To Everything There Is a Season

Random Lengths News | September 3, 2004
Inside the heavily defended fortress of Madison Square Garden this week in New York, the Republican Party is holding forth on all things both patriotic and religious–cloaking their politics with flag and Bible–it is like they are rewriting that most poetic Biblical verse from Ecclesiastes “A Time For Everything,” including the anointing of W. Bush for president. From McCain to Giuliani, from Arnold to Laura Bush the refrain seems to be, a time of peace is a time for war, a time of love is a time for hate and a time for freedom is a time for repression. This is an extremely Orwellian interpretation of Biblical patriotism and on the surface seems so righteous. It seems so reaffirming to know that God, freedom and the American dream are once again united in a cause so just that not even the most evil terrorists can stop us in our triumphant march to liberate the entire world. This is our destiny and our calling—like Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, like Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill, like Reagan tearing down the Berlin Wall!

This Republican double-speak is so mired in historicity, not history, that it will take months, if not years, for the average Joe and Jane American to realize that they are being duped, “big time,” as Cheney would say. I hate to break it to them, but peace by definition is not war, and likewise love is not hate, and freedom is not repression. These are the kinds of confusions of the self-righteous, the intolerant and the blind patriot who adhere to the motto, “My country right or wrong”, which has historically been used to defend America when she is especially wrong. And I do take exception to our Girlie-Man speaking Governor talking about the jack-boot repression of his homeland under Stalin, while just outside the barricades where he is speaking the NYPD, dressed in riot gear, have arrested some 900 protestors and secreted them away in chain link holding pens at Pier 57.

Is this the American Dream Arnold? Like the INS holding pens on Terminal Island where immigrants without papers can be held indefinitely? Or is it like the prison at Guantanamo, Cuba where suspect Al Quedas can be held without trial, legal council or justice for over two years? And what about the dreams of the 1000 Arab Americans who have been held without charge in this country since 9/11? Or the nightmares of the prisoners of Abu Gharib? Is your fearless leader W. Bush liberating them too? Yes these people are the ones that you and Senator McCain and Rudolph Giuliani and even Laura Bush in her elementary school monologue do not see, do not recognize and will never admit to as gross perversions of that same dream.

Arnold, you are the pathetic personification of arrogance and ignorance—a first-generation immigrant who is fundamentally clueless about the hard-won social struggles in this country that have taken twelve generations to accomplish, while you show up only to take advantage of the current economic prosperity by bullying and politicking your way to power and privilege. You will never understand the generations of struggle that other families have had to endure (or currently endure) just to make it into middle class, who dream of simply having a child graduate from college—enjoying the opportunity you had thirty years ago, but are denying to thousands now. You asked in your speech, “How do you tell if you are a Republican?” One answer is your own denial that there are two Americas–the one of the privileged elite and the other of the working poor, if you deny this exists then you are Republican.

Lost in the translation of the double-speak propaganda coming from the pulpit of the Republican National Convention this week is the simple truth that the Bush neo-cons have used the national tragedy of September 11, 2001— in which they are inherently culpable—in the same way that the German Nazi Party used the burning of the Riechstatd in 1932 to further their political ends. I will not mince words here–the industrial/military complex that President Eisenhower warned us about so long ago combined with the born-again-Christian “compassionate-conservatism” of President Bush has all the chemistry for American fascism. It is to be feared, not embraced.

If we listen to the language of Ecclesiastes, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” then America may be in one of its darkest seasons ever with the election of W. Bush, “the (P)resident who doesn’t back down.” There is nothing quite like a man or a political party who is so convinced that God is on his side, especially when “W” stands for Wrong!

The only dream Americans have left is that this dark season doesn’t last past November 2, 2004.

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Founded in 1979 as a counterbalance to the conservative, corporate- owned daily paper, Random Lengths News draws on the rich history of the Los Angeles Harbor Area. The name harkens back to a description of the lumber that used to...
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