Democrats & Liberals Archives

Best Armed Insurgency on Earth

Dick Cheney is still busily maintaining the non-existent link between Iraq and Al Queda that the 9/11 Commission has unequivocally said does not exist. Meanwhile Iraqi Insurgents, armed with the bounty provided by Saddamís dead government, continue to make it impossible for peace to take hold in their exhausted nation. We are short of bullets but the insurgents are not.

This is just one more aspect of the war managed by the corporate model of government that has taken hold in Washington. Being CEO means never having to say youíre sorry. Morals and ethics are not a part of business, community means nothing in the face of profits, and truth is a mere convenience, easily cast aside on the road to success. The culture of the CEO is now as far removed from the culture of the worker as their incomes are from one another. This has led to a separation between the morals and ethics of the leaders and their supporters that often escapes the attention of the followers.

Does any of this seem familiar to us who are reading it in the light of power provided under contracts signed by Enron and California. Those contracts are still providing that electricity at excessive rates. They were signed while this Administration watched from the sidelines as a totally illegitimate corporate culture in the electrical power industry enriched some few at the expense of tens of millions of our citizens. They watched with an unblinking stare that foretold what life would be like for those of us who had our pockets picked on that occasion. FERC is now powerless to regulate the companies who stole that money in a way that forces them to repay those illegal profits. What it can do is order California to reimburse Enron for some of the power it resold to Enron. That happened back when those insane and illegitimate rates were common in the state formerly known as the Golden State. Is this Administration restoring honor and integrity to the White House or what?

It may look to some of us like the head bone is not connected to the neck bone in this Administration. The logic used by the Bush Administration often just plain defies analysis by normal decent men and women. Many of the people in this country who work for a living are still supporting the Bush Administration in spite of its lawless and dishonest culture. They are by and large good and honest people who are struggling to raise children and make a life for themselves in a world gone mad. The common purpose that feeds their support is their trust in the desire of their leaders to provide a sane world in the future by fighting a war in Iraq and working for a decent society here at home. Why are they fooled after all of the lies and dishonesty exhibited by Bush Cheney and their minions in regard to Iraq, tax breaks and energy costs? Most likely they are fooled because the world is just too darn hard to analyze deeply when you are working so hard to make a life.

It is not really plausible for those of us who were skeptical about Bush in the beginning of this Administration to put ourselves in the shoes of those who still support him. Events have proven one thing to us and another thing entirely to his supporters, how can that be true? Perspective can explain some of it, we were never fully on Bushís side during the hysteria after 9/11, we just wanted to believe that he would try to do the right thing for the nation. Most of our Presidents when faced with a major crisis in our past have tried to make the right choices. Bush did too from his perspective, which is so far different from that of his followers that they cannot perceive what actually drives his choices.

No one wants to believe that they have given the keys to the US military into the hands of a fool or a megalomaniac. Not even the Democrats want to believe that. Even fewer of us want to believe that honestly held positions on issues like abortion and the separation of church and State could somehow trap us into supporting an immoral and dishonest leadership. Arenít the people we agree with on such defining issues always the good guys? The answer is that they can look that way if you examine their positions in the light of your own ethics and morals, but they do not always come off so good if you examine their ethics and morals as separate from your own. Since most of us are morally and ethically similar in this nation, on both sides of the political divide, we assume that our leaders are the same, and they usually are. This looks to be the first time in my lifetime that such an assumption might not be the most sane one available.

It is entirely possible that this Administration is the most cynical and obsessed with its own power that we have ever seen in our nation. Just that thought scares the hell out of me. I am far more afraid of this Administration than I am of Al Queda. Al Queda can only kill me. This Administration can steal my nationís legacy of liberty and common decency that I have always been so proud of in my lifetime. It can steal it with its dedication to secrets and its support for lies on which its policies are based. By and large both parties have usually noticed it when they lied outright and tried to correct whatever lies they told in the heat of political combat. That process of self-correction is failing us today and this Administration is at the center of a cloud of lies and half truths made possible by the War on Terror. The debate has switched in recent days from how we came to torture innocent Iraqi citizens to why torture is OK and what actually constitutes torture. All the while the Administration denies ever having authorized torture even as document after document is leaked showing otherwise.

We are in danger of losing our soul to this Administrationís blind pursuit of a vanishing world. The world they live in is one in which oil still is a viable commodity on which to base a big part of our world economy. They do believe in Democracy but only in the larger picture of establishing a basis for a world economy based on understood principles that no longer work in this new century. Mining coal and pumping oil and natural gas out of the ground have served to create a mechanized world economy. It is a world economy that functions almost totally without slavery for the first time in human history. Our pursuit of a decent government in Iraq is a worthy idea done badly. As with so many worthy ideas in human history it appears to have a small prospect of success. That is in part because of the difference between the moral and ethical forces that drive the leaders here and those that drive the followers.

Most of us are driven by morals and ethics that have a little flexibility built in, otherwise survival gets harder and our families suffer. Few of us would kill for money. Fewer still would consciously use the lives of others to create a world different than the one we were born into. It is that vision thing that separates the CEOís from the rest of us. The need to carry out your vision regardless of opposition is the mark of a great CEO and not the mark of a truly moral and decent person. The two are almost totally incompatible in my experience. It is a rare CEO indeed, in these times, who will allow personal beliefs like morals or ethics to interfere with his firmís profitability.

That is one huge difference between the followers of Bush and Bush and Cheney themselves. The followers have less flexible ethics and morals than either Bush or Cheney. They see their leaders in the light of their own standards of decency. That should be replaced by a light provided from electricity drawn out of the Enronís of our corporate world. That is where the morals and ethics of Cheney and Bush were formed and it is there that you will find the explanations that separate them from the decent people who vote for them. The flaws in their vision of reality are not as easily apparent as the differences between the ethics and morals behind their actions and those of their supporters. Talking about those differences will not cause the great revulsion that some of us feel at this Administrationís manipulations of the public debate to transfer itself to their supporters. It may however summon up the integrity of enough of those followers to help us remove Bush from power.

It is not our opposition that is flawed so much as our view of them as one with their leaders. They are by and large far more moral and decent than those who lead them. If they begin to see that they will seek new leadership. That is how we win this election, not by attacking the integrity of the followers, but by helping them look at their leaders in the light of their own real morality and the true ethics that guide their lives. God bless and keep you all safe from the people who use your morality and ethics to bind you to their vision of the the world no matter where it breaks with those guidelines.

©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Investments Ltd

Posted by Henri Reynard at June 21, 2004 7:40 AM