this morning I suddenly grasped a horrid, sinking realization of what is going on in the Republican Party: Sarah Palin, not John McCain, is the candidate. Please bear with me as I struggle to connect the dots of my erratic thought processes...
When my Kenyan friend first came to this country on a scholarship, he said the thing that struck him the hardest is that we, the USA, have a system of law in which (ideally) any person can have access to justice, a fair trial. This doesn't exist in Kenya, he explained. And what blew him away is that he saw that the reason this justice system exists, is that we all have collectively chosen to, and continue to believe in the rule of law. At that time, I had never thought of it in that way. That the only reason the justice system exists is that we, as a society, believe and uphold the concept of law. It is, indeed, just that fragile, and once the masses cease to believe it, or are duped into believing in a facade of it, it no longer exists. His words came back to me this morning.
This morning I was reading (thank you Daily Kos)an article published by the imminent author and journalist, Chris Hedges, The Idiots Who Rule America, I began to mentally debate my usual argument with those who, rightfully so, reproach the elite oligarchy of our country for getting us into the current state of affairs. And not just the past 8 years, but perhaps the past 50 or more. And that argument is this: that there will never be a class based revolution in this country because every citizen and immigrant (legal and otherwise) is vehemently, and , as we have seen more and more lately, sometimes violently clinging to and invested in the belief that one day THAT will be ME. One day I will be a member of that rich, elite class, the American Dream, I will have it all. It's only a lottery ticket away, or.... I will invent something and sell my idea to Apple or IBM, or... I'll score a big record deal, or... I'll get on a reality show and launch a Hollywood career, or perhaps, less so now than in the past, I can work hard and catch a lucky break.
No matter how you slice it, Americans are invested in a life long fantasy of striking it rich and joining the ranks of the upper class. Even as, in the real world that exists outside our heads, the gap between the classes widens and the middle class disappears, Americans will never overthrow and abolish that very thing that they, with a fervor surpassing religiosity, fantasize about obtaining.
This is why the concept of socialism is NEVER understood in America and can be conjured up a a tool against Obama, or whatever public figure you want to demonize. The idea of socialism is always equated with communism and met with a stubborn refusal to educate oneself on the differences between the two, and thus realize what the fuck one is actually talking about. Threaten the belief in an American's fantasy world that the lifestyle of the rich and famous can soon be theirs, and you might get a knife in the back. Or a candidate assassinated.
That is why there will never be a revolution in America and the country will disintegrate, rot away from the inside while half of us write, protest and wring our metaphorical hands, the other half lays down willingly to be the stepping stones of the religious-diatribe-spouting oligarchy.. and strew our lawns with dead bear cubs, hang racist effigies, slash our tires and spit in our faces if we try to wake them up. They fight for their ignorance... to wake up would be to strip away everything they cling to- psychologically, economically, religiously and, gee whiz, you might have to actually think for yourself!
Sarah Palin, I am convinced, was picked by the party, not by the candidate. She consistently echoes the right wing extremes of the party line (and if you want to see the nastiness at heart of the Republic Party, just go check out their website) even if McCain, who himself, perhaps unconscionably foreshadowing what will come by proclaiming that he is not popular even within his own party, may try to advance a more reasonable rhetoric. People think Palin is being used by the machinery... I suggest it's the other way around. She, and the GOP, are using McCain in their desperate attempt to win and maintain control of the Oval Office. And, my friends, this incarnation of the GOP is far more dangerous than even the inept "incompetarchy" of the Bush administration.
Where Bush can be seen as bumbling, Palin is coldly calculating. The similarities are rife, however.. a faux populist identification, accomplished with fake homey accents, folksy catchphrases and an appeal to be, in Bush's case "a guy who you want to sit down and have a beer with" and with Palin, someone you invite "to sit at your kitchen table."
OK, we all know that, but here's the crux...McCain as president would be the impotent, puffed up figurehead while Palin, as Cheney, will operate the country to the party's pleasure. And all those pseudo Joe-the-plumbers will get their guns out of their closets and defend the GOP to their death, or more likely, ours.
This is my new realization... that this, yet another wholesale charade that is being promulgated by the GOP and their god-addicted, fist-pumping constituency, is rising with every hate-filled speech on the campaign circuit to maintain a divided populace and destroy all chances of real revolution in the policies and structure of our government.
My only hope is that with the election of Obama, the tide can begin to shift. Not that I am expecting any real revolutionary changes to be made, but maybe, just maybe, people can be enticed to lay aside their fear and reactionary politics and step into the light... a society of reason, discourse, intelligence, examination, compassion and justice. That is the system I choose to believe in. And hope for.