Willful ignorance, cognitive dissonance, reductive rationalization, diversion or delusion — call your suicide pact Kool Aid whatever you want — has little sway with the Grim Reaper. Just ask Steve Jobs. He thought he could beat the Big C. He was dead wrong.
America made its bargain with unspeakable Evil and now is afflicted with the cancer of its own corruption and self-sabotaging choices.
To avoid the pain, it has euthanized its democracy.
To avoid thinking about extinction, it has embraced fantasy, magic, demagoguery.
To avoid the humiliation of moral bankruptcy, it has exalted profit over people.
To mask its treachery, it wraps itself in the flag, thumps on the Bible, and proclaims: “You’re either with us or against us.” Anyone who doesn’t fall in line is carted off to a for-profit prison.
To keep the sheeple giddy as we sashay to slaughter, it now promotes puerile pandering, grandstanding and simpleminded showmanship over a principled, thoughtful, honest and constructive national conversation.
Thus . . .
Elections have become a circus. The center ring is reserved for the ones with the shiniest teeth-whitened smiles, biggest megaphones, and most dazzling tricks.
It’s all so very entertaining, eh? What will Donald Trump say next? Ha ha ha!
America has hollowed itself out from the inside. As is embarrassingly and frighteningly evident from the current presidential campaign, the political system can now only collapse into its own vacuousness — the black hole of a sham democracy.
Trump, Cruz, Clinton, Sanders? They’re symptomatic of the times. The inflammation. The nausea. The diarrhea. The vomiting. They’re the struggling, heaving, gasping of a deathly ill body politic, telling us something’s very wrong. Quick! Call an ambulance! Vital signs are fast disappearing!
So I say . . .
Don’t yell at Hillary. Or Trump. It’s like yelling at a stuffy nose. Or a rash.
They’re just symptoms. It’s a waste if time.
We need to get to the root of the problem.
“What’s the disease? Cancer you say?”
Cancer is not a simple pathology. It’s complex and multi-pronged — which, of course, is why it so stubbornly resists a comprehensive and enduring cure.
The form of cancer which is destroying our nation is a like self-replicating Hydra which has metastasized throughout the entire infrastructure of our economy, ravaged the entire political system, leeched the media of any integrity and efficacy; it has polluted even the basic support systems of our churches and community organizations; it has completely poisoned the collective consciousness of our citizenry.
This brazen and aggressive malignancy feeds on:
1) Unchecked imperial ambitions.
2) Exceptionalist hubris and arrogance.
3) The crushing power of corporations.
4) The militarization of everything.
5) Plutocratic tyranny and greed.
Trump? Clinton? Cruz? Sanders?
Choose your symptom. As if it makes a difference.
Each has his or her own special twist. A plausible version of reality.
Adult fairy tales. Bedtime stories. Go to sleep now. Dream the American Dream.
At the same time . . .
If we listen very carefully to them, as tedious and exasperating as that often is — with their carefully-crafted rhetoric, focus-group tried-and-tested talking points, slick sound bites, patriotic pandering, tongue-wagging, finger-pointing, massaging and masking of the truth, manipulation of public perception, their smooth seductions and patronizing provocations — we do indeed see what the real problem is. It’s right there staring back at us through the rheumy, half-closed eyes of a patient on life-support, whispered, but still audible, in the phlegmy rhythm of an incipient death rattle.
Our country is very, very sick.
And yes, I include Sanders as a symptom. Here is a decent human being who is being vilified as an extremist and a socialist nutcase because he promotes such controversial ideas as: Every person has a right to a living wage, and every citizen should get proper, affordable health care. Isn’t that an obvious sign that the central nervous system of America is being ravaged by some malignant flesh-eating bacteria?
None of these candidates will talk about the disease itself.
Because none of them has a cure.
There’s only one cure.
Us. That’s right . . .
You and I.