MY MOST RECENT LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR
President Bush might ignore the election and recommendations by the Iraq Commission as well, and I can explain his thinking.
“My faith frees me,” the President wrote, "frees me to make the decisions that others might not like. Frees me to do the right thing, even though it may not poll well. Frees me to enjoy life and not worry about what comes next.” Also, his often repeated claim that a hypothetical superbeing put him into office comes to mind.
If Bush doesn’t listen to those who elected him (our opinion polls), who does he listen to? I thought we elected Presidents. I thought Presidents were supposed to represent us, but Bush has never believed that he has any duty to pay attention to what mere humans expect, because, as he says, he heeds an inhuman voice. If the rest of us could only be sure that the voices in his head are not silly delusions, maybe we’d sleep better too.
If anyone needs an example of why fundamentalists are not cut out to be leaders in democracies, Bush’s own words and deeds, his pro-Hypothetical Superbeing, anti-Constitutional sentiments serve that purpose very forcefully. Fundamentalists follow kings, not electorates.
Photo of a fall patio. Only a memory now.
SPEAKING OF FAST-TALKING BY DESIGN
I’ll admit that Bush has a Texas drawl, a slow-speaking way of rambling on about nothing, so his lying ways can be called, paradoxically, slow-spoken fast-talking.
Listening to radio this morning on the way home, I was ruminating about the fast-talking they put onto the end of radio advertising which is, sort of, the small print of the audio world. They’ve been moving faster and faster into this gimmick by which they artificially squeeze every bit of dead air from between the words of people’s normal speaking rhythms. We all know that fast talkers can’t be trusted, so what are we to make of fast-talking as an ad gimmick? That’s right, don’t trust the product that uses the fast-talking technique. I don’t.
Another twist in my thinking on this is the realization that for the last 25 years, America has fallen ever faster under the spell of conservative thinking. And conservatism, in the last 25 years, beginning with Reagan’s “misspeaking”, has given us the deregulation which allows Comcast channelers without blinking an eye to claim that the movie we are now watching for the thousandth time over the last ten years is a “premier showing”—a completely dishonest use of the American language. Of course, most of us now realize what a crock the word “misspeaking” is, so Fox Network and other Republican apologists, no longer use the word “misspeaking”, they just misspeak without calling our attention to it. Their unspoken misspeaking has helped us to get into the impossible quagmire that is Iraq and that entire region. Why didn’t we listen to the slow-spoken, straight-talkers back when we could have saved ourselves the muddy boots we now wear?
Also, with the aim to consolidate its power over the American debate about American behavior, conservatism has destroyed the sort of equal opportunity media rules which made sure that most large-scale political movements got equal time in the media, thus fostering the distorting type of media adventurism called Fox by which an entire news empire bends itself to the spreading of one party’s message to the exclusion of all others. Conservatism has given us Enron and World Com’s Bernie Ebbers. It’s given us Foley and Delay and the Halliburton invasion-profiteers, big-time prevaricators like Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell. But can the last two be said to be liars when they actual believe the fables which they spread onto their followers? To someone like me who has spent the better part of a lifetime learning the methods by which one can actually arrive at some verifiable facts, their failure to seek out better ways of arriving at the truth than oracles and wishing wells qualifies them, in my mind, as a “sort of” liar.
Well, okay, that’s it, then, for this jeremiad.