The Autumn of the Patriot

by CHARLES R. LARSON

(With apologies to Gabriel García Márquez)

When the movers got into the White House by backing their trucks up against the loading dock and prying open the entrance for the arrival of the next first family, dawn of the new era, the men recoiled at the stagnant air billowing from the opening, a rotting smell hermetically sealed by too many years of deceit and comfort from the belief that a nation is strong and stable as long as no one can permeate the bastion of denial, that a democracy is the greatest thing ever invented, mother, you get who you deserve, because tyranny can never be identified by the people who have chosen you to protect their self-serving ideals that they believe are best for everyone whether or not those believers have contemplated the possibility that another opinion might be considered, even worthy of being heard, as long as the volume of the noise from the patriot and his flunkies can dispel any sense of reality from people so accustomed to being shouted down, disregarding the validity of the argument, as long as it can be repeated ad nauseam so that no matter the original premise it has long been forgotten as the wave of repetition becomes the only truth worth repeating, the leitmotif that can be swallowed and subsumed into the construct of our captain, the benevolent leader of our country, always acting in our best interest, protecting us not only from our enemies but from our baser instincts, including ourselves, by a commander so righteous, so aware of our needs that no one need question the pathway he himself has ignominiously chosen for us, a decider granted with divine authority who can see into the future whoever our enemies might be and smite them before they can wreak havoc on chosen people whose destiny only the decider can comprehend in spite of  the liberals who would sell the nation to a bunch of international renegades, who would sanctify the United Nations and all manner of undesirables and degenerates into believing that mankind has an obligation to consider the humanity of others, especially foreigners and immigrants, gays and abortionists, who want to invade our fortress of independence and unilateralism to determine how the state and the world shall be run in the face of evidence that homogeneity has always served us in past eras and that white is not only right but might and light and insight and that no amount of multi-culturalism can smite a past that has proven beneficial to more people than any system in mankind’s glorious history or anywhere on God’s created earth for people who no matter where they were born, or what their faith or identity, who always, always want to sneak into our country, even if some of them want to harm us, because a nation as great as ours will always have to build fences around its parameters to keep out people the entire world over who no matter what we do to them will overcome impossible obstacles to become one with us, to replicate us, to be absorbed into the fabric of our identity that they too will no longer question the exhortations of our decider in shaping our character in spite of strengthening the position of his cronies by providing them with privilege that cannot be questioned or debated, by granting them unparalleled  profit from our actions overseas, by decrees that permit his agencies to read our mail, to listen to our conversations, to snoop into our most private lives, to cancel all oversight of government agencies, to torture our enemies, all for the good of the nation, a nation at war, in order to create a sense of fear and justification for draconian restrictions that few can comprehend and question, because democracy is the pinnacle of man’s quest for perfection, and the leader who can implement whatever he deems necessary to help us in our reckoning with those who would deign to suggest otherwise is the patriarch we all deep in our hearts revere and deify and support, even in the face of isolation and solitude and the uncountable years of his benevolence and unstinting concern that he alone can know what is best for us, that a lie no matter how doubtful, that power no matter how corrosive, can fool most of the people most of the time, and even a tyrant or a buffoon, no matter how egregious, no matter how remote and how unapproachable, how delusive of his own assuredness in his belief that he alone can be right, that he is the true decider, our greatest patriot, and that time will validate his statesmanship, that history can be read backwards and erase the most troubling decisions of his autumn, that even when the endless cycles of his tenure come to their pathetic finality there is still never an assurance that the jubilant crowds dancing to the music of their liberation and the belief that all their many problems can instantly be corrected by his successor, that eternity is self-renewing from the centrifuge of the maelstrom, but with a hasty repression of recent events, with no analysis of the abuses that forced us to the brink, that the nation and its people can begin to start consuming once again.

CHARLES R. LARSON is Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C. His books include Under African Skies, Worlds of Fiction, The Ordeal of the African Writer and Academia Nuts. He can be reached at: clarson@american.edu

Charles R. Larson is Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C. Email = clarson@american.edu. Twitter @LarsonChuck.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
Dmitry Kolesnik
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: A New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone