What should a person do when confronted with the evils of his fellow man?
There was a time when I wouldn't even consider my fellow man evil just because he shared views that were different from mine. I would consider his background, education, lifestyle, any number of factors and then, with compassion and patience, begin a dialogue that might not change their mind, but at the very least we would come away with a mutual understanding of each others' views. The seeds would have been sown for further understanding and a commitment to work for the common good was forged.
That was back in the day. Because of the re-awakening of the politics of divide and conquer, of fear and exclusion, of "Us" versus "Them", those days seem to be gone forever. The days of working together for the common good are out. The politics of hate is in.
Something happened along the way that destroyed the idealism of community, of the welfare of all of our citizens.
There was a time when many Americans came together to attempt to right the wrongs of our society. We saw that our country had not lived up to it's promise of equality for all and we came together. We saw an immoral war being waged in southeast Asia and we came together. We saw how women, and their bodies, were being held in bondage by men and their government and we came together.
And while we came together, we tried to create a type of lifestyle of personal freedom, of being who you were, of living your life the way you saw fit, as long as no one else was hurt, of freeing ourselves from our corporate and political masters, of thinking for ourselves as opposed to the way we were being told to think.
In short, we tried to change the world and in many ways we did.
However, behind the scenes, the powers to be were not happy. They saw their power and control slipping away and were threatened. They saw the lifestyle we were trying to adopt for ourselves and called it evil.
So they lashed out at us, violently, hoping to subdue us.
They lashed out in Selma. In Chicago. At Kent State and many other places.
But they miscalculated in their assumption that the majority of the people were supportive of these actions. Sure, there were those scattered individuals, those who were also threatened by what they percieved to be the slipping away of their lifestyle, the disinfranchised who were all for quashing those "Damn communist hippies", but they were lone voices in the wilderness. For the most part, the country as a whole was outraged at the killing of our own.
A new strategy had to be formed. They realized they could no longer control us through force. To win, to retain control, they had to control our minds.
They also had to gather together as one the lone voices of the fearful and narrow minded among us.
Corporate think-tanks were formed. Early on, they realized the importance of grass roots organizing to bring together those fearful, bigoted, disinfranchised idealogues who felt that no one spoke for them. They realized the significance of tapping into the the resource of religious zealotry, those who felt that God created this country specifically for them and who felt that atheists, secular-humanists and yes, even Satan himself were standing in the way of their prophesied kingdom on earth.
The corporatization of the media began and the propaganda began to flow.
"The dissidents are controlled by the communists", we were told.
"The problem is them lazy welfare queens, pumping out babies to get more money from YOU", we were told.
Now the stage had to be set, slowly of course, to create the police state. Every intelligent person knows that there was no drug problem in this country, even though MANY people used drugs. Most of these people, whether they continued to use drugs for recreation or not, went on to become productive members of society.
But you can't create a police state without first creating a fear of crime within the populace. The drugs were allowed to flow to the ghettos, where the chance to ease the pain of poverty was seized upon by those in society already with little hope. The young people of the ghettos, seeing no way out of their economic situation, sought a way out by supplying the drugs to those who became dependent upon them. Territorial lines were drawn, the price of drugs sky-rocketed because of the inherant dangers of the business and those who needed the drugs could no longer afford them, so they turned to crime themselves.
The cycle had been created to slowly chip away at the rights of everyone. Not to protect us, but to control us.
The religious, theocratic wing, themselves being used by unseen hands, began their campaign of divide and conquer. On the issues of prayer in the schools, abortion, drugs, freedom of speech, America itself, we were told that if we did not fall into lock-step with them then we were less than god-worthy. Those who knew what was best for us began to rise to save us from ourselves.
The media, now almost in complete control of a few corporations, began to serve it's own interests as opposed to the public's interests. Numb the public. Entertain with propaganda promoted by the right-wing think tanks. Bottom line, ratings points and advertising dollars...these were the new faces of journalistic integrity.
The stage had been set. The intolerant, bigoted and fearful had been mobilized into a huge voting block...and vote they did.
The result has been that those who saw their power slipping away now had their hand-picked puppets in key government positions to do their bidding. The time to do major damage to our Constitution was upon them.
We've been witnessing this power grab for the last six years; slowly but surely, culminating in the Constitutional crisis we currently find ourselves in.
Let's face it, this is not about Clinton and it never has been. If he can be toppled in the process, well, that's just icing on the cake.
It's about the hate that the power structure harbours towards what happened in the sixties and early seventies, the freedoms we wanted for ourselves and our brothers and sisters. It's about revenge for what we did to their Nixons, their Borks, what we tried to do to their Reagans and Bushs for REAL crimes against the state.It's about the power they lost over us.
