Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Truth, and other American Values

Or several reasons to loathe the "Right" and take the country back from them

This last week I have been subjected to several variations of the "America, love it or leave it" gambit, and even a couple of "My country, right or wrong's", all because of my column on why Iran wants the bomb.

As it turns out, that has been one of my most popular columns and has gotten more links than just about any other.

But it has also upset some people.

There seem to be a number of people, including my friend Frank, who just can't bear the thought of people finding out that the main reason that Iran doesn't like us is not because America is a Christian country (which it is not) and Iran is Muslim, but because of over fifty years of greedy, self centered foreign policy, mostly Republican, though Democrats are not blameless. These people will, I guess, do anything so that they will not have to consider our responsibility for making the middle east the kind of place it is today.

But I am used to such things as "America, Love it or leave it". People started saying that sort of thing to me back in the day when some of us decided that the constitution and bill of rights meant something, and that every American should have the chance to participate in our "experiment in Democracy", not just the rich white ones.

Fortunately, I had learned what loving America really means from our twenty sixth president.

When I was young (a very long time ago) one of my heroes was Theodore Roosevelt.

Two books that I had as a child were "Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches" and "Hero Tales from American History" both by him. I read both many times and as I got older I made a point of searching out his other writings and speeches. If I was given a school assignment of writing about a president, it would be Roosevelt more than half the time.

It was Roosevelt who provided the best example of what it meant to be American, and what American leaders, especially our president should be. While he would be the first to admit that he was imperfect, and that he made mistakes, I fine him to be an outstanding example.

And it was Roosevelt who provided me with the comeback to "America, love it or leave it", he said;
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else."
So patriotism means to stand by the country, and I would add, to love the country. But what is "the country"?

Three things define us as "the country". They are the declaration of independence, the constitution, and the bill of rights. These documents provide us with our philosophical and even spiritual foundation, without them we would not be who we are.

Of course we recognize this in the various oaths that people take where we swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

So as far as I am concerned, being patriotic and loving the country does not mean following the dictates of some elected official, it means weighing the actions of all of our elected officials against the standards of the constitution and the bill of rights, and opposing anything that goes against these ideals.

And it means telling the truth. It especially means that our elected officers need to tell the truth.
"It is unpatriotic not to tell the truth".

And there is the rub, because George W. Bush (who I have become convinced is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Haliburton corporation) and all of his minions have been lying to us, cynically, blatantly, purposefully, systematically lying to us. And that is unpatriotic.

Now that the blanket of lies that Bush has wrapped himself in is coming loose at the seams, we begin to see just how dishonest the right wing, as led by bush, has been.

We find out that the information about Al Qida planning attacks on US soil was there but it seems ignored, and Bush tries to cover it up.

Bush gets us in a war that is starting to make Viet Nam look straight forward, telling us that he was protecting us from weapons of mass destruction, but there are none, and we find out that he knew that there are none. Now that we are riding the tiger, he tells us that we are "exporting democracy". Right! Exporting democracy out of the barrel of a gun, that will work.

And he gets us in a war with an abstract noun, or I should say ANOTHER abstract noun. After all, we have been in the war on drugs for something like forty years now. I am sure that we will be equally successful in the war on terror.

And then Bush's people hire reporters to write their agendas as if they were objective journalism, in other words Bush hires reporters, and pays them with your tax money to lie to you.

bush's people make fake news reports and broadcast them on TV, The comptroller general's office has to tell them that what they are doing is illegal.

Britt Hume re-edits the words of FDR on social security so as to make them say the exact opposite of what was meant, so that FDR seems to be supporting Bush rather than condemning him.

And then there is 'Jeff Gannon', the male prostitute that has been hanging out in the White House briefing room for the last couple of years working as a shill for Bush and his boys, so much for family values.

It is bad enough that we discover that Bush is using shills, but to use someone like 'Gannon', that is funny.

If this had happened in Hollywood we would know why 'Gannon' was there rather than someone more competent, because he was someone's boyfriend, but that could not be the case in Bush's White House. Could it?

This is a democracy, that means a government of the people, by the people, for the people. But we can not make informed choices without good information.

Bush and his people have withheld the truth from us, instead giving us a tapestry of lies which tells us only what he wants us to believe. And we let him do this.

As long as we permit Bush to lie to us this is not a working democracy.

It does go to show that the Democrats are worthless though. If Clinton had been caught out doing this he would have been impeached on the spot. The democrats can't even get people to take this seriously, what a bunch of wimps.

And for those who say "My country right or wrong"? I say that is the most Un-American sentiment of all, the sort of thing I would expect from Nazis.

An American will say "My country, right or else", and that is what we need to be saying, in the most certain way to Bush and his minions.


No comments: