Saturday, January 8, 2011


So the next Congress has started its engines -- not without a few annoying pings and knocks -- and the tea partiers are already feeling like one of those wallflowers who spends the entire junior prom sitting on a folding chair in the corner – or like that character that someone invited to the party just to liven things up a bit, but they're not allowed anywhere near the punch bowl. Yes, there's nothing like Congress when it comes to immediately reasserting the dominance of the two-party system, which really means the one-party system. A genuine two-party system would feature some real differences of opinion once in a while, not just the trivial playing around the margins that we see on a regular basis. When the mainstream media speak in hysterical tones about “third parties”, what they're really saying is that they're petrified at the thought of _two_ parties – i.e. of any real opposition to the Regime. So any incursions of independent thought into the hallowed halls of Congress have to be rebuffed without delay – once the Constitution is sheepishly read aloud, that is. (That process made me think of how much good reading the Ten Commandments to an audience of thieves and adulterers would have done.)

So the bottom line is, like they always say in the B movies, “You can go back to your homes now, folks – nothing to see here.” And this is after a ball of green slime has eaten its way through a row of stores, restaurants, and bars along Main Street. Yes, in our anesthetized society, the ultimate criterion for success is: Is everybody relaxed? Have they gotten over their fears... their excitement... their desire to live as free citizens? And if so, we can say “mission accomplished”. Of course, there will always be the occasional alarms and scares, all designed to frighten people back into the herd... but they will be designed to enhance people's faith in government, rather than erode it. Only fanatics, right-wing paranoids, and “haters” persist in believing that government is the problem, rather than the solution.

So now that the hurly-burly's done, the citizenry can return to its more immediate concerns -- our daily bread of preoccupation -- much more than the rumblings that emanate from Washington, D.C. If you live within, or near, the Beltway, it's silly to talk about the relationship of government to your life, because government _is_ your life. It's more than a job, and even more than an obsession; it's the very groundwork of your existence. But I submit that this is a form of insanity, and that people who live elsewhere are already at an advantage when it comes to having a reality-based perspective on things. What I'm saying is that the people who control our lives – or try to – actually have a much poorer grasp of reality than the rest of us do. They may be smart, cynical, powerful, whatever... but they are laboring under a titanic delusion, whereas the rest of us can, if we wish, distance ourselves from that delusion and, on occasion, sit down and figure out what life is really all about. We can at least enjoy freedom of thought, which is something they cannot do; they will not allow themselves to take that risk, because their world is, in truth, much more fragile than ours. So don't spend time regretting that you are not one of the all-powerful “movers and shakers” in the nation's capital. Remember, for one thing, that despite all the “perks” they enjoy, they are always restless – forever tormented by the desire for even more power, and frustrated when they don't get it. They are, in fact, junkies – addicts – in every bit as destructive a way (to themselves and others) as the most abject heroin addict. Do you think even one of them (with the possible exception of the President himself) is satisfied as to his or her level of power, authority, or compensation? If they were, why do they keep scrambling and clawing for more? And why do they spend the better part of each day ginning up fights with each other?

You know, nature, in its wisdom, only assigns one “alpha male” to each pack of wolves... but in D.C., everyone is an alpha male (or female)... or wants to be. And the results more often resemble chaos than any semblance of order, to say nothing of productivity or “public service”. We have created – or allowed to be created – an entire class of power-crazed human beings, and it is actually fortunate that the bulk of them are confined to Washington, D.C. and not evenly distributed across the fruited plain. Imagine the loss to civility if there were one in every small town, or every neighborhood! Well yes, there are local political types, but they don't hold a candle to the pros in D.C. It's like talking about Little League vs. the majors. And this, by the way, is why the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” model still holds. You just don't know... can't imagine... what the Washington scene is like until you become one of the “insiders” yourself. The pressures... the temptations... the money... all of the besetting sins of body and soul... they are all there in abundance. You wonder why all politicians sooner or later wind up looking like Dorian Gray – the picture, not the person; this is why. Few human beings are equipped to handle the challenges of high office in our time... and the ones who are, well... we'd just as soon they applied their energies and talents elsewhere, like becoming serial killers or something. And this is another argument, among many, against big government – that it is simply unnatural, and appeals to the worst tendencies among people, and attracts the worst of them. Every time you ask, or think, the question, “What kind of person would...?” when it comes to going into politics on the national level, be sure that you don't really want the answer to that question. And even so, if they confined their energies to the great cage fight that is Washington, D.C. It wouldn't be so bad. But no, they ride out, on a regular basis, in raiding parties, determined to reduce the rest of us to poverty and/or slavery. Which, I guess, lends a bit of irony to the fact that it is we, supposedly, who voted them into office.

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