It's been several days since Bush's State of the Union address, and I'm still chewing on the greater sermon we seem to be preaching to the world. I don't normally go around tubthumping my politics (or lack thereof)...ask anyone unfortunate enough to know me personally. So, this is a rare treat.
AMERICA, at its primal core, idolizes the old Roman Empire. As a nation, we're delirious for its symbols, its arrogance, and its immunity against conscience. And it's getting worse with each administration.
Our current President is behaving like an insane mortician, exhuming the graves of the Caesars and wearing their skins like a mad king's robes, strutting across the earth in a fever dream of conquest. And he's doing this on television, yet.
Too heavy a metaphor? I doubt it: the warning signs have been here for some 200 years in downtown DC, where the Federal buildings all echo the architecture of Rome. The Stink of Empire permeates the marble columns. If that unholy Babylon was our diplomatic model, we were doomed from the start.
So this President we enjoy today, wearing his Caligula-skin, stands before the world and declares that WE WILL BE A SINGULAR FORCE AGAINST TYRANNY. Isn't that a tyrannical threat? By definition, one nation enforcing its will upon ALL NATIONS is "tyrannical". To do such with military force could easily qualify as "terrorism".
To see our inarticulate Commander in Chief mumble such grandiose atrocities in our name is more than a little embarrasