Sometimes, just sometimes, watching the democratic process stirs up a mix of emotions that is oddly reminiscent of how I feel when I see things like chocolate covered potato chips. First, I’m a little intrigued. Then, I think, what a waste of perfectly good chocolate. Then, I end up feeling a bit scared on behalf of humanity as a whole.
During some of the presidential debates, I felt all this, and more, as I watched Ron Paul’s emergence and his fellow candidates’ subsequent confusion. When someone like Paul brings up those pesky National Intelligence Estimate findings to the denial squad, or mentions facts about torture, habeas corpus, or the constitution, it can be both comical and dangerous. For Republicans any deviance from the White House’s talking points triggers serious consequences, such as (gasp) realization.
Didn’t that kook, Paul, get the memo? FOX News has assured us that the incompetent parts of the last seven years (roughly 94%) never happened. Who is this constitutional upstart? Doesn’t he realize that what’s left of the Republican Party is designated to the ever-shrinking Bushian bubble of non-reality, hovering over the White House like a Roveian fart? When Paul spoke during the debates it was like watching robots being fed paradoxical statements. Smoke rose out of their ears, a few springs shot into the audience, and the knee-jerk responses spewed, such as, “America doesn’t need to apologize to anyone!” Apparently, this includes those affected by all the war’s collateral damage as well as those people wrongly whisked away into the night, detained, and tortured without proof or due process.
These neocons must be brought up to date slowly; otherwise it’s like watching a deep sea diver surface too quickly, or abruptly rousing a sleep walker, or reliving that mother/daughter end-of-the-Crying-Game moment. In short, the Republican denial involves pride, stubbornness, and a lack of Ginkoba supplements. You have been terribly wrong about a terrible war that may have far reaching consequences for the Middle East and the United States, but it’s OK. When you are a neocon digging a hole, it is best to stop digging, casually lay down the shovel, look as inconspicuous as possible, and maybe shift your energy toward domestic affairs, like dismantling more of the Constitution.
The ‘Surge’ may well be working, but the fact remains that this is just the first step of our build-your-own-country kit. After five years, countless lives, and an ongoing two-billion a week price tag, we have successfully inserted tab A into slot B. Hurray, now we have completed step one…only 187 left (I knew we should have purchased the preassembled model).
I understand it may be distasteful to allow your liberal friends to pull you out of this hole, so why not employ the aide of someone more integral? Someone who understands that foreign threats do exist and that something really does need to be done about them, but have you ever seen something fraught with this many missteps end well? OK, maybe the play Springtime for Hitler, but, let’s face it, that was a fluke.
Personally, I marched on Shock and Awe Day, but I was brightened by the purple thumb brigade during Iraq’s first vote. Our cheerleading must be tempered with the awareness that any progress might be seen as a green light for the Bushies to move their invasion to other countries, including loveable Canada. This eventuality continues to cause considerable moral and patriotically-grounded angst. After all, they invented back bacon and hockey. It’s time people started to appreciate the difficulty that I have had walking the line between patriotism and rationalism. Let’s face it, if Iran, and or Syria, are ever to become the next logical step in Bush’s ‘road-side-bomb to peace,’ there is no way, no how, it should be managed by Dr. Incompetent and his Neonatecons.
Isn’t it time for more options than ‘America is always wrong,’ or ‘America is always right?’ In order to rise above both parties, isn’t it time we formed a new one? Integralists will help you out of this ideological ditch without saying, “I told you so,” or “where is that twenty you owe me, bitch?” But on that note, I would like to take this moment to ask, “Where is that twenty you owe me, bitch?”
This party will stand by the original tenants of conservatism, small government, and protected civil liberties, while embracing civic responsibility for those less fortunate among us. A more ‘integral’ party loosely based on some of the work of Ken Wilber, will help us address the complex problems of the twenty-first century. Our battle cry, which will ring out from the fruited plains to the purple mountain’s majesty: “Don’t be stupid. Be a smarty. Come and join our TransCosmetic Party.”