FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

This Christmas, the World is Too Much With Us

by ELAINE CASSEL

Never before have I felt that this day is so unlike Christmas Eve. Sharing that thought with a friend today, he asked why. I gave the reasons I had heard many proclaim: we had one less weekend to shop, Christmas falls on a Thursday, and we are all too busy with demands of jobs and families.

I think there is something else, he said. I think it is that there is so much wrong going on in the world and we know too much of it. He mentioned, of course, the war in Iraq, the earthquake in California, and the stranglehold that George Bush now seems to have on the electoral process in the U.S. and on world events.

I added a few random worries of my own that made it difficult for me to feel the promised joy of the season: how I had prayed, in my own way, that the jury in Chesapeake, Virginia would spare the life of Lee Boyd Malvo and how relieved I was yesterday to hear that it had.

But that Christmas gratitude was shattered by news today that the prosecutor that got the death penalty for John Allen Muhammad might prosecute Malvo in his jurisdiction so as to get the death penalty. And how other jurisdictions were aching to have the kid in their state so they might get to load the syringe. And, of course, chief proponent of the death penalty in this country, our hate-filled Attorney General John Ashcroft, will do all that he can to see that Malvo is transported all over the country until someone does manage to execute him.

I then thought of our born-again Christian President, who spoke last week of his blood lust for the life of Saddam Hussein. Because he was such an evil man, and tried to kill his Daddy, you know. He ought to die. It is only right and just. Right and just?

I thought of the evil Tom DeLay and all he is doing to insure that there is no longer a democratic process in Texas or elsewhere-to insure that lines are drawn so that Republicans can rule the country. And how the Justice Department approved that Texas redistricting plan last week. So much for any one who is not a Republican having a say in the governing of the state of Texas. Other states, maybe all of them, will soon follow, as DeLay, Frist, Rove, Bush, and Ashcroft march on with their plan to create a public beholden to them and Halliburton and the Carlyle Group.

I thought of how Halliburton is charging us, the taxpayers, outrageous fees for importing oil to occupied Iraq and how there is not a damn thing we can do about it. I am saddened by the gut-wrenching feeling shared by many that this war was about Bush and Co. greed, and not at all about the people of Iraq. Let alone the people of the U.S.

I thought of the joke of the Medicare “reform” bill and how almost no one has read it-let alone the legislators who voted for it. How there will not likely be any Medicare for me, in a few years. How helpless the electorate will be when they find out years hence that they sat idly by watching their elected representatives sell what little security they had to the insurance companies and the HMO’s, thanks to Bill Frist. Frist, by the way, counts that bill as one of his grand accomplishments. And well he should. But it benefits him and his big-money constituents, not you and me.

I could go on and on with the things that weigh on my mind daily. Of 650 prisoners in cages in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba whom our country imprisons because it can. Because no one can hold them accountable. Because the most powerful country in the world is among the most evil and no one dare cross it. They all have too much they want of the bounty handed out to the “friends” of the U.S. There is no country that can stand on principle anymore, when the U.S. holds all the cards.

I think of the prisoners on death row-innocent and guilty-whose blood all Americans will have on their hands because of our death-hungry criminal justice system. Avenge killings with killings, in spite of legions of studies that show it has no correctional value. But in a system devoted to power and revenge, rather than justice and societal good, death most assuredly adds value.

I think of the constant mantra that Bush and our “leaders” spout about this being a great Christian nation. How Christianity is woven into the very fabric of what it means to be American. Yet, I defy you to name one example from the past year when Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Ashcroft, DeLay, Frist, or anyone in a seat of power in this allegedly great nation, has done one act demanded by Jesus in his Gospels. “Love your enemies, do good to them that wish you evil.” “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.” I could recite maxims from the teachings of Jesus for hours and find no hint of the living of it by anyone in the Bush administration.

We are, I believe, among countries, the least Christian, the least decent, the least compassionate, the least kind government on the globe. Nowhere else can I think of does greed, power, corruption, vengeance, bigotry, and hatred more rule the day under the guise of Christianity and democracy than in the United States. Other nations with “Christian” traditions, like Germany, France, Italy, and England, at least have basic health care for their people and abhor the death penalty.

The words of William Wordsworth cry out:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Better that we profess our evil, as do governments like those of Korea and China, and govern and rule honestly as despots, than that we hide under the guise of Christianity and democracy.

So, Bah humbug on the Bush administration and all the evil it has perpetuated on the world this year. Someday may the spirit of Christmas find them.

May you find some spirit of the Christ this season too, in spite of all efforts of your government that mitigate against it.

ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: ecassel1@cox.net

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail