American ended when a brilliant made told the truth and a silly movie line, powerfully portrayed, proved prophetic yet again: we cannot handle the truth. No, even worse, we don’t want to know the truth, to speak the truth, to hear the truth and certainly not to look for the truth. In fact, we want to work as hard we can to bury it quickly and completely anytime it wrenches its suffocating head back above the surface.
Of course Barack Obama’s academically, sociologically, and psychologically well-accepted comments on the once vast, mighty and heralded and now used up, downtrodden and former American industrial middle class is not what ended America. The simple utterance of the wide understanding that many if not most of these people are bitter, frustrated, angry, and desperate did not bring our once great and now also former truth-seeking polity to its demise. We have been long and steadily accelerating down this destructive path. But the reaction by the highest, so-called leaders of our nation and our once exemplary now former free press laid bare the rot disintegrating our once amazing and now former core ability to respond to and overcome seemingly anything: No problem can be solved when the problem itself and its causes remain hidden.
Sure, problems can go away by themselves, like a cold or a business-cycle recession, without knowledge about their causes, but they cannot be actually be solved without knowledge. And some problems will not just go away. Problems like the long-term, systemic inability of good people to provide a decent, dignified life for their families. The only alternative to actually solving this problem is oppressing and repressing the people. I believe the vested power structure signaled this weekend they have no intention of ever moving away from their strategy of duping these people into the false belief the powerful seek a solution, thereby exposing the intention to oppress and repress the masses as needed. The end of America. (And, yes, no matter how much you deny this truth, Hillary Clinton, as much as John McCain, is an agent of the vested, moneyed, religious fundamentalist, oppressive class.) (Oh, and yes, Naomi Wolf has already coined the term "End of America" and you HAVE to read "The End Of America: A Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot)
About the same time a brilliant man was telling the truth about the betrayal of once hard-working Americans who want only and honorably to get back to working hard and earning a decent living, other highly powerful men were telling different truths, dangerous compact-breaking truths about catastrophic, unnecessary wars and orchestrated torture.
AND NO ONE CARED!
General David Petraus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker went before Congress to obfuscate the awful truth about the occupation of Iraq and its impact on our nation and the world. As Frank Rich eloquently expressed in the Sunday New York Times, America shrugged and changed the channel, as Big News looked for every excuse it could to show something, anything else. America has been shrugging off the illegal, yes criminal, Iraq horror for at least a year now. Rich calls it working through the phases of grief to acceptance. I call it sinking into a feeling of resigned impotence and numbing that pain with our innumerable potential distractions.
Then our President on Friday admitted to being a war criminal. Yep. If you missed that, it was because you were supposed to. President Bush admitted he knew key, Cabinet level members of his administration had approved of using torture on captured foes and Bush approved of their approval. This of course violated the Geneva conventions, which are also American law, and who knows what else, including every measure of morality and human decency and even the teachings of Bush’s own purported guide, Jesus of Nazareth. But it received so little air time and print space that I am guessing most Americans don’t even know he said it, or don’t think it’s important because – you know what’s coming – it received so little air time and print space.
What was covered instead? The brilliant man telling the truth about the American working class, but not covered as a story about truth in America or as an analysis of the bases and implications of the situation. Instead, these words were solely and breathlessly covered as a huge, campaign-destroying mistake, a flat-out insult, an elitist judgment (by judgmental elites), and an absolutely and incontestably wrong and mistaken assessment of America.
This was the reaction, of course, because Baracka Obama’s truth-telling presents a serious threat to the rich and powerful. The solution to the problem he identified is creating a more equitable and just economy and society. Which sounds wonderful, unless you are at the very top and realize that bettering society overall must, by definition, reduce your share of the pot. Bush’s truth and the truth of the Iraq occupation present another type of threat, to the viability of this and future opportunities to get rich(er) and more powerful from wars.
Obama’s dangerously correct words presented the real elite an elegant solution to both obstacles to plutocracy. Begin a relentless, scorched-earth media campaign to discredit the words and man and maintain the assault, at all costs to journalistic integrity, as the ONLY story covered by Big News and talk radio for as long as possible, or at least through the Sunday morning talks. After that, the few days will have passed now deemed necessary to make "old news" out of the revelation that the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA committed international war crimes, and the admission through weasling that our illegal war in Iraq is not only a grave and horrendously deadly mistake, but also a national-security failure, a bloody, endless stalemate, and a destroyer of our military.
Yes, the United States of America still exists, just as a house can stand long after dry rot or termites have eaten away its sustaining structures. A fundamentally weakened house or nation, however, cannot survive a storm or a deep national crisis. The truth is we face multiple deep national crises, magnified by world crises. You know what they are, and the moneyed interests who pull all the levers are not about to allow themselves to suffer. They will do what needs to be done to push the suffering onto the masses, and keep the masses ignorant of our true problems, their causes and their very simple solutions. This is the whole key to retaining power, privilege and wealth at the top without caring at all what happens below.
So to quickly review:
We have poor young men ordered to fight wars by rich old men who did not fight when young, wars to which the rich are not asked to contribute, and from which they are allowed and abetted to profit wildly;
We have the executive and his appointees sitting above the reach of our and the world’s laws;
We have the systematic extraction of shared assets from the masses to the wealthiest and the accompanying propaganda of religion, myth, fear, false promise, and the savior of vapid entertainments and cheap indulgences to placate and distract them, while using the machinery of the state to steadily disempower them, spy on them, erode and violate their rights, and imprison and even kill them if needed;