Where to begin? I am looking at the big picture that is revealed by standing back from the vast case of cultural measles that is the blogosphere commentariat, including the mainstream pundits and all the way down to that six-pack guy what’s-his-name who hasn’t yet figured out how to turn off the caps lock…Oh, right, Joe McCain (or was it his brother, Loose John McCannon?). It is a big picture traced in shit, inscribed with numbers and then filled in with colorful opinions arrayed along a continuum, as I’ve written before, on which sublime and ridiculous are mere stations on the way to its extremes.
Today, Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska’s vampire ideologue in chief, laid down the barrage of bullshit behind which she and the Scabby Old Fart that called her forth from the nether regions hope to storm the Big Beach of the US Presidency. A lot of people are going to vote in this election who weren’t even around as spectators during the time when William Ayers and the Weather Underground were engaged in covert actions as American Freedom Fighters doing what they could to put an end to the illegal American war of their time by destroying things in as flamboyant and non-fatal fashion as possible.
Of course the backers of that and every other illegal American war, including the present one, want to call Ayers’ actions terrorism at the same time they will characterize US efforts to destroy the elected governments of a dozen different countries by a wide variety of covert and overt, violent and non-violent means as “guerilla actions” by “freedom fighters”. If its us, we’re freedom fighters; if its you, you’re evil-doing terrorist scum undeserving of life, you or any of your people, because “We’re exceptional”. After all, God is on our side. Ask us.
In Sarah Palin’s looking glass world, Barack Obama is a terrorist because he shared an activist’s goal of neighborhood improvement , yet her own wanna-be “first dude” (I knew Lebowski, dude, and you’re no Lebowski!), in quite a differently oriented motivation, paid dues and attended meetings in support of Alaskan secession from the United States. Obama won’t wear a flag pin because he thinks it cheapens the flag. Todd Palin’s hero in the secessionist crowd simply hates the “damn flag”.
Then there’s the Big Maverick, himself. That label may be the truest thing we have to work with among the many bullshit claims about his heroic military record, his sterling patriotic character, his human compassionate and monumental political, economic and social sagacity. There is no reason at all to get fussy here about the definition of terms where the candidacy of Loose John McCannon is concerned, because he and his running mate, the small army of lobbyists’ running his campaign, the ideologues of the journalistic right, his big corporate backers and the whole gaga lipstick-and-sixpack mob, simply couldn’t care less about the meaning of words. A maverick is a runaway dogey, just another minor pain in a cowboy’s saddle-worn ass. McCain-Palin have the pain-in-the-ass part owned; the rest is a combination of front-office hype and wishful thinking of the most self-aggrandizing sort on McCain’s part.
Theirs is the world of marketing, where you can name an automobile a galaxy and drive it among the stars, hell, be a star yourself by electing people who are your equals, in terms of intellect, character, concern for your fellow man and the future of a dying planet. “Party on, Dude. Hell, they’ll eventually vote us out, but we’ll have fucked it up so bad they’ll have no chance to fix it, and memory length being what it is, after a couple of years we’ll slither back in, blame them for making the mess in the first place, and loot and plunder at will for a few more years”.
Martin Luther King had a dream, and I reckon I’m entitled to one of my own, and it is this: The Democrats win in 90% of their 2008 electoral contests because the voters overnight miraculously gained an extra 50 points of social, historical and political IQ. They went to the polls and put the Republican Party so far out of power that even if everyone could forget their corrupt venality during the last half of the 20th Century and the first decade of the next one, it would take a generation for them to recover. The Democrats, unwilling to forgive and forget, and cognizant at last that the people are only a little bit less pissed off at them for letting it get so bad without doing anything to slow it/them down, let alone arrest it/them, take the necessary legislative steps to end the Republican Party as it has been known in all its moral squalor. They rewrite the Constitution of the United States to countenance three, four, many political parties based on shared interests, and set about rebuilding the material, moral and social capital so horribly wasted by a two-party system that rarely rises above the level of team sports, in terms of how much good they do for the country.
It would be a new country, and a new country needs capital to make it work. Here’s my plan: Identify the wealthiest 5% of the American people. Wait to do it until steps are taken to criminalize capital flight, because the buggers always take off with the loot if they have advance warning. Once the names are known, attach the numbers that go with them, i.e. the value of their assets and incomes. Seize half in the name of the New America. Do it with smiles and toasts all around, knowing that it is mostly the same money that went missing during every Republican and too many Democratic administrations since the beginning of the Union. If it looks like we might still be a little short, make it the top 10%, wealth-wise. Seize these riches with a clear conscience, knowing that the “contributors” will still be left with more than a middle class family with two earners are able to make over the course of their entire lives.
Take steps to make of the political process something vastly more dignified than the current money-driven mud-wrestling contest to which our sound-bite, fast-food, instant-gratification, self-serving and altogether superficial lifestyle has reduced it.
Make it official that war will no longer be on the list of first things tried, where human and political relations with those outside our borders are concerned. Dismantle the military industrial complex, or at the very least, turn it over to the Quakers. De-militarize space and every other militarized part of the globe. End poverty by acknowledging that this planet and its resources are wholly and equally the property of every living creature that inhabits it. Every godless microbe, sponge, beetle, starling, cloned poodle, transvestite, fur seal, harpy eagle and harpy governor deserves its little piece of paradise here, and it should not be considered for sale. Those who would profit by the destruction of a single natural organism must be forced to make realistic calculations of the cost, and that includes everything living that must die or be displaced by development.
If that means that humankind must step down from those Hummers and StarCraft and start learning. Learning will occur by virtue of a vastly improved and bullshit-immune education system, stripped of the pedagogy of religious and other spurious expressions of natural causality, and the idea that every person has the right to become absolute ruler of anything beyond his or her own skin will be ridiculed, and if necessary, slapped around by whoever is handy as witness to such claims.
William Ayres was right to attempt to wake up the citizenry with explosions. The idea that you shouldn’t do such things to warn against criminal undertakings wasn’t motivating Joe 6-pack McCain, off bombing that power station in the middle of a civilian Hanoi neighborhood. He’s lucky all they blew off was his wing. If it was an Iranian pilot bombing Fairbanks, and the locals brought him down, the prospects of surviving for five years before being sent home to a heroes welcome, I leave readers to calculate for themselver. As far as I’m concerned, by keeping him alive, the Vietnamese showed more character than McCain did by bombing their homes, and yet, in the curious blood sport that is Republican political campaigns, he’s the one called hero.