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JOE KENNEDY and PRESCOTT BUSH:
I was born in 1943 when America, my father included, was fighting the Nazi fascists from Germany. There were many Americans who agreed with the fascists, Joseph Kennedy and Prescott Bush included. Kennedy tried to keep America out of the war. Bush helped finance the Nazis. But democratic America, Roosevelt America defeated the fascists in that war – temporarily as it turns out.
The Nazis came home in our baggage. A former SS colonel named Werner Von Braun developed our space program. The SS colonel who ran Hitler’s Gestapo taught our nascent CIA about domestic surveillance, interrogation, martial law, and chemical/psychological techniques. In the meantime, we fought in Korea, keeping the military-industrial complex robust and vitalized (strange word applied to death-dealing), and practiced spying on ourselves – McCarthyism – a fascist witch-hunt for “commies,” undermining our confidence in our nation and its democratic institutions.
We next followed nine years of imperialistic colonial French mis-rule in Indochina to inflict seventeen years of violence on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, destabilizing and radicalizing Southeast Asia more than the Japanese had during World War 2. Then as now, the CIA and FBI further brutalized and contaminated domestic America in defense and furtherance of a generally Republican anti-peace message that was as big as the wallets they were filling from war profits.
AMERICA LOSES HER WAY:
Our practice has consistently been to create more powerful and harsher means to oppress and suppress, maim, or kill opponents. Might has triumphed over right and reason, but that makes us neither mighty nor bright. We are damned bullies, forcing our bully will on many victims. That is what America stands for today: death not life, war not peace, greed not generosity.
The Bush administration, and now beyond to Obama, with their well-practiced agents and provocateurs, served the darkest human motives, not the clean wholesome light of genuine American democracy. Justice, liberty, and equality aren’t significant words in the Republican vocabulary or principles in Republican governance. We have been subverted from within, hollowed out by a corrupt corporate power structure to serve its war machine in the interest of corporate profits. If we want any hope to rise above and beyond it, we must vote for progressives and reclaim this country for the babes who wait in mothers’ arms for fathers to come home from our latest unholy war (s).
The present situation in the United States echoes ancient Rome in important ways: A successful representative republic, proving wildly successful in war and conquest, grows rich and plunges into conspicuous consumption. In time the citizen army is converted to a professional military (a professional army owes allegiance to its paymaster, not necessarily to the nation). Beauty is heavily involved in politics and publicity (experience means less than height). King-sized constructions attest to individual power and glory. The poor get to see the lavish spread, but may not partake of it. The toll of maintaining luxury is its undoing. The general domestic economy weakens with foreign trade, although the rich stay rich and get richer. The dispossessed flock into cities and live on a diminishing dole, manipulated by politicians. The conservative legislature is indifferent to the people’s plight. The bureaucracy and the military rule all.
How did it happen? How did it get so bad? Who is hurting? The list includes everyone except the top 1% of the nation’s richest and most privileged citizens. The rich characterize any protest of this imbalance as “class warfare,” although they’ve been waging class warfare on the poor and middle class (the rest of us) since Franklin Roosevelt died. The Robber Barons have succeeded in unraveling the New Deal, beginning with the 23rd Amendment, which limited presidents to two terms: the “first stomp on FDR’s grave,” my father called it. Dwight Eisenhower’s administration put “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance (clearly in violation of the constitution), tried to give Social Security away to private insurance companies, and the Tennessee Valley Public Power Authority to private utility owners.
Thirty years ago the conservatives began to advocate for the end of public education on the grounds that it’s undemocratic to mandate school attendance. No system is pure on this side of the grave; our society considered it essential to educate all the people so that they can intelligently participate in their own democratic governance, and avoid being swindled by demagogues. The John Birch Society bulletin advised its readers to “join your local P.T.A. and take it over.” Fascists twist democratic institutions and values to gain their selfish ends. They advocate for state control of women’s bodies; control the body, control the mind (women vote too liberally). They have besieged health, safety and environmental regulations for over 50 years, but don’t ask them to do a cost-benefit analysis on outrageous and endemic corporate welfare.
END GAMES and WISHFUL THINKING:
The end game for Bush wasn’t a fortuitous crusade against terrorism, but to bankrupt and reduce the United States government to the influence of a third world nation. Thereafter, the plutocracy will rule. Bush undid the hard-won social and legal advancements of our free and equal society. He dismantled the American Dream. He betrayed the Constitution, reinforcing the United States as a warmongering plutocracy that absolutely corrupts the democratic republic.
Republicans don’t have any kind of mandate for their radical right wing agenda. They brought us the Second Great Depression. Republicans are all alarm and greed. The Big Thieves came into our homes as we slept and threaten to never leave. We shall be their economic and social slaves, although we will be called “the public,” “the people,” “average Americans,” whatever. The dream turns into nightmare.
The pinnacle of human achievement can’t be George W. Bush. “What a low pinnacle,” my wife says. “He gives new meaning to the American concept that anybody can become president.” They don’t even have to be elected. He came to power in interesting fashion: a virtual coup overturning the popular will, based on a very tenuous partisan split vote of 5 to 4 in the Supreme Court – buttressed by legal arguments so weak that even first year law students would blush to use them.
Be well advised, the next election is in November. Cast your ballot for progressive candidates. Turn your back to the greed and close your wallets to them. Save the dream. Defend the republic. Kick the sick twisted bastards out.
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