Disgust and Distrust
by Richard Girard
“At the bottom of the heart of every human being from earliest infancy until the tomb, there is something that goes on indomitably expecting, in the teeth of all experience of crimes committed, suffered, and witnessed, that good and not evil will be done to him. It is this above all that is sacred in every human being.”Simone Weil(1909–43), French philosopher, mystic. “Human Personality” (written 1943; published in Selected Essays, edited by Richard Rees, 1962).
So the Bush Administration is going to finagle General David Petraeus' report on September 15, by not giving the Congress Petraeus' facts and impressions, but by giving their version of Petraeus' facts and impressions.
Anyone surprised by this revelation, please raise your hands?
Those of you who raised your hands will have to stay after class, and re-read both of Machiavelli's books, The Prince and The Republic. Yes, that includes you, Speaker Pelosi, and you, Senator Reid. You stay until you are able to pass the final exam. I do not care if you have a fund raiser to go to: the Defense of the Constitution by the Congress is more important than your re-election. In fact, if you don't pass this test, you do not deserve to be re-elected.
You want to know what types of question will be on the exam? Let me give you an example:
“1) If George W. Bush tells you the sky is blue, what color will it actually be?”
The answer, of course, is any color but blue.
Personally, if President George W. Bush told me the sky was blue, I would immediately run outside, expecting to find a swirling maelstrom of magenta and chartreuse high above me.
This piece will not be carefully researched and reasoned, with attributed facts that you can double check. It is a purely emotional polemic, dedicated to the stirring of the hearts and minds of Americans with patriotic fervor, in order to unite a majority of Americans to throw the bastards of the Bush Administration out of office.
The actions of the Bush Administration, and the reaction of the Democrats in Congress, make me wonder if the John Birch Society, and other extremists on both left and right, are correct: all of the political Strum und Drang is playacting, signifying nothing, and solely for the benefit of the masses. God, I hope not!
There are ghosts in the halls of the Capitol, who are wringing their hands in frustration, over the placid acceptance of George W. Bush's actions by the 110th Congress. Henry Clay, John Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Thaddeus Stevens, Robert LaFollette, Robert Taft, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Everett Dirksen: all of their ghosts wander the halls wailing, “Why, oh why, have you permitted this blatant seizure of power by this pipsqueak President. Have you, our successors, no self-respect, no love of your nation and its Constitution, no desire to see the Congress and its prerogatives maintained? Read your history: Rome's Senate and Popular Assemblies were reduced to impotence by Sulla, Caesar, and Augustus; reduced to ceremonial shadows of their once great power. Stop them now, for the sakes of the people and States you represent.”
There are a lot of people who believe that our descent into tyranny has gone too far; that the only way to preserve our representative democracy and its principles is to change our form of government, perhaps to a parliamentary system like Great Britain.
No government now, or in the future, can sustain its liberty, and that of its people, without the active participation of the people it represents in the government.
America's pseudo-aristocracy—the wealthiest one-half of one percent who represent old money, who exercise economic power through corporate proxies and interlocking boards of directors—has done everything it could over the last thirty-five years to alienate, to devalue, and to emasculate the majority of the American people. We now feel so powerless, so helpless, so disconnected from our government, ourselves and each other, that we doubt our ability to change our nation's direction in its march of history towards tyranny. We still have as much power as we ever had, if we would but use it!
There is a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that goes something like this, “When the people are afraid of their government, then you have tyranny; when the government is afraid of the people, then you have liberty.” It is time for the American people to make their government afraid of them once again. Not through violence, but through non-violent resistance to the tyranny that looms before us, like the iceberg before the Titanic.