Sunday, March 27, 2011

Escape to Sanity

I will not be blogging for a few days as I am planning an escape into sanity. The situation in the United States, and also the world, has deteriorated to the point of insanity. I need a respite. I will eschew television and the internet (I never listen to the radio). They will be available to me but I will use my iron determination and self-discipline to ignore them completely (maybe, perhaps, possibly, honestly, hopefully). I intend to sit by the fire and read a fine book I have found on the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution. Once in a while I’ll look out the window and watch the rain.

I believe things began to change for the worse under the reign of Saint Ronnie the Obtuse, when the Republican Party began its precipitous decline. This decline continued under the guidance of Bush senior, the Godfather. When their plans for world domination were interrupted by the upstart, Bill Clinton the Clever, what had originally been an ordinary political party, could not defeat Clinton legitimately, so it began to take on a decidedly unprecedented and dastardly course by mounting an unprincipled attack on his personal life. Under George W. Bush the Dumb, and his chief henchman, Dick the Slimy, it soon became little more than a full-blown criminal conspiracy, a kind of Brafia (Bush/Republican Mafia). Interrupted once again by the failure of John McCain the Traitorous and his poorly chosen sidekick, The Housewife from Hell, to defeat even a preposterously named Black man for the Presidency, the party has now morphed into what appears to be primarily a home for the criminally insane and the altogether religiously “bonkers.” They have not given up their attempt to create a Fascist government. About the last serious organized resistance, labor unions, are now in their sights, if they succeed in taking away the right to assemble and unionize we can kiss any semblance of democracy goodbye forever.

Here in the early years of the 21st century we find ourselves at the mercy of “leaders” who are ideologically driven and do not even attempt to lead. The idea of governing in the best interest of the citizens has been forgotten in favor of arguing positions that were settled long ago by most sentient beings, evolution vs. creationism, the bible vs. science, the age of the earth, benevolent government vs. social Darwinism, women’s rights vs. patriarchy, the right to unionize vs. Fascism, gays in the military vs. homophobia, global warming vs. ignorance, and, if some were to get their way, even who should be allowed to vote. The most pressing problems of our time, like unemployment, recession, the environment, global warming, the unequal distribution of wealth, decent health care, neglected education and infrastructure, and so on, are seemingly not a matter of concern for the Republicans. Indeed, they have announced as their single most important concern is getting rid of President Obama. Towards that end they have consistently refused to cooperate in the urgent needs facing our country. In my view this is insanity writ large. I need to escape, if only for a brief time.

It is not only Republicans who are the problem, of course. Some Democrats are just as guilty of ignoring the public interest in favor of their own political ambitions. As a result of the last election when these assorted loonies somehow managed to get elected and now control the House of Representatives we are pretty much stymied. We have three “wars” we can ill afford, no one knows when or even if they will ever end, or what the outcomes will bring. All three of these “wars” are both unconstitutional and illegal but nothing can be done about it. We had a recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that made it very clear we do not know how to prevent serious accidents, the largest oil spill ever, but now, just a few months later we are going to begin deepwater drilling again. Japan just experienced a terrible nuclear plant accident as a result of an earthquake and tsunami which may, before it’s over, rival Chernobyl in devastation, but some are downplaying its importance and show no serious signs of giving up on this exceedingly dangerous form of energy production (still arguing mindlessly that it is safe). The Germans are giving up on nuclear energy entirely, the Norwegians have stopped ocean drilling, but there is no indication we are about to do the same. We have fallen far and seriously behind the rest of the industrialized world in education, our infrastructure is badly decayed, our manufacturing capacity has been disappearing, our totally inefficient and ridiculous health care system is bankrupting us, the obscene disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” has made our economics a shambles, but the wealthy and the corporations demand more and more and have the support of the empowered. What is worse, global warming is probably the worst potential disaster ever to face us, but because a significant number of those who now hold power do not believe in science, and therefore do not believe in global warming, little can be done about it. They apparently are not intelligent enough to realize that believing in fairy tales is not enough and that science cannot be mocked without truly disastrous results. Quaint and superstitious religious beliefs have been largely given up by most of the “civilized” world, but not here in the good ol’ U. S. A., where many really believe God created the earth in a few days only about 6000 years ago, and the sounds of the piano are made by little angels dancing around on the strings. At the moment it seems to me we are entirely surrounded by, and adrift in, a sea of insanity. Give me a break! I shall return most probably on Saturday, April 2nd. In the meanwhile, (try to) be of good cheer.

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