pay ourselves good bux ta run it.

    By Anonymous NickyB, at 10:42 AM  

  • Bravo, Capt. Fogg. I've felt the same way many times since the start of the 21st century--quite possibly the most bizarre era in our entire history--and I've talked about it before, but never quite at eloquently as you. It breaks my heart.


    Now get it out of your system and get back to work. We've been doing this for far too long to quit now. We can't let those bastards win. We're the old guard and there is no new guard. We're left with a bunch of ninnies who can't be trusted to even see poor people, let alone save the country.

    It's a big job but somebody has to do it. My New Year's Resolution is to go after the Democrats who have forgotten what it means to be a Democrat. But to never let the Republicans off the hook.

    This shit has to STOP.

    By Blogger Ramona Grigg, at 10:48 AM  

  • Have you (and "The Left" in general) considered that your tactics are the problem, and not your fundamental values?

    That the reliance on methodologies that the enemy, and yes, they are the enemy, figured out how to counter decades ago are the problem?

    Or maybe the idea that actually playing to win is déclassé, based on some foolish idea that it's "beneath" you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 AM  

  • I used to really believe strongly in America and I thought we had the best country, and the best system, in the world.
    Then two things happened over the years that began to change my beliefs.
    One was the election of Reagan in 1980. The nation started going downhill from that point. The decline has never really halted since then---it doesn't really seem to matter whether the GOP or the Dems hold power.
    The second main thing that changed my view on America was that I began to do some travel overseas. I saw for myself that America simply no longer has the best, most efficient system. Compared to, say, the Nordic nations, America is positively backwards in many respects these days. It's still a great place to live if you're rich, though.
    Is it still worth speaking out? Sure---and I will continue to do so. But the fact is, the system is broken. You can make some incremental, minor changes if you send good politicians to Washington. But as long as the system is broken, the major problems will remain.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 1:31 PM  

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