As promised, Senator Barack Obama infotained Americans for thirty minutes, starting off with amber waves of grain. Hope, change, plus incredibly coincidental family spotlights in several “battleground” states – that seemed to be his basic message.
I watched twice, first to get the full flavor, then next, with the sound turned way down. I suppose we have Robert Heinlein to thank for the result. This infomercial reminded me of “If This Goes On.” In one of his scariest future history stories, Heinlein described the life of one John Lyle, a young military man serving the Prophet. The Prophet, Nehemiah Scudder, has become the nation’s ultra-conservative religious/political/military leader. Think of a genetic clone of Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and several of those greedy televangelist brain-washers who wish to separate your soul from the devil, and your money from your wallet.
Anyway, Lyle falls in love, gets in trouble with the Cabal, runs and joins the underground which wishes to depose the country’s Prophet. The good guys win, and take over much of the country.
New Jerusalem, Scudder’s capital, is the last to fall. Before the invasion of the capital, the insurgents taste test a 30 minute movie that is intended to close the sale on the Revolution. If watched by the great unwashed masses, it would prove to them that the Prophet is false, the Revolution is great, and that people should join the good guys. It is hypnotic, seductive, and convincing – much like what Barack Obama showed us last night. Luckily, in Heinlein’s book, someone wakes up and stops the propaganda before they are all seduced.
That didn’t happen last night. People, some people, were seduced. From a quick taste of the conservative blogs, people were upset because they saw the ad as unfair, and convincing. On the liberal blogs, people wrote of tears, conviction, happiness, excitement, even one orgasm.
For the past eight years, we have been the victims of the most corrupt government our country has ever had. BushCo effectively used religious symbols to get elected, truly breath-taking spin to entice the most cold hearted, and Goebbels’ suggestions of using fear and danger to energize the people, and to get them to support his war plans. Bush, desite his numerous, even constant administrative, leadership, social, economic, judicial, ethical, moral, and practical failings, was a huge success where it counted. He won two terms, and his legislative agenda was almost completely unchecked by Congress or by the people. Even after 2006, when Congress should have gotten the hint, those spineless bastards still passed FISA II, continued to feed the war machinery behind Bush, and even now, our congress, media, and the people ignore our recent invasions of two other countries, Syria and Pakistan.
While Bush was a complete, abject, and utter failure as a leader, as an image maker and spinner, his administration outdid Nazi Germany. Had he not been so successful, instead of getting ready to retire, Bush would have been hung, drawn and quartered, tarred, feathered, hung again, then boiled alive by an angry mob. But his spin worked for as long as he needed it to. Now, he simply doesn’t care anymore.
What Obama fed us last night was all spin, Goebbels-ian propaganda in the worst sense of the word. Beautifully shot, emotional, convincing, warm, tender, strong, and “Patriotic”, we witnessed the best mind-bending propaganda that the slickest psycho-soldiers from Madison Avenue could muster.
Sorry, I am not buying it.
As much as I hated Bush, and thoroughly support massive changes in direction, I hate the idea that Obama resorted to this type of brain-washing, even using a Delicate Rinse cycle, instead of a more heavy handed Permanent Press setting. I want a leader to realize what our problems are, tell us, give us alternatives from which WE CHOOSE, then do his best to effectuate the will of the people. Using the bully pulpit, the power that any president has over the media, and appealing to Americans about what we need to do in IraqNam, Afghanistan, the thoroughly corrupted, castrated Department of Justice (talk about oxymorons), the religious leadership in the DOD, the domestic surveillance of US citizens, and of course, the economic disaster that BushCo and their exec fiends on Wall have visited on America.
Obama did not do that yesterday. He spun beautifully, the message was extremely well crafted, but, after eight years of Bush, the last thing I want in power is another spinner messing with my mind.
Leave my mind alone, and let me choose a government that will be responsive to me, and quit trying to make me responsive to my government. I will not stand for four more years of spinning and brainwashing. No longer.
I suppose that the underlying issue is the difference between Patriotism and Nationalism. Oxford defines Nationalism as, “Patriotic feelings, an extreme form of which is marked by feelings of superiority over other countries.”
Patriotism is the support of one’s country. Not one’s government, but one’s country. The difference is huge.
Patriotism has never meant the unbridled support of one’s government. Rather, it is the love one has for the possibilities that our democracy once promised. Before Bush, our constitution was the best example of both our soaring dreams and our realistic view of human nature. I would go so far to say that our nation’s most famous revolutionaries were patriots, in that their goal was for the greater good.
Even as a compromise, and ignoring our despicable treatment of slavery, our Constitution represents the best that humanity can offer.
Nationalism , constitutes a misbegotten love of country for better or worse: “My country right or wrong,” is a disease that we better cure, or else we risk utter failure. Nationalism refuses to see our own faults or mistakes. Nationalism was probably best expressed by Britney Spears, “But of course I support President Bush. I mean, he’s like the president!” Nationalism is a danger to us all. What we saw last night was edging far to close to Nationalism, rather than Patriotism.
Two thumbs down, Senator Obama. I really hope that when you govern, you don’t use this kind of Nationalistic propaganda tool ever again. Good intentions eventually pave a superhighway to someplace, and I have no wish to visit that destination. It would be unsafe at any speed.
Yes, you still have my support, only because we must remove every last vestige of BushCo, neoconMan-ism, religious infiltration of our government, PNAC, and the current corrupted cabal that took over today’s GOP. In that respect, you are the only choice for change. I just hope that as president, you reconsider how you craft your message. My support is not blind, nor is it emotional. It is calculating, in that you are the only rational choice at this time in history.
You have earned a modicum of respect and support. Please don’t squander it in office. I do not suggest that you act timidly, because these dangerous times call for much more than that. But, quit the goddammed propaganda, sir, and quit messing with my mind. I’d rather keep my eyes open, thank you very much.