VetGrl's recent diary, Shut Up And Listen, stressed the need to listen and understand republican voters, instead of caricaturing them as stupid, reactionary, evil rednecks. Great diary. Last year, the English playwright Harold Pinter accepted his Nobel Prize for literature with this
speech. Read it all with a strong stomach, or in the light of VetGrl's diary at least read this part...
I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road...[snip]...as a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self-love. It's a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.'
It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable.
The American people - and the population of the world in general - are regarded by our current crop of leaders as a resource to be farmed. This attitude of dehumanization towards the rest of society is deeply, culturally ingrained in the ruling class. Just like Buddhists believe in reincarnation, this cabal of right-wingers believe in their absolute right to rule. They are not afraid of using borderline or actual criminal activity to promote and to seal their own interests. They see it as "us" and "them", it's about time we did too.
Never mind the extremists. I don't buy it that the American people, the ordinary people who voted for Bush are all bad or stupid. It must at least partly be because they are comfortable on Pinter's "voluptuous cushion of reassurance". With all the hardships of daily life, it's very attractive to drop the responsibility to think about other people's problems and to just trust your President.
The American people can be wonderfully trusting, good-natured souls who love to believe in someone. Some of these ordinary people have placed their trust in Bush and the Republicans. They now seem to be working out that they made a mistake. Bush is screwing these people just as much as he is screwing the rest of us. We need to stand alongside them, support them and help them out. Bush is at 29%, a little class solidarity now could pay dividends in the long run.
It's not helpful to segment society vertically - as republican or democrat, black or white. Let's focus on the major horizontal fault line between the ruling class of oligarchs and the rest. It's time to reclaim these words `the American people' - after all, they're taking your name in vain.
By the way, I'm not a US citizen, I can't vote, and so spending time on this site feels like listening in to someone else's private conversation. Posting a diary, especially one that contains criticism like Pinter's, feels like interrupting that conversation - plain bad manners. I hope you can forgive me.
I guess having the rest of the world stick its nose in your business is part of the price you pay for your nation's democratic ideals. Good luck to you all, keep fighting the good fight.