Sometimes I feel like I’ve stumbled into Oz. No, not the old cable TV show about prison life, but Mssr. Baum’s fantasy world. There are times where what I read, hear, and watch does not quite seem real. Indeed, so much of what the mainstream media presents is not real. At best we get watered down reporting, diluted so the masses do not consume too much of that oh so dangerous mineral: truth. Through it all you have two groups of Americans, self-described conservatives and self-described liberals, who have actually fooled themselves into thinking they are drinking the elixir veritas.
I do not need to get too much into the conservative failings in this regard at the moment. The Tea Party and its rabid following have become walking proof of Hitler’s maxim that if you make a lie big enough the people will believe it. FEMA camps, a Kenyan President, death panels, the confiscation of our guns, and on and on with exaggerated, paranoid claims so huge they have to be true, right, because why would someone lie about that?
No, it is the little lies cutting to the bone now. The truth blurred in half-truths, false hope and taking credit where it is not due. It is both sides playing chicken with our budget, with our failing infrastructure, with people’s lives hoping it is the “other side” that is in control when we finally have to face the consequences. I have said this before but it always bears repeating, especially since a majority of those on the “left” don’t want to hear it: in matters of economy, security, and civil liberties there is little substantive difference between the two major parties.
Through it all we get your average Republican voter (ARV) blaming the President for a financial crisis he did not create. We get the average Democratic voter (ADV) giving him credit for a recovery that has only aided the wealthiest of the wealthy all while our job growth has been in the minimum wage bracket. The ARV rail about national security, forgetting that the greatest loss of American life in a single attack happened while their party controlled all three branches of our government. The ADV wax nostalgic for job growth under Clinton that our most famous horn-dog-in-chief had almost nothing to do with as he sat back and watched an emerging technology (the world wide web) lift our economy.
Worst of all is the biggest, quietest lie, the one we all know, the truth hidden in plain sight: the idea that any of these guys fight for us. Even the “good” ones are so beholden to a system that rewards those that raise the most campaign funds that they have no time to do the work of good government. Most of them are bought and paid for, by the same people who have bought and paid for the news outlets that are supposed to protect us from them. They control the dog and pony show that American politics has become, and the worst part is, we all know it, and yet we sit back, watch and beg to be entertained by these clowns.
I was wrong to compare the situation to Oz. These people are not hiding behind a curtain. They sit right out, front and center for us all to see. They are the ringmasters manipulating the circus of public awareness and opinion and we are all eager to jump from our seats and through their hoops. We are the audience and the show and we are being played, mostly by ourselves.
- Prophet for a Dying Empire / Chalmers Johnson (thepeoplesvoice.org)
- The identifying feature of fascism (avoiceformen.com)
- Is Stephen Colbert America’s Aristophanes? The State of Satire Today (cameronafzal.wordpress.com)
- Guest Commentary: We Can Not Trust the Koch’s with our News (thefloridasqueeze.com)