The debate in question is an on-going one, waged over the past six years, between myself and fellow Discordian, Pokey McDooris. Here and now I hope to land the knock-out punch. Recently our rants have shifted to the societal collapse lurking at the edge of the collective psyche—a phenomenon I call the Scheisstgeist. Our late night debates typically include our wasteland warrior mission statement (which is still in progress). We also wonder, as integral warlord hopefuls, whether or not owning sex slaves will impede our chances for enlightenment. Most importantly, we contemplate the logistics of brewing beer from bread and gobs of our own spittle. In other words, we both agree America is in trouble, but we fundamentally disagree on how we, as a nation, got here.
Pokey, champions Ken Wilber’s Boomeritis theory, which, in a nut shell, blames liberal pluralism. Common worldcentric thinking is a relatively high level of human development, but, according to Wilber, a nefarious shadow-side lurks within this world view. These potentially unhinged liberals—or green meanies as our own anthropologist Dr. Sterling Hogbein calls them—are not willing to repair the current system, but are working diligently toward its’ demise. They are not interested in including and transcending, so much as starting from scratch. What they tend to ignore are all those pesky transition periods, wherein people from historically lower perspectives ultimately force them to toil rigorously in the field by day and toil rigorously in the sack by night. Some of the folks keeping this shadow side of pluralism in check are: FOX News, AM radio, and Senior Discord Analyst Pokey McDooris.
Look no further than Europe to see how a policy of appeasement is working out. These wonderful cultures are being absorbed by immigrants unwilling to assimilate (IUAs). Here in the US, extreme political correctness (EPC) is spawning a type of ‘nice police,’ which actually endangers our freedom of speech. From this perspective, appropriate non-offensive language is often deemed more important than the truth. ‘I’m OK, you’re OK’ (even if you are off of the boat, off of your meds, and, by all accounts, off of your rocker). In counseling, this is often called enabling. Sometimes it’s healthier to say, ‘I’m OK, but I’m really not so sure about you, suck wad.’ Suck wad is a clinical designation found in the DSM-IV (Homeboy Edition).
How can easygoing progressive thinking impact our first amendment rights? Just ask Don Imus or Michael Savage. Even Barak Obama called Don Imus’ rants ‘hateful speech’ but was far more lenient when his own pastor’s antics surfaced (until it cost him too many votes).
An anti-American movement certainly thrived within this country pre 9/11, so in this respect I agree with my colleague. The recent Reverend Wright controversy opened a scab of one such problem festering within our society (other than my friend Shag). For some, change means giving up their well cultivated hatred. I agree that there are many people looking for reasons to tear down our systems, however, there is another side to this story—my side. I feel that the last seven years have been much more damaging to this country than any underground, nebulous threat from the—not in any remote position of power—green meanies.
I’m afraid a recap is necessary. It has been all but proven that torture has been given the green light at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib by the Bush Administration. By all accounts this development has been the greatest blow to the soft war, or what has been termed ‘the war of ideas.’ Executive power has been greatly expanded, including signing statements and a host of enhanced executive privilege (EEP) that protects the Bushies from any and all accountability. Habeas corpus, which successfully bypasses the rest of the Bill of Rights, has thankfully been zapped with a defibrillator. But add two wars bleeding us dry, one of which is a superfluous invasion poorly managed, warrant-less wire tapping, a compromised justice department, a failing economy, out of control corporate greed, treasoness subcontracting during war time (breath), out of control oil prices, ignoring climate change, and a plummeting approval rating around the world…and you’ve most certainly lost sight of the original point of this sentence. Shake, chill, and serve with a side order of freedom fries, and wa la, you have a collapsing super power.
Back to my colleagues’ argument: what has been the greatest force behind this home grown anti-Americanism? You guessed it, the Bush Administration. Bush has brought anti-Americanism into the mainstream. He has legitimized the fringe elements of our society and has galvanized these hodge-podges of marginalized pockets into a solid movement. He has done this at home and abroad. He has done this as effectively in Newark as he has in Islamabad. He is the recruitment tool for the Bin Ladens and the Farrakahns. In fact, there is even an anti-government movement within the Republican Party itself! They’re called the Paulites, and they demand zany things like freedom and small government. They are even talking about moving into their own gated communities, in a sense, seceding from the union. And remember kids, just having any hostile feeling toward this government is enough to get you on the Gitmo express. Under American law, these libertarians—a branch of the Republican Party—might end up behind gates all right, but not the ones they think.
Now you can safely add every libertarian-minded individual to the Farrakhan freak show. You can then add all of the progressives disturbed by Bush’s brand of fundamentalism to the freak show. Add every educated person who understands the dangers of the Bushies brand of group think, all or none thinking, and a host of other cognitive distortions to the freak show. Add everyone sick of having their patriotism questioned by the likes of Sean Hannity—a man who has endlessly cheered the crippling policies pushed by this administration—to the freak show. Add real conservatives and everyone else who is for small government and fiscal responsibility to the freak show. Shake, chill, and serve with a side order of freedom fries, and wa la, you have stoked and legitimized real anti-American sediment around the country and the world.
If you would like to keep score—somewhat subjectively I’m afraid—let’s put the danger from the neocon’s secrecy and incompetence at about a 9 right now (7 points of which can be attributed to Bush and Co.). I give the ‘nice police’ and this seething anti-Americanism, which culminates in the fear of a collapse from within, as being about a 6 (2 points of which can be attributed to a reaction to Bush and Co.). Even if the collapse does ultimately come from within our society, no matter how you do the math, far more damage has been done by the neocons. Combined, Bush has negatively impacted these categories by nearly two thirds! Another few years of this madness and, guess what, you can add me to the freak show.