August 3, 2002

Americans Under Pressure

Think about it. Mark the date in your mind. January 20, 2001. It was a date when the world became markedly worse. Instantly it became a much darker and drearier country. The government launched into a destructive downward trend that has not stopped. Americans have been bombarded relentlessly with one horror story after another.

It's unnecessary to list all the horrors that Americans have been subjected to since the Bush regime locked down control of the executive branch. It would be an endless list starting the moment Bush took office. Pick up any paper, any day. It never stops.

(Anyone who needs support for this argument take a look at one week's weirdness in Harpers' Weekly Review. This is just a typical list of how much damage the corporate junta does in one week. Enough in one week to last a millennium. Take a look at how much worse things got in a single week. Then try not to think about next week.)

Another date that had an impact probably more profound than 1-20-01 and as grave in its own way as 9-11-01 was 12-12-00. That was the day that the Supreme Court overruled a presidential election, elevating an arcane lawsuit of greater importance than the electoral process.

No matter how much disaster you are subjected to, remember that date. It was the date that democracy was officially overruled as the ruling principle of America. And that error has not yet been corrected. There is a cloud of angst over the country in the atmosphere of undertainty that underlies that unresolved question. Will America be a democratic country or an autocracy?

That profound historical dilemma gripped America on December 12, 2000, and cannot satisfactorily be resolved until power is restored to an elected government. That unresolved contradiction would in itself create angst in a population that has a greatly cherished tradition of democracy, a cultural artifact preserved with blood. But on top of that the regime keeps the population under constant pressure as part of its control strategy. The confusion and fear helps the oligarchy push through its agenda, which would appear disastrous enough on its own if it were not presented in a backdrop of constant calamity so horrifying that makes it blend into the background.

That, by the way, is the definition of terrorism. Fear as an instrument of political power.

Think of it. Remember those dates. Remember how relatively peaceful and pleasant the world was before the "compassionate conservatives" took over. Remember. Even Republicans, those who were so morally outraged by the fact that a middle aged politician would have an affair with a young woman -- do you like what you see now?

Remember those dates. 12-12-01. 1-20-01. 9-11-01. And remember one more and keep it everpresent in your mind: November 5.

-- By David Cogswell

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