"I'm looking for my car keys," is the reply.
"Oh," says the friend, "you lost your car keys in the parking lot?"
"No, I lost them in the bushes over there."
"Well then, why are you looking here?"
"Because there is more light in the parking lot."
In my view, mainstream progressives are unwilling to confront the darkness at the heart of the American empire. They rail at the manipulators over at Faux News, as they fail to recognize a very inconvenient truth: they are lying to themselves. Now let me clarify what I mean by the "darkness" at the heart of the American empire. I don't believe America or Americans are "evil." Very likely the vast majority of our public servants, even those who serve in high office, are largely well-intentioned. However, by ignoring the proverbial elephant in the living room, they empower the sociopathogens who thrive in darkness.
After World War II, the American public entered into a "don't ask, don't tell" agreement with our government. We the people promised not to ask what our government is doing to "protect" us, and the government promised not to tell us. In the 60+ years that have followed, we have empowered a secret government with a "black budget," with no accountability whatever. If there is one universal law of political science worth remembering, it's Lord Acton's notion that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
America's Founding Fathers understood this more than a century before Lord Acton uttered those words. That's why the Constitution provides for balance of powers. But when you empower a power that has no accountability, and no counterbalance, you are essentially writing a blank check to tyranny. Global climate change notwithstanding, THIS is the hugely inconvenient truth that so few "progressives" are willing to face. Why? Because facing it would require inordinate courage and spiritual fortitude.
Consequently, most progressives accept the taboos against talking about fixed elections or the mysterious collapse of Building Seven. Just recently, the Huffington Post very quickly pulled a post by Jesse Ventura that questioned the official 9/11 story.Where was the protest? Nowhere, that's where. With the exception of three notable progressive journalists -- Mark Crispin Miller, Rob Kall of OpEd News and Peter Phillips of Project Censored, the rest of progressive journalism prefers the comfort of calling these inconvenient possibilities "conspiracy theories." My definition of conspiracy theory is, "something which, were it true, you would be unable to deal with it."
Hence, we have mainstream progressives searching for the keys to change in a well-lit parking lot, instead of the dark and thorny shrubbery. They may find ways to temporarily feel better, but ultimately they will continue to hold the current dysfunction in place, while continuing to hold on to the "moral superiority" of believing in change, while not being willing to do what it really takes to have that change.
I'm sorry if that sounds harsh.
But true transformation comes from confronting the lies we tell ourselves, rather than on our outrage over the lies the other guy is telling. We have very little power of the latter, and a world of power over the former.
And Now ... For the Good News: The Law of 75
The good news can be found in a story my friend and colleague Patricia Sun told me a number of years ago. She was scheduled to speak at a "new age" bookstore, and when she arrived she found four fundamentalist Christians picketing outside the store. Patricia told the storeowner she was going to speak to them.
"Oh," the storeowner said, "you can't talk with those people. Don't waste your time."
Nonetheless, she went out to converse with the picketers. After ten minutes, three of the four put down their signs, hugged Patricia, and said, "You're saying just what Jesus said!"