by Scoobie Davis
Be of Good Cheer
Note: I meant to post these thoughts right after the election but Christmas night is an appropriate time.
It's been a rough couple months for a lot of people. One of the things that really bothered me about the election is that it seemed so unfair that truly treacherous people (Limbaugh, John O'Neill, Noonan, Moon, Falwell, Farah, Ruddy, Ailes, Rove, and--of course--George W. Bush) were celebrating. It took me an hour or so to shake that false thought out of my head. I would never trade my life for their lame lives. They are sad, benighted, and ignoble people.
The last couple months could have been better for me but every day, I thank God that I'm me and not one of them. We are put on this earth for certain purposes and one of the most important is to be true to yourself. These are hollow men and women who have no centers and no souls.
What is it to live your life without authenticity? Is anyone out there naive enough to think that Rush Limbaugh was gulping down OxyContin by the handful because of back pain?
Take a person like Karl Rove. This is a man who lives off sullying other peoples' reputations with whisper campaigns. Every night I pray to God that karma exists. Even if we are the result of a cosmic accident and no ultimate justice exists, I wouldn't trade places with these people.
History will record their ideas as outmoded, archaic, and reactionary.
Jane Smiley is right:
Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.
Next, they tell you that you are the best of a bad lot (humans, that is) and that as bad as you are, if you stick with them, you are among the chosen. This is flattering and reassuring, and also encourages you to imagine the terrible fates of those you envy and resent. American politicians ALWAYS operate by a similar sort of flattery, and so Americans are never induced to question themselves. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter—he asked Americans to take responsibility for their profligate ways, and promptly lost to Ronald Reagan, who told them once again that they could do anything they wanted. The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.
Third, and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don't need much encouragement—you've put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won't even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others.
What is really tragic is that the other victims are the ones who put their trust in these demagogues; these miserable people cause other peoples lives to be hell, e.g., Sun Myung Moon's and Jerry Falwell's exploitation of their flocks. These people should be exposed. I'm doing what I can.