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One Nation, Two Universes

Listen to right wing talk radio – and tens of millions do – and you’ll hear about an alternative universe where bitter aliens describe a different reality than the one experienced by most — thank god — Americans.

My friend scowls. “How can you listen to that crap?”

“Limbaugh’s bombastic boasts are less painful than wearing scrapers between your thighs,” I explain, not daring to admit to the dolorous feelings in my ears and brain,  “and how else does one learn about what the new Republican Party and some Tea Partiers — not all — propose in their political agendas. Fanatic right talk radio has become the oral parchment of this alternate world view.”

For example, the words “freedom” and “liberty” don’t relate to the UN Covenants on Human Rights. Jimmy Carter signed those Covenant in 1979 but didn’t demand the Senate’s “advice and consent” that would make it a Treaty. Reagan and Bush I viewed economic, social, and cultural rights as goals and not the meat of the Covenants. Clinton never denied the obligation toward these rights but avoided fighting the right wing in Congress over them. So thanks to continuous opposition from the right, food, shelter, clothing, and medical care never gained the status of enforceable rights, even though they originated in Franklin Roosevelt’s January 6, 1941 speech to the 77th Congress.

FDR referred to “the basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems.” His goals: “Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. Jobs for those who can work. Security for those who need it. The ending of special privilege for the few.”

His four freedoms: “freedom of speech and expression –everywhere … freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere … freedom from want, [meaning] economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere … freedom from fear, [meaning] a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor –anywhere in the world.”

For Roosevelt “a moral order” or freedom meant “the supremacy of human rights everywhere.”

For right wing Republicans freedom first and foremost means no taxation of billionaires and no regulation of their largest corporations and banks. Freedom for women means choosing abortion, murder of the unborn that deserve universal love. Once born they get what’s coming to them. (Adultery, coveting – well, forget those commandments).

God intended some to have wealth; others, without wealthy parents or luck, get screwed. That’s God’s will. “God intended you to be successful in business,” preached the late Rev. Jerry Falwell in his Lynchburg Virginia church.” Falwell indicated he had a special communication system with God and Jesus – or maybe even a business partnership. (Filmed interview by author with Falwell in “Quest for Power” 1982)

Recall Ray Stevens’ lyrics.

“Would Jesus be political if he came back to earth
Have his second home in Palm Springs, but try to hide his worth
Take money from those poor folks when He comes back again
And admit He’s talked to all those preachers who said they’d been-a talking to Him”
(“Would Jesus Wear a Rolex on his Television Show?”)

Polluting corporations and fraud-infested banks count on religious pretenders to distract voters from their class interests. Two of three white men – mostly poor and middle class — vote Republican because they support more muscularly God’s intentions: people should carry guns; government should not interfere with their veterans’ benefits or food stamps.

God hated welfare cheats (look what he did to Adam and Eve when those loafers cheated). And He didn’t approve of homosexuals — or “race-mixing.”

This fogging of “issues” has indeed obscured clarity. Tens of millions of voters cast ballots for their class enemies. According to Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, “the middle class is collapsing. Median family income has gone down. Poverty is going way up. And the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider.”

Beneficiaries of government programs vote for Republicans who pledge to remove those very programs that provide the thin cushion protecting those who lose jobs and homes. President Obama plans to reduce deficits by cutting back a bit on Social Security and Medicare. Republicans would privatize social security and leave pensions to the Free Market. “That makes no sense,” said Sanders. “The Social Security trust fund today has a $2.6 trillion surplus. It can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 27 years.” (Talk in Berkeley California February 26)

The far right demands government stop punishing (taxi and regulate) the selected few and rewarding (unemployment insurance and food stamps) the lazy (mostly non-white unemployed). They accuse liberal lawmakers of transferring good people’s money to welfare cheats to buy booze and drugs.

What’s mine is mine! Selfishness is good, or God wouldn’t have inserted that trait into his finest (richest) specimens. If not for liberal government the wealthy would be wealthier – as God intended. But don’t worry: these ideas have only captured the majority in the House of Representatives and 17 governorships!

For Landau’s film WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP go to CINEMALIBRESTUDIO.COM. Counterpunch published his BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD.

 

 

 

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SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

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