“Only economic devastation brought on by drunken war spending and promiscuous job exporting will allow a more centrist leadership to regain control of the country. But a lot of people will suffer all over the world before a new Franklin Roosevelt emerges to pick up the pieces. God save us all.”
Who said that? Me. In this newspaper on May 8, 2005. Has the new FDR appeared? Not yet, but the devastation certainly has.
“The United States has struck an uneasy and imperfect balance between communism and capitalism,” I noted. “The socialist aspects of our culture, which have saved us from a second civil war for more than a century, are under vicious assault by the mindless automatons of capital” who brand anything for average folks as socialist and communist. (Most don’t know what the words mean anyway.)
Nonetheless, we love our commie/community creations: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, public education, labor unions, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the U.S Postal Service.
“The list is endless,” I said.
“Only such collectivist institutions have blunted the sharp edge of unbridled capitalism, allowing us to maintain the consensus needed to remain a nation. Alas, today’s minions of capitalism have gotten greedy. They have seen how easy it is to propagandize the great unwashed into dancing to their tune,” I noted.
When Obamacare was being passed by Democrats, I laughed when I saw dingbat opponents carrying signs reading “Keep government’s hands out of my Medicare.” Those who fear a “government takeover of health care” mostly don’t know that ship sailed in 2011, the year the hated “gov’mint” began paying the tab for more than half of all U.S. health services.
As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has oft-stated, “unregulated capitalism is tyranny.”
Hitler’s military commander Hermann Goering succinctly stated the con: “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country,” Goering noted.
Four years ago, it was rapists and murderers from Mexico. This year, Czar Donaldov’s killer zombies have morphed into angry black-skinned anarchists. Will we fall for the con again? History says yes. And no.
Witness this memo I got from a very prestigious and intelligent Republican political figure a few days ago: “Many in the media and many in the elite education establishment are doing their part in the destruction of our culture, capitalism and the Judeo-Christian tradition upon which we are founded. These days, many in the media are not sounding like the 4th Estate that has traditionally protected our rights, including the First Amendment, but instead are sounding like a 5th Column determined to subvert the United States, its culture and capitalism.”
I hardly knew ye.
“Fifth column.” Undercover traitors and subversive spies everywhere. Call J. Edgar Hoover to turn in your spouse, nosy neighbor or drunken brother-in-law.
The deep state has made a comeback.
Decades ago, author Damon Runyan warned that “one of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come up to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the Jack of Spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you are standing there, you are going to end up with an earful of cider.”
Moral of the story: Never, ever, play the other guy’s game.
Caving to the old rules means Czar Donaldov wins every time.
Imagine a TV Super Bowl with no spectators and no referees. One team plays by the rules, 12 men on the field, four downs, all the usual stuff. The other team sends out 25 Freddie Kruegers with clubs, whips and hatchets. Guess who wins.
“If the president says it, it’s news” fulfills a propagandist’s dream. Somewhere much hotter than Nevada, Josef Goebbels and Gen. Goering are smiling.
Today’s much maligned fake news media are addicted to doing the bidding of the Dissembler in Chief. They play by the old rules, spreading Trump’s lies and propaganda for him while the old-rules team gets chopped up for dog food. Just because he says it, it’s gotta be automatically newsworthy, right?
It’s time to black out the wannabe king. If his meanderings have relevance to public policy, all systems go. If he invents something from whole cloth from that dream world wherein all psychopaths live, don’t publish it. Drink Clorox to cure COVID-19? Some poor louts actually did.
We’ve already paid a helluva price because we vote based on sound bytes and TV images. We either stop drinking the spiked cider or one day soon, we will wake with a killer Clorox hangover to find that our nation has ceased to exist because we played the other guy’s game.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
¡Sí se puede!
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com/ E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.