Considering the abundance of empirical evidence that George Bush and his regime are pathological liars, how does one come to grips with their popularity with the multitudes? Aside from the obvious example of the compliant corporate media as a propaganda machine at the beck and call of neo-conservatives, what is it about Bush that makes him popular to so many? Why would any thinking person believe a word that passes through this vile man’s lips? In order to illustrate a point, let us consider a single pretext: Bush’s that he is a devout Christian. Many people accept Bush’s assertion at face value despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary. Ask yourself: What kind of man was Jesus Christ? First and foremost he was a peace maker. Is George Bush a peace maker? No. Bush has the blood of thousands of innocent people on his hands. Bush couldn’t wait for the weapons of mass destruction to rain down on the innocent roofs of the Iraqi people.
It seemed as if Bush would burst out of his skin if the world didn’t allow him to have his slaughter. Jesus shunned wealth and possessions; he wisely knew that these things corrupt men’s souls. Does Bush shun wealth and possessions?
Hardly. He covets wealth, especially oil; none more so than Iraqi oil. His policies have placed huge burdens upon the working poor in America and abroad, while simultaneously giving more wealth to the rich. Jesus Christ spoke profound truth in the form of parables. Does Bush speak truth? (Hell, he barely speaks broken English).
Bush speaks with candor only occasionally at best. He lied repeatedly about the threat posed by Iraq. He has repeatedly lied to the world about US imperialism and plans for world domination. In fact, he has lied about just about everything. Remember the mushroom clouds over Cincinnati that Saddam Hussein was about to unleash? Bush has publicly stated time and again that there is a demonstrable link between the events of 9/11, Al Qaeda, and Saddam Hussein; so has Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell. Yet not a single shred of tangible evidence has ever been brought forth in support of this statement—presumably because none exists. Even Bush’s own intelligence community has stated this, including, oddly enough, Secretary of State Colin Powell. Jesus Christ was a socialist (before there was such a term) whose life was given to the needs of community; especially the outcast, the poor and oppressed. He was a tireless advocate for social justice. What has Bush done for the working class people?
The answer: absolutely nothing. He steals from the working people by inflating the military budget (building more weapons of mass destruction), thus denying critical social services to the neediest Americans, including the health care that every American is entitled to. Simultaneously, Bush continues to give ever more welfare (tax cuts) to his rich associates and corporate cronies, such as Kenny Boy Lay of Enron. Bush, like all neo-conservatives, staunchly opposes raising America’s pathetic minimum wage to an actual living wage. Of course, this is detrimental to the family structure and has a perverse effect on the entire social fabric. Bush is a purveyor of class warfare; the avowed enemy of organized labor. He is one of the ruling classes endowed with special privileges that ninety-nine percent of us don’t have. His policies always have a common denominator: they disproportionately benefit the rich and harm the poor. By now it should be apparent to all but the clinically deceased that a clear pattern is evident. Is there anything at all and in the least degree Christ-like about George W. Bush (suppressed laughter)? Are you kidding me? Bush is the anti-Christ; the polar opposite of all the virtuous qualities possessed by and, more importantly, lived by Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, the only similarity that I can discern between the two men is that they were/are both mammals. That’s about as far as it goes. To call Bush a Christian is to make a mockery of all those good people who have truly devoted their lives to real Christian moderation, self-sacrifice and service to the poor and politically disenfranchised. Now, Jimmy Carter is a Christian, as evidenced by his unstinting service to community and earth, especially the needy. Not to mention the moral authority he derives from his respect for the truth. Carter isn’t perfect either, but he’s putting forth an honest effort. Bush is no more than a third rate pretender at best.
Nevertheless, and much to my bemusement, people continue to call Bush a Christian. In the beginning of a relationship with another person it is well and proper to accept them at their word. But when it becomes evident that the other person isn’t who he or she claims to be, you no longer believe them; you no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. By fabricating lies and distortions surrounding the invasion of Iraq, Bush has deliberately chosen to give up his credibility_his moral authority_in the process showing contempt for his audience, for the truth and for the life of Christ. It is both foolish and dim-witted to take Bush and his regime of war criminals at their collective word. There is abundant evidence of deceit by the entire Bush regime. Yet too many people still think of Bush as a compassionate man of the lord_an idea no doubt fostered by the conservative owned mass media. But why do otherwise seemingly intelligent and reasonably perceptive people continue to believe such verbose nonsense? Why aren’t Bush and his ilk held accountable for their words and their deeds like the rest of us?
