Saturday, May 26, 2007

The angry American on Memorial Day weekend

Looking at my recent postings to the blog I’ve noticed that my tone has been decidedly pessimistic, cynical and angry. By nature I am none of those things. Am I wary of those with big white smiles, fake folksiness and promises that they hold the answer to our ills as a nation? Most decidedly, I am wary. But I’m not pessimistic, cynical or angry as a man. I do have faith in my fellow man, maybe not all of them but I believe that by and large most people are good people, who try to do the right thing and be their brother’s keeper.

What makes good people make bad decisions? For this century to date, fear mongering has clouded our judgement. We are hammered with propaganda and the hard sell on a daily, hourly and by the second basis. Watch TV and you’ll be confronted with angry people yelling that death and depravity lurk ahead on the dark path. In between angry fake rants we are told to buy, buy, buy and the medium’s masters know how to use psychology to make us feel unloved, unwanted and unsuccessful if we don’t plunk down the plastic for this or that.

It’s no wonder we make stupid choices and can’t understand why we made them to begin with. Critical thinking is an obscenity in the current environment and thinking critically will get you ostracized. We are a nation that was founded by radicals and free thinkers of who’s descendants we have become pliable clay, afraid of our own shadow and the common sense of a child in the throes of the “Terrible Twos”.

I detest the hypocrisy and lies of the powerful leaders of the evangelical movement in this country, but I have known more good Christian men and women who do not deserve such God forsaken leaders, than you can imagine. Growing up and living in the south puts you in very close quarters with the most decent, devout and faithful you can imagine, those for whom Wise Blood is an apt description, if I may shamelessly steal from the great Flannery O’Connor.

If James Dobson had to live like and with the common mill worker, who is trying to stay afloat and survive, he would never make it because he doesn’t have the real faith in God that it would require. And chartalins like him manipulate the most vulnerable among us. Dobson is a truly evil little demon who has and will continue to poison our waters. He and his ilk plant the seeds of hate, cruelty and apathy for God's children.

But I still have faith in the men and women who live in small communities in the hills and valleys of Appalachia, who struggle with faith, temptation and doing the right thing every single day. I have no faith in the creatures that would take advantage of those good folks. Faith and empathy for your fellow man are traits that the sociopathic leaders of the evangelical movement only understand as tools to enslave their flock.

I still have faith in some people running for public office because they feel that they can actually change things and make the system fair, and expose those who control that system for the evil crooks they are. Those people are so hard to find today, but they are out there.

How can a political leader maintain their office when raising funds for elections is more important to them than voting and discussing a war in the middle east, as John McCain has recently shown with his absence from the hill? I feel that if the John McCain of 1967, the one who survived the Forrestal flight deck fire, only to be shot down and tortured as a POW, would be sorely disappointed in the John McCain of 2007. 40 years have shown the John McCain of 2007 that the sweet teet of public office bears power and money for those who can maintain their false image.

With the way our society and the world itself has evolved, we have no more use or need for the way things have been, just because that’s the way they always have been. We, the people of this nation, have evolved and changed, our leaders have devolved. And only a few have the bravery and intelligence to admit that basic truth of the matter.

To steal once again from another great southerner, who understood the human nature and faith better than our political, religious, business and economics leaders, till things get better, my posts will be in black.

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