You Asked For It, America!
"Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of a tiger, ended up inside".
John F. Kennedy
20 January 1961
Everywhere you turn, whether it be in the papers or on the radio and television or even on the street where you live, you can't help but notice what can only be described as an assault on the working people of this country. Every night on CNN, Lou Dobbs highlights another example of "the war on the middle class" that is being waged by the Bush administration and both houses of congress - republicans and more than a few democrats. The headline in the Middletown, NY Times-Herald Record yesterday blared, "THE NEW WAR ON THE POOR". The photo on page one was of Robert and Constance McDonald of Middletown. He is an out of work auto mechanic who was disabled years ago, the result of a back injury. She suffers from congestive heart failure. They live on slightly over nine hundred dollars a month to cover all of their expences plus a meager $147.00 in food stamps. The sub-headline states that George W. Bush's new Medicaid rules have sent them and thousands of others in our area (not to mention millions across the country) into panic-stricken desperation. "I'm scared", said Mr. McDonald. "I'm scared where we're going to go. There's no money to bury us". How unspeakably sad. As perfect a comment on our sick society as I've heard in a long, long time. God bless the both of them.
Did the McDonalds vote republican in any election during the past twenty-six years? It's hard to say. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. But it's an easy bet that most of the people across the country who are now in the proccess of getting screwed by the most criminal administration in the history of human folly did, in fact, consistantly vote for the GOP. The fact that so many of them have been brain-washed by the cave men of Hate Radio and are trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to blame their current woes on "the liberal democrats" is really kind of pathetic and yet extremely funny all at the same time. You want irony? I'll give you some irony, baby!
What could one possibly say to people that willingly ignorant? What immediately comes to mind is the old cliche: You made your bed, now sleep in it, schmuck!
The only people with whom I feel any degree of sympathy are the ones who were smart enough to pay attention to affairs of state and never fell for the mindless nonsense being peddled by the far-right. As for the rest of the country - those who voted for the conservative agenda or those who didn't bother to vote at all - they're going to get exactly what they deserve. That will be the only joy to come out of the coming domestic meltdown: Watching the faithful viewers of FOX and Friends whither in shame and embarrassment at their utter stupidity. To those of you who for years have knowingly dedicated your lives to promoting the lies and the foolish propaganda of the extremists within government and without, I have but one messsage: Have no fear, we will be merciful. You'll even be allowed to retain your right to vote! Seriously! Unlike you assholes, we still believe in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
If it'll make you feel any better, I share in some of the responsibility for the current mess we're in for two reasons:
1. On election night 1980, I was a 22 year old reporter for WALL RADIO in Middletown. That was Orange County's community radio station until it was Clear Channeled to death by the de-regulation of the FCC in the early eighties. On this particular evening, I was covering the democrats. They had an open bar and I wound up drinking more than I should have. How drunk did I get? I went to the polls just before they closed and cast my vote - just as a joke, mind you - for Ronald Reagan! Yeah, I really got that drunk! It's a miracle I even woke up the next morning. I learned a valuable lesson that night: Don't drink and vote. So help me, Mitch Miller, I've been stone-cold sober every election day since.
2. In 2000 I stubbornly insisted on supporting Ralph Nader's candidacy. I had been frustrated for years at the right-ward tilt the democrats had been taking and wanted to cast a "protest vote", so to speak. At the time I felt that it would be a reasonably safe, even a responsible thing to do. As harrowing a prospect as a potential Bush presidency may have seemed to any thinking person, at the time I thought that he didn't stand a chance in hell. I mean the guy was just so gut-bustingly stupid that running against him should have been the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Lesson number two? As mind-numbingly dumb as Bush obviously is, the American people are just as clueless.
True, Bush didn't actually win the White House, per se. I'ts now obvious that they were able to steal the elections by denying the vote to African Americans in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio and New Mexico in 2004. But the fact that he was so obviously corrupt (Please read Molly Ivins on that subject) and that he had the IQ of a half-eaten box of MilkDuds should have made both of those contests a landslide for the democrats. That so huge a segment of the electorate really believed that sending this homicidal, half-witted frat boy to Washington was a good idea illustrates, beyond denial, the deplorable state of our national political awareness. It also shows the frustrating ineptitude of the once-great party of FDR and JFK. As John Lennon once said, "Nobody told me there'd be days like these".
One day - and that day is coming very soon - the American people are going to wake up from the right-wing coma they've been snoring under for the last quarter of a century. And just as they did in 1932 with Franklin D. Roosevelt, they'll send a progressive, "a liberal" to Washington to clean up the whole shameful mess.
Strange days, indeed.
Pray for peace.