"Either we will have an awakening, or we will have a wake."
-- Swami Beyondananda
Every year on this date, the "impropaganda" machine reminds Americans why we've been enlisted in an "endless war". This year for the first time, I sense that a critical mass of the heretofore-uncritical masses, aren't buying it. The sleeping giant called "we the people" has begun to awaken.
The events of September 11, 2001 sent a shock wave of pain through our body politic, and in that most vulnerable state we acquiesced to a de facto Orwellian police state. The name "Patriot Act" reeks of newspeak and double-think, and now finally enough of us have come to realize that it is indeed a patriot "act" -- what our friend Caroline Casey would call a "toxic mimic" of the real thing.
Grace works in mysterious ways.
This year has seen the revelations about NSA spying, and one example after another of an unchecked and unbalanced corporate state riding roughshod over the will and interests of the people. Disillusioned progressives watched as Obama has supported corporate rights to profit at any cost, over public welfare. The banks are in charge of our economy. Monsanto is in charge of agriculture. And after some rhetorical fancy dancing, it's likely that Obama will give the Democratic Party's stamp of approval to fracking too, putting gas and oil firmly in charge of energy policy.
Last November, I wrote that re-electing Obama would move the upwising forward, and boy was I right. As Swami jokingly yet seriously put it, "I'd rather have positive change in small increments than negative change in large excrements."
Obama's election, and his continued loyal service to the corporate state, has forced both progressives and conservatives to reexamine their ideology and confront their programming. Conservatives, who had long been counted on to patriotically support any military effort, are in cognitive dissonance because they don't trust the commander-in-chief or the federal government.
And in spite of Ron Paul being marginalized by the corporate Republican power structure, his ideas have reverberated throughout the Republican mainstream. Awakening conservatives are asking, "Who exactly is our military protecting, and why?" They are rightly alarmed at the nationalization of local police forces, and they are as concerned about wars of empire, GMO foods and America becoming an incarceration state as progressives are.
An emerging new alignment was vividly illustrated by the recent vote on defunding the NSA's collecting of phone records. A coalition of progressive Democrats and libertarian conservatives came within seven votes of passing that resolution in the House.
The same thing happened with the plan to bomb Syria, only this time the overwhelming opposition from people across the political spectrum has forced President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to head straight for the only diplomatic port in the storm. If good fortune is with us, we will be able to "save face" without losing our ass.
The Little Boy Who Cried Wolfowitz
For the first time since September 11, 2001 the energy in the body politic seems to have shifted from emergency to emerging and seeing. The Irony Curtain is becoming transparent indeed, and it may not be long before an awakening body politic has a Lone Ranger and Tonto moment. You've probably heard the story about the Lone Ranger and Tonto being caught in an ambush. "Well, Tonto," says the Masked Man, "we're surrounded by Indians. Looks like we're done for."
And Tonto says, "What you mean WE, kemosabe?"
In fact, that moment may be here now. As the neocons and neo-libs have beat the drums to bomb Syria, Americans have been saying en masse, "What you mean WE?"
The bipartisan coalition of "cons" have cried Wolfowitz one time too many, and we are no longer sheepishly following or swallowing. And with this awakening, let's part the curtains on a truly jaw-dropping statistic. For twenty points and a chance to compete in the enlightening round, what percentage of Americans believe Congress deserves our trust and confidence?