11/19/2005

America the Great!

Are we at an historical turning point? Is it possible that the base and obvious criminality of the Bush Republicans will be enough of a lesson to us to cause us to make the fundamental changes in our political system that need to be made in order for us to survive as the democratic nation dreamed of by the Founders?

We spend ten times on "national defense" what we spend on social services such as college loan guarantees and food stamp programs--aid that middle and lower class citizens depend on for their survival and their future happiness (pursuit of; see Decl. of Indep.). We've known about the pernicious quality of the "national defense" myth for years now, and how the gaping maw of militarism has swallowed trillions of dollars since World War 2 while hospitals, schools, libraries, and police and fire departments all seem to be caught up in a never-ending scramble for funding just to keep the lights on.

And we have come to accept that as normal state of affairs rather than the grand, tragic mistake of social priorities that it is. "I dream of the day when schools have everything they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a new bomber."
We have become enamored of war and militarism, but Bush and the Republicans have taken that misguided love, turned on their own kind, and ground it into the dirt of their venality and cronyism--and in doing so may have inadvertently exposed the myth of national defense for what it is, which is something that modern, civilized people like America should reject and despise.

The curtain is being pulled back on what "national defense" really means. It means profiteering by defense contractors and a revolving door from the Pentagon and other public offices to private industry and back again. It means the diversion of precious engineering and manufacturing resources away from socially beneficial ends and toward wasteful and destructive government programs such as nuclear weapons development and the Strategic Defense Initiative, a multi-billion-dollar research-and-development program so ludicrous and anachronistic as to be laughable were it not tragic.

It means violence against innocent people who happen to get in the way of the grand designs of corrupt and deluded policy makers. And it means a lust for war on the part of Americans, which is how it most harms us--in our souls--since we also manage to conveniently locate far from our own shores (and therefore our eyes, ears, and bodies) the armed conflicts we cause to take place.

The image of America has changed from the Great Liberator of the 20th Century into the self-centered bully, insisting, all evidence to the contrary, that our way is the right and only way and not giving a shit--indeed, becoming offended and defensive--over what other people may believe in contradiction.

How dare they disagree with America, the Greatest Nation of All Time? (Indeed, time stops with us.) We are the repository of freedom! You are puny and irrelevant! We alone defeated the dark forces of fascism in World War 2 and we alone stood fast against Communist totalitariansm while the rest of you swine cringed in terror and would have been engulfed were it not for the bravery and steadfastness of your American protector.

And don't you forget it.

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