Politics and Acid Indigestion

Welcome to the Presidential Election of 2008! It’s been going on nearly two years and here we are two weeks from Election Day and all the questions that should have been addressed during this process have gone ignored. And what a mess it’s left us in. Now we must make a monumental decision…without the facts!

The political parties distract us with canned rhetoric. They try to quantify and categorize us into units and voting blocks they can manipulate. When that fails they try to divide us into manageable coalitions of 50 percent plus one. The media entertains us with invented feuds, predictable villains, and yes more rhetoric.

As we sit in our kitchens, our living rooms and our multi-media cocoons we can’t help but wonder what is going on! Here we are bombarded with information 24 hours a day, but very few of us understand what went wrong, how we got here or what we should be doing.

The politicians spin the mess one way. The press has not been asking the tough questions and “we the people” are left holding the bag. Unless you are very, very brave I would not recommend looking inside that bag.

But look we must. Washington has avoided looking into that bag for far too long. The current administration thought that with moral certitude we could “spread democracy” far and abroad. The thinking was if “they” could be more like “us” then “we” could understand “them”.

None of that happened, and in the process, we looked the other way as the great and benevolent free market turned into a monster. Morphed by the most predictable of all human behaviors. Greed.

So now we must choose a new leader. The new President will be faced with two wars, an economy that is anything but certain, and 80% of Americans believing the country is headed in the wrong direction. 80 percent! For 80% of Americans to agree on any one thing is in itself a miracle. But not all miracles are gifts from God. This miracle is scaring the Hell out me.

What I’d really like to know (and I realize it’s just useless information) is who the bejeezus are these 20% who think things are just dandy? You’d have to be pretty anesthetized to reality to not at least be feeling the fear if not the actual pain. Anesthesia comes in many forms. It need not be chemical. Bigotry, Self-Righteousness, Delusion. These are all forms of psychological self-defense gone awry.

And just when things seem the darkest something truly scary happens.

I have admired John McCain. I admired his service, his sacrifice, heck even his attitude. I think had the machine that is the establishment of the Republican Party not smeared him so horribly in 2000 he would have (should have) gained the Republican nomination. I cannot believe that he would have handled the horror of 9/11 in quite the same way as George Bush. You know he would have been tough, but I think he would have been smart too. He understands the world in a way George Bush never could.

What I am trying to say is, I believed he had honor. He prevailed despite the lies and tarnish placed upon him by his “peers”.

But now, look at him. He is reduced to using the same brand of shameful smears (that sunk him in 2000) against Barack Obama. Barack Obama is not a terrorist; he is not a Muslim (and incidentally those two things are not interchangeable labels). Not matter what your political inclinations; Barack Obama is not to be feared by America.

But John McCain has taken philosophical disagreements and tortured them into a weapon of fear. He has whipped the easily influenced at the fringes of his party into a frenzy that is frightening! I know he is aware of the atrocities that sadly scar our political past. These atrocities include fire bombings, the murder of children, and even assassination. I know he knows this.

But I’m supposed to be talking about the lovely meal I prepared for friends as we chatted and listened and gossiped our way through yet another institutionally controlled, media placated political “forum”. But you know what? It feels a little too much like the last supper for me to go into too many details. Watch the video. It was a lovely evening with friends. GREG


Greg Henry