GOOD AMERICANS -- DEMOCRACY'S GRAVEDIGGERS?
The one thing -- the only thing -- that George Bush has ever done successfully is campaign. That boy sure loves to play dress-up. He's in his element strutting around in various costumes, while smirking and blinking before carefully vetted audiences whose members sign loyalty pledges and are conditioned to cheer and wave their flags as he gives the same smoke-'em-out-and-kill-'em-all stump speech over and over. And over again.
Bush loves to talk about his bold vision and to brag about the options piled on the table, and his disciples love to hear it. Like their counterparts in 1930s Germany, these vacuous, grinning, paper-mache masses are loyal, patriotic and obedient.
They are the "Good Americans." And they also like to play dress-up. Some don robes of self-righteousness and arrogantly tout religion over christianity. Their wrathful God is back in the driver's seat, and they make no effort to conceal their disdain for His wimpy Son, Jesus, whose liberal teachings are good for nothing but making government larger, creating an expanding population of welfare bottom feeders, and cutting into the profits of hard-working entrepreneurs.
They believe that Bush is their ticket to taking over the country. Gary Potter, the scary president of Catholics for Christian Political Action says when the Christian Majority is in charge, "there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals." Potter promises that "pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil."
Good Americans come in all shapes and sizes. Some dress up in military uniforms and wear stars on their shoulders, like Lt.Gen. William G. Boykin, who firmly believes that God personally lifted Bush up and set him down in the Oval Office. God's will, like Bush's will, is immovable, unshakable; therefore, according to Boykin, we might as well just relax and enjoy whatever Bush dishes up. "You must recognize that we as Americans saw a miracle unfold with the election of George W. Bush," Boykin said in a speech after we attacked Iraq. "Whether you voted for him or not is irrelevant. The fact is he is there today, not only to lead America, but to lead the world, and that is what he is doing..."
Others, many of them Democrats, skitter fearfully through the halls of Congress, pretending to represent the people who elected them, yet -- also like their 1930s German counterparts -- they try to get along by going along. In a pathetic attempt at self-preservation, they try to gain attention and power by cooperating with Bush rather than by opposing him.
They have worked hard to earn the right to be called Good Americans. After 9-11, all it took was a couple of anthrax letters and they fell over each other in their haste to sign the un-American Patriot Act without bothering to read it. The Patriot Act mirrored its 1933 German counterpart -- A Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State -- and stripped Constitutional protections from the people such as:
Free expression of opinion. . .Freedom of the press. . .Right of assembly and association. . .Right to privacy of postal and electronic communicatiions. . .Protection against unlawful searches and seizures. . .Individual property rights. . . and States' right of self-government.
In the Bush either-or, black or white world, it makes sense that those who are not Good Americans are Bad Americans. They're the ones who watched in horror as Bush and his Good American Congress stripped the safety net from under our poor, our homeless and needy; deprived our elderly of proper health care, utilities and nutrition; withheld education opportunities from middle- and lower-class children; lifted virtually all restrictions on this nation's safe food supply and safe medicines; trashed the environment, turned our wetlands and virgin areas into pig sties; and blocked all avenues of recourse for citizens to receive justice through the courts, to include the relief of bankruptcy.
Bad Americans can't keep their mouths shut, especially about the vicious lies Bush told to create global chaos that has resulted in tens of thousands of innocent Afghan and Iraqi citizens -- mostly women and children -- and in the maiming and slaughter of thousands of American men and women.
Good Americans agree with Tennessee Republican State Senator Tim Burchett that Bad Americans who oppose anything Bush does, especially the Iraq war, should shut the hell up or get the hell out. Burchett believes -- like his 1930s German Schutzstaffel counterpart -- that Bad Americans are treasonous, not patriotic. He says, "They ought to be run out of our country and not allowed back."
Like his 1930s German counterpart, Bush is back out on the campaign trail in his signature powder-blue, rolled-up-sleeves shirt, stumping in front of cheering crowds of Good Americans for an outbreak of bird flu, or for martial law and enforced detention should the flu bird fly over the US -- anything that will cause Americans to "freak out" and thus allow him to, as he says, "effect a quarantine."
Bush has done nothing with more treasonous malice and less forethought than dismantling and dishonoring the US Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights. He is hell-bent on "effecting" far more than a quarantine. He will not stop until the United States is a full-blown police state and he's the high-sheriff. We will soon discover, too late, that inalienable rights no longer exist, and both Good and Bad Americans who think Bush's bold "vision" of being a dictator is too fantastic, too unrealistic, to be taken seriously will soon find themselves in free-fall into one of the hundreds of concentration camps scattered throughout the nation. Staffed. Guarded. Ready and waiting.
Sadly, the Good Americans aren't blind. They are not in denial, nor are they deluded. They know about US prison camps during World War II, when Japanese American citizens were rounded up and detained for the duration of the war. Perhaps they even know how easily German detention camps become concentration camps and, ultimately, extermination camps. They may remember that extermination began with ill and handicapped German citizens and, when Good Germans who witnessed the atrocities said nothing, it then moved on to the Jews. But they don't care. Because they don't believe it can happen to them.
Good Americans, like their 1930s German counterparts, have already racked up a legacy of despair, misery and unbearable shame their children -- and ours -- must ultimately bear. It does not matter if Good Americans sit on the high court, if they are members of Congress, if they are propaganda conduits in the media, or if they are military ordered to turn on the very people they are sworn to protect, they are gravediggers of freedom and democracy.
They will be the death of us all.