One possible explanation is that the average American simply lacks the basic skills of critical thinking that seems inherent in other people of the world. Americans exist under a constant barrage of corporate double speak and distortions (marketing) that exists nowhere else on earth or in history in such overwhelming profusion. Thus, our sense of reality has been distorted beyond recognition. After all, isn’t Disney World as good as a genuine wilderness adventure? While there may be considerable truth to this exposition, there are other factors at play that hold equal sway. The blind acceptance of Bush’s definition of himself as a devout Christian must also be attributed to the mass willful ignorance of much of the American public. Nothing else explains this bizarre phenomenon so satisfactorily or succinctly. Just as we deny our own baleful national history and supplant it with myth, lies and distortions, people want to believe in good Christian George. It makes us feel good about ourselves, despite all the horrible ghosts hidden away in the dark closets of our national psyche.
But if one extends the same logic to other people that are applied to Bush by the neo-conservatives, a man could claim with equal alacrity as Bush claims to be Christian, to be Zeus himself; or perhaps Moses or Spinoza; or Mr. Potato Head. Why not claim to be lord of the Universe, if Bush hasn’t already staked out that title for himself? Indeed, that man or woman would be taken as seriously as if he were Zeus or lord of the universe, no matter how obvious that he is really only who he is_Bozo the clown, perhaps. Talk about the emperor having no clothes; he has no mind and no soul either! But let’s continue pretending that he is the second coming of Christ, a devout and holy man of deep religious conviction. How much more convoluted can things get than they are now? America, I hardly recognize thee. In a land where capitalism and marketing is king why should anyone be surprised at the travesty now ballooning before us? Brace yourselves; there is more tragic comedy to come in the years ahead. But try not to laugh out loud. You don’t want to spoil the grandiose illusion for the believers. The kids still believe in Santa Claus and the adults believe that Bush is Christ incarnate. And I am Lord of the Universe—purveyor of all wisdom. You must not ever forget that (send me all your money)!
While I have never been a supporter of Bill Clinton (I am a member of the Green party), remember how every thing Clinton said or did came under intense scrutiny by the corporate media— especially the conservatives in Congress? There were and are countless conservative talk show hosts acting like huge bellows pumping hot air onto the flaming wreck of the Clinton presidency. No remark, no split hair, no intended action went unchallenged by the piranhas who smelled Clinton’s blood amid the foul excrement afloat in the political septic tank. What greater proof is there of the existence of an ultra conservative right wing media blitz than this? Countless millions of tax payer dollars went down the tubes (septic tank) in an effort to bring to light every detail of Clinton’s sordid sex life. Yet Bush can make war on the entire world, invade any sovereign country he feels like, kill thousands of innocent people, spit upon the constitution and shred the bill of rights and in the process turn the entire planet against us. Amazingly, there is nary a word of dissent spoke of it in the corporate media. How peculiar but typically American, in the land of OZ. Aside from other fascist states, this odd behavior occurs nowhere else on earth. The American media is so under the control of those in power that it has utterly abandoned its obligation to the people; it is essentially as fraudulently propagandistic as any state owned newspaper in the world’s most oppressive self appointed regimes. What is most amazing about this weird behavior is that Bush is getting away with it; and calling himself a Christian in the process!
If the Bush regime were held up to the same standard of investigation as the Clinton administration was, the entire bunch of thugs, Bozos and thieves wouldn’t last another day in office. They would scatter like mosquitoes at a frog convention.
As Americans, each of us bears some responsibility for this weird charade; this dog and pony show that sailed into Washington on yachts full of PAC money. The world is watching with bemused laughter our incredible national imbecility. So Wave your flags self-righteous citizens; March to patriotic music; feel strong and proud that we routed those fierce disarmed Iraqis. Ever since our defeat in Viet Nam, like the typical school yard bully, America picks its fights very carefully. We fight only the weak and disarmed so that we can feel strong and mighty. But remember, the emperor has no clothes. The rest of the world sees us as we really are. Moreover, deep down inside we know what we are too.
CHARLES SULLIVAN is a veteran wild forest activist, writer and cabinetmaker who resides on twenty acres of land in the rural countryside of West Virginia.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org