It's about setting precedents to weaken the separation of powers so power can be centralized in the Congress, so a parliamentary form of government can be formed to set the agenda for the rest of the country by the small, radical districts who were mobilized to give power back to those who lost it.
The weak, the scared and the intolerant did for the power structure what it couldn't do for itself through violence.
And all the while, they presented themselves as pious, as moral, as the umbrella that would include everyone.
Unfortunately for them, however, one of their own showed their hand.
In the midst of their legislative coup, a very small, pitiful man told us of "The REAL America out there."
Being the type of person who lives by the motto, "Know thy enemy", I went to the little known website of The Council of Conservative Citizens and subscribed to their "newsletter".
What I'm learning about "REAL" America is frightening. What follows are some of the thoughts of members of this group. Keep in mind that a U.S Senator has spoke before these people many times, writes a regular column for them and is on record praising their policies...and then lying about it.
Writing of Latino's in California preparing themselves for leadership roles, one member asks, "Isn't there a large fault line there that`s ready to let go?? A blessing in disguise??"
Another member observes, "I always feel a slight twinge of embarrassment for the Post editor who has to sign off on the ravings of Colbert King and those of your other "talented minority voices," whose abysmal writing and logic skills are in no way offset by their pathological victimization and wholesale distortion of fact. These talentless scribblings do, however, serve a useful purpose: they showcase the "Emperor has no Clothes" reality behind Affirmative Action policies that see incompetents and buffoons elevated into positions far beyond where their natural abilities would carry them....The CCC is part of an ongoing, accelerating phenomenon in America, whereby members of the productive classes are growing increasingly disaffected with a government that is indifferent or even actively hostile towards those who pay the bills and make the system work, while rewarding social parasites and tolerating a situation where honest people are trapped behind locks and bars while criminals roam free--I give you exhibit A, O.J. Simpson. More and more, young whites who have been force-fed the lies of multiculturalism and Political Correctness all their lives, are rejecting these lies and instead using their God-given sense of reason to draw their own conclusions about what's wrong with this society, and how to fix it...As this rotten edifice called Multiculturalism begans to collapse under the weight of its own lies, corruption, and decay, you will see us move with a speed and ferocity you never imagined."
Another member writes, "Those nannies and gardeners knew what they were doing when they came here and offered to work for half price. They won themselves a country without having to fire a shot. Think about that the next time you contemplate hiring an illegal----he may be making your laws for you very shortly."
And another writes, "Immigration must stop, but as long as voters are continually immigrants and the white man remains apathetic, the government will not and cannot stop immigration - even though it would be as easy as putting up a few barbed wire fences and no man's land, filled with landmines, in between or shooting the first few mestizos that try to cross the border. What is a white man to do? Buy a gun and pray."
A member in a position of public influence writes, "As a School Board Trustee, I have been involved in a battle over a race based club on our High School Campus-M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudentil Chicano De Aztlan). Information on this issue is available at http://home.inreach.com/charles. This is not just a problem confined to the west. God Bless America."
And finally, "Job One is waking up the Sheeple and making them see what kind of future awaits us in the Multicultural Paradise."
All cloaked in love, tolerance, patriotism and Christ...
...The REAL America.
Imagine their views about gays and lesbians, Jews and women.
The idealism of the common good has been replaced by the idealism of me, of fear, of divisivness, of not my problem I got mine, of greed and scapegoating...
I think we can and are returning to the idealism of real (not "REAL") family, moral and community values. We must because if we don't, we'll find that the prosecutorial excesses we're seeing being used against our President, the excess that is slowly becoming the norm, rather than the exception against us, excelerate to the point where we, the people, will not be able to rein in our government.
Do you doubt this? If they can do it to the President, what do you think they can do to us?
Ask Rolando Cruz and the other seventy-four members of the very exclusive club who's members have been released from death row. Innocent people all, who found themselves caught by a government whose attitude is one of win at all costs.
We must fight. We must fight heavily financed organization with our own. We must rise again and take our country back from the "moral" minority, from those who would lead us down the road of fascism while we sleep and return it to it's rightful owners...
Not for ourselves, but for everyone.
But how do we do this? How do we respond when we look evil in the eye?
This politics of hate has permeated deeply into the collective psyche of our country. I've heard otherwise good and decent people fall prey to it's lure.
"I HATE these fascists, we must stop them!"
"These damn self-righteous christians, who do they think they are? We must stop them!"
I know, because I've heard these very words of hate spill from my own lips.
Hate begets hate. It's what the right-wing has counted on and cultivated.
As we look into the eyes of evil, we must not become that which we stand in opposition of.