CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
Abusers appear when we are most vulnerable. Mistaking their sweet nothings for REAL somethings, we slowly allow harmony to lose its last three letters.
Among the most calculating manipulators are the men and women we elect to represent our interests—but don’t. They have a vast menu from which to select their tactics.
They speak to our individualism and, then, tell us what all they’re doing on our behalf.
They demand our loyalty. Our servitude.
They juggle fear and hope, throwing sounds to our ears and images to our eyes, pushing beyond the bearable so gradually that the once unthinkable becomes commonplace.
They encourage us to shop and travel but to ALWAYS be alert, and report anything suspicious. “If you see something, say something,” Fascism Security Chief Janet Napolitano says, promoting the psychology of fear with a four-pronged campaign that includes locally run “fusion centers” for intelligence sharing. Fusion?
They offer engagement. Elections to provide the illusion of democracy. And meetings with constituents, another illusion of democracy. And websites, phone numbers, and emails addresses for our participation, more illusions of democracy.
And this security illusion: At the airport, we can move through Michael Chertoff’s radiation dose OR choose the great grope out, a search and seizure, to identify those who have something that’s ready to rumble in a crevice or cavity. Both are government-mandated condoms, for our protection. Our acquiescence is a partnership for Corporate America. A business. Uncle business.
They want us to believe that they are leveling the playing field. But “leveling” is code for reducing to rubble. They have reduced to rubble our civil liberties, opportunities, and our children’s future while further elevating the highest of the high rollers.
We have been rubbled raw.
They talk about health care but mean who cares. Their allegiance is to Big Insurance, at the table, writing the legislation, calling a plan ObamaCare when it should be named BigInsuranceCaresLess.
They repeal Glass-Steagall. Then, when the banks brew a toxic mess and are turning belly up and need bailing out, the Federal Reserve gives the Treasury to the Banksters. And, yes, that’s an upper class B with a whole lot of print, print, printing (out of thin air) going on, courtesy of taxpayer trillions. This is grand larceny. So, the same people who create the chaos have money at their fingertips, for themselves. Because they, the insatiably avaricious, gluttonous uber rich, fancy another yacht, a 12th mansion, island paradises, and STUFF.
They invade and occupy countries, demonizing and propagandizing, maiming and killing, and funding war with borrowed money and borrowed lives, while telling us that a democratic Middle East will vanquish the “jealousy” on which our “enemies” act. Meanwhile, they maintain ruthless regimes, planting dictators, seeding hatred, and spending billions on puppets who brutalize their own people at the bidding of U.S. Empire.
And we, as in We the People, crawl through weeds, past foreclosure signs, or sit, zombied, in front of television sets tuned to reality shows or “reporters” and guests who fictionalize both history and the news.
Exploitation continues until it doesn’t, when we say we won’t take it anymore. Sparks ignite dissent.
Right now, Egyptians non-violently are protesting what they will no longer tolerate. Justice must be long in arrears to form the healthy shape of uprising. Here, at home, justice remains unsettled.
Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore. She can be reached at email@example.com.