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A Nation of Commoners

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This is an absolutely brilliant analysis of the current state of US political affairs. It even contains some suggestions as to what the Democrats need to do to differentiate themselves from the Repiglicans. The Republicans are invoking the vengeful, hate filled God of the Old Testament, while the Democrats are the new Testament Christians who invoke the love and compassion of Jesus. There are other things too, but that may be one of the most important.


The nation of commoners[/font size]


Dumbed-down society realizes Founders' fears


Perry Treadwell - For the Journal-Constitution

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


This has been the year of Alexander Hamilton, with a new biography and a museum exhibit in New York City.


All that I remember about Hamilton from high school senior history taken more than a half-century ago is a quote attributed to him, "The People is a Beast."


More recently, a poem Hamilton may have read by a 17th century Italian cleric, Tommaso Campanella, has appeared. The first stanza goes:


The People is a beast of muddy brain,


That knows not its own force, and therefore stands


Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands


Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein.


Hamilton was quite wary of the ability of the common man to make rational choices. The Federalist Papers attest that he was not alone in his fears. As the poem anticipated, we now have petulant children guiding our country.


In spite of the protestations of evangelical Christians, the Constitution of the United States was written by the products of the Enlightenment. These men believed in the right of the people to govern themselves during a time when kings reigned. But they disagreed on the checks and balances necessary to perpetuate that dream.


One of the major fathers of that document, Benjamin Franklin, warned that the government "is likely to be well administered for a course of years and can only end in despotism as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."


It is a measure of the strength of the Constitution that it has taken more than 200 years for the government to become so corrupt as to require a despot in the White House.


As Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." This last presidential election proved that some of the people can be fooled all the time.


They got fooled by spurious arguments while the real issues, such as war, economics and the environment, were ignored.


It is no surprise that the Southern red states (the Bible Belt) have the worst health care, the worst educational systems and the highest divorce rates. Residents have become consumers bought off by their wants supplied by malls.


Muslim Irshad Manji, who has tried to reform her own religion, comments on American values: "I could have become a runaway materialist, a robotic mall rat who resorts to retail therapy in pursuit of fulfillment. I didn't. That's because religion introduces competing claims. It injects a tension that compels me to think and allows me to avoid fundamentalisms of my own."


As a former teacher, I can attest that critical thinking is quite uncommon among students today. Just look at the feeding frenzy developed over the Thanksgiving buying. TV ads show people crashing through doors to get to the malls in the middle of the night.


The electorate has been bought off by the Roman example of "bread and games." The bread is the apparently cheap goods flooding in from abroad. The games are the violent sports in the new coliseums around the country: football, boxing and now basketball. The games appear on more than 100 channels: unreal reality, fear factors, inane sitcoms, in-your-face rap, shout talk shows and more sports.


The United States has become a strange animal, half theocracy, half plutocracy. We have returned to the theocracy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, figuratively burning witches (gays and lesbians) and hanging Quakers (Muslims).


Consumers of religions sold on Sundays listen to shouters replacing Christian love with Old Testament fear leaning heavily on a vengeful God rather than the Prince of Peace. Americans seem to need to create enemies to destroy, on the battlefield or on the playing field.


While the United States tries to govern the world by spending more than any other nation or group of nations on the military, China and India, followed by the European Union, are becoming economic giants.


The United States will be following in their dust. The life of the U.S. Constitution is being smothered by the theocrats and the plutocrats. Hamilton and Franklin were right.




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Nonsense. If Kerry had convinced voters that he would do a better job, he would have been elected. But with no record of accomplishment, how could he?

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Guest zipperzone

>And Bush's record of accomplishments when he was appointed

>President in 2000 was. . .???


If you really want to see his record, may I suggest you read "The Family" by Kitty Kelly. If you're taking notes, a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp will suffice.


And before you dish dear Kitty, keep in mind that she has never been successfully sued.

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All I remember about Bush prior to 2000 was his Guinness Book entry for having executed more people as Governor than anyone else in history. . .


Oh yeah, there was also his dodging service in Vietnam and going AWOL from the National Guard, the drunken driving, the drug use, the bordertown-bordello Spanish, his intimate relations with the Enron aristocracy, and his shady business dealings (all of them financed by the money of people who wanted access to his powerful father).


Of course, in the Church of Republicanism, these are all grounds for canonization. If you think the fascist frenzy for naming stuff after Ronald (Iran-Contra) Reagan is bizarre, wait'll you see what happens after Bush is blessedly out of office! They'll be trying to carve his squinty-eyed face onto Mr. Rushmore, rename the national capital after him, and build him the biggest memorial ever (which will undoubtedly look just like a Payless Shoe Source, of which he might have become an assistant manager on his own merits, had he not been the son of a President)!

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