Saturday, October 6, 2018

JEFFERSON WOULD SAY, "BURN BABY BURN"

Whether anyone likes to consider the possibility, Thomas Jefferson and more than a handful of the  Founders would say that now is a good time to take up the pitchforks and shovels and burn the place down.

Jefferson, after all, famously suggested that the best way to preserve the republic was to have a revolution, or a mini-revolution, or perhaps even just a dust-up, every twenty years or so.  America, in its slavish devotion to keeping the original document dead,  has not kept to that timetable at all, which may explain why things are where they are.

Let's be clear about the math.  It's not that one half of the country despises the other half.  It's that one quarter of the country despises the other quarter and the other two quarters don't even know what time it is, who Brett Kavanaugh is, and likely can't name fifty states, and certainly they don't vote.  Which also may explain why things are where they are, but it's perhaps wise to keep such people away from the voting booth.

But of the half that can name who is on the nickel, it's absolutely true that one half hates and despises the other half and, clearly, there doesn't seem to be any force, entity, or body that can bring the two together.  Certainly the President of the United States has no intention of doing so, as he thrives on hatred, sort of like the Emperor in Star Wars; he digs conflict and people punching the shit out of each other or cutting each other apart with light sabers.  Makes him feel powerful.  He is not a patriot for Norman Rockwell America, he is simply a degenerate monster.

How about his Vice President?  This religious nut seems to be literally missing half of his frontal lobe; he seems to cruise by on some weird auto-pilot, and for a man in the second position of power in the United States (one bullet away, anyway) he seems strangely unmoved or uninterested in the real pain or upset of real people in the country her purports to love or at least serve.  He seems to view Americans who aren't white and who don't go to his church or sit down to mom serving a Thanksgiving dinner as 'hosts' in "Westworld."

Forget the Congress.  They are, simply, stupid.  They're, at best, either the dupes for each other's chicanery,  or the chicanerous.  Mitch McConnell seems to be the brightest of the lot, which is like saying that Barney Fyfe is now the head of the FBI; in the country of the blind, the one eyed man is king.  The hapless press still fights tooth and nail to convince us that many of these people have some sort of moral underpinning, but  that's simply to keep their own circus going.  I don't see it.   Not only can they not govern effectively -- they are literally not worth the money spent on them -- they seem unable to understand what their constitutents wish and desire, even if they were able to govern effectively, which they aren't.

And the Supreme Court is a bought-and-paid for whorehouse, a partisan joke.  This isn't just because of Kavanaugh.  It headed toward carnival territory with Clarence Thomas, and I'm not talking about Anita Hill. I'm talking about his wife traveling around the country giving speeches on behalf of Tea Party and right wing extremist groups and Clarence standing right beside her.  When we decided we were okay with Supreme Court justices -- any of them -- behaving in such a partisan manner, we lost the game.  For his part, John Roberts' flagrantly partisan behavior, both in favor of conservative legislature and against, makes clear he seems to believe that following the prevailing public winds is the basis of sound law.  Citizens United earned a yes to Obamacare, in other words, which is the equivalent of "one for them, one for me" thinking.  Fair in dividing M and M's, but not judicial thought.

That's it, folks.  Those are the basic foundations of the American structure and they are all compromised.  Every single one.

And they are not just morally compromised.  They simply don't work.   The State Department isn't even staffed and the reason we don't whip in militarily in hot-spots where we might have oncewhipped in  is because the forces aren't equipped to do so.  Mothers send their children serving in combat zones bullet-proof vests, because the country doesn't provide.

Let's admit the country doesn't work.  It's broken.  It's only a matter of time before people get over their politeness and just pick up a knife, or a broken bottle, or a gun, or a flamethrower, and go utterly insane.  And our leaders would have no one to blame but themselves.

We are seeing the beginning of the end of the great American Experiment, and the fault lies with everyone.  As Obama kept telling us that we will always prevail, he helped sow the seeds of Donald Trump; as Trump crowed about getting back at his enemies, the corrupt and dumb Congress set about making it happen so they carry out the wishes of voters who believe that God wants us to torture women and bring unto this earth unwanted children who will never receive or be eligible for adequate healthcare.  The same people believe the earth is 7,000 years old and that Jonah sat in a rowboat inside a big fish.

The press, I'm afraid, has stoked and played this the entire time.  Witness Chuck Todd's pointless tweet the other day, noting that we are a divided body politic. No Chuck, it is a divided nation, and nothing will sew it back together.

The country is missing at sea now, and there isn't a Captain, or a rescue vessel in sight.  Only hatred, and crowing when you win, screaming when you lose, and no one giving a damn about the right thing to do.

The greatest of all ironies may have afflicted America.  It is not longer that small town in Vietnam that must be burned in order to save it, but the United States itself.

"My Captain does not answer,
His lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm,
He has no pulse or will
...
But I with mournful tread
Walk the deck my captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead."

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