#357 – Dick Bernard: Lurching towards catastrophe

My opinion: some kind of agreement will be cobbled together to avoid a partial government shutdown tomorrow. That won’t solve the problem, only delay what seems inevitable: the gradual but inexorable slide of the U.S. to at minimum mediocrity. As a society we are “doing stupid”, as a Forrest Gump might say. You don’t translate coffee klatch conversations among people of like minds into good policy for a complex country. But that seems to be what we’re about.
Actually the game plan of the radicals who pretend to be Republicans is very, very simple. It plays out over and over and over again.
1. Refuse to compromise, and when you do compromise, deny that you compromised at all.
2. Substitute belief for reason, and wrap your belief in the label “truth”. Scoff at Science. (My favorite in this regard comes from my own Catholic Church which has devised something that they call “objective truth” which is truth so purified that there can be no legitimate alternative realities. “We have said it; thus it is so”. Of course, it is only the Church’s opinion about the “truth”, but nonetheless it is portrayed as the genuine, real truth.)
3. If something goes right, take credit for it, even if you had nothing to do with it; if it goes wrong, blame the opposition.
4. Demonize the opposition; canonize your heroes….
5. Never, never, never get off message.
And on and on and on. When it comes to propaganda, one only needs your own core principles and the gall to attempt to impose them ruthlessly. I have such a tip sheet, used against myself and my organization almost 40 years ago. It is a single typewritten sheet, one side, double space. You don’t need 300 pages of explanation to lie. You just need the gall.
Just today came two items, separately, which seem to fit this conversation. An e-mail came from a retired friend who lives in Madison WI and has been involved in the protests there. I knew she lived there, but not that she’d been involved in the demonstrations.
An hour or two earlier, in today’s U.S. mail, came five pages from William L. Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” captioned “THE SERFDOM OF LABOR”. (See it here: Shirer 3rd Reich001 ) The person who sent this to me is a retired teacher who grew up in Nazi Germany (born 1926), lived through the war in Germany, and came to the U.S. in 1947. She says this section of Shirer’s book perfectly describes what happened in the pre-War Nazi Germany she lived in, and she sees the same happening here with the assorted moves to kill union influence through assorted means.
Of course, the “rule”, now, is to never ever compare what is happening here to what happened in Nazi Germany. Take it from our German friend. Take what is happening here very, very seriously. It can indeed happen here. It is only a slight modification of the modus operandi that kept the Nazis in power till their country was destroyed.
There is a famous descriptor of we rubes which goes: “There is a sucker born every minute“. Too often, in this media age, this is true. We are so easily manipulated in working against our own interests.
We are in control of our own destiny only if we do the requisite hard workl.
And where we start is to begin to question the politicians who we freely elect, particularly those who represent us in Congress and State Legislatures – they are the ones closest to us.