“…instructions given performers include
a warning not to look directly at Bush while passing the presidential
not to look to either side and not to make any sudden movements.” – Scripps
Howard News Service report on
Bush inaugural activities.
It is clear that George W. Bush is suffering from a terrible pathology,
a sick paranoia. It has been pointed out by people who have known
him and should have been noticed by anyone paying even a tiny bit
of attention. What is less clear is that the whole nation is quickly
catching up with his level of insanity.
We know the Bush story. A mediocre man was
pushed along into schools, jobs and businesses that he simply
wasn’t qualified to handle.
Living up to the Peter Principle he rose to the level of his own
incompetence and became president.
Perhaps it is time to stop criticizing Bush
for his shortcomings and talk about the nation’s shortcomings
too. It is fitting that he leads a nation completely unqualified
to be a world leader in
Two years after the nation was propagandized
into occupying Iraq the Bushmen recently confessed, a little. “By the way, remember
that WMD we warned you about? Well, forget we said anything. We
didn’t see any so we aren’t looking anymore.” The public reaction
was a far cry from what it should have been.
The same week that the Bushmen pleaded guilty
to perjury regarding the need for war, the media chose to place
their spotlight on the
CBS National Guard memo debacle. CBS was set up by someone, we
will never know who, to use unauthenticated documents in telling
the true story of Bush’s absence from the National Guard. When
four CBS staffers were fired for their mistake the rest of the
media turned on their own.
Instead of investigating how the United States Congress, the United
Nations, and the American people were lied to about WMD, the press
gleefully joined in the witch hunt. Thousands of Iraqis are dead
because of lies, but the media and the public who follow them made
a bigger issue about a true story told in a bad way. Madness ruled
A nation that threatens inaugural performers with
arrest if they make one false move is of course descending into
we feared and hated the other. We were told that Arabs, Muslims,
and all foreigners posed a threat to our safety. The paranoia justified
the Department of Homeland Security takeover of the Immigration
and Naturalization Service. Now all foreigners entering the United
States are photographed and fingerprinted like common criminals
posing for mug shots.
Like every other human emotion, paranoia is contagious. It can
be directed only at one group for so long. Eventually everyone
becomes a suspect. Outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Tom
Ridge has proposed that American passports require fingerprints.
The suggestion came and went without comment from the vast majority
of the public, following along like sheep, doing the emperor's
bidding without question. That is a sure sign of insanity.
The coronation ceremony for the Mad King is emblematic of the
times. The spectacle costs $40 million, most of it coming from large
corporations. Media giants like General Electric (NBC) and
Time Warner are among the contributors. Corporate media bias in
favor of Bush is hardly surprising.
The paranoid king has turned his enthronement
into a military operation but won’t reimburse the District of
Columbia for the $11
million it will have to spend for security. The good Mayor,
Anthony Williams, has protested a little bit. He protested a lot
more when the City Council acted in the interests of their constituents
and initially said no to the crazy idea of doling out corporate
welfare for a useless baseball stadium.
The Mad Mayor threw a hissy fit and ran as
fast as his little feet would carry him to the exalted studios
of Fox news. He whined
and complained that the pain in the neck council wouldn’t give
him a blank check for his idiotic project. He even invoked the
name of the Almighty:
If the president is crazy it isn’t surprising that the mayor
of the nation’s capital is not playing with the fullest of decks
The crazy monarch Bush will probably prevail in his effort to
eviscerate Social Security. He and his minions have already begun
the process of convincing Americans to act against their own
self-interest. They will do this by telling outright lies and
twisting already twisted emotions.
They will act like a consumer products company that sells soap
or paper towels. They will convene focus groups in market
research settings and find a way to convince Americans that
a safety net for their old age is a bad thing and the enrichment
of Wall Street at their expense is a good thing. Advertising
campaigns always need tag lines to go along with them. What will
it be for the end of social security? “Private accounts, I’m
lovin’ it.” It is all quite mad.
In the old fairy tale two con men convinced
a frightened populace to say that a naked emperor was wearing
clothes. At the end of
the tale a child spoke up and told the truth. If that story were
written today the child would be sent to Guantanamo without being
charged with a crime. Members of Congress would say that it was
in the best interest of the nation. The people who sent him there
would become the emperor’s top aides and the opposition would
welcome them with open arms.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly
Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She
can be reached via e-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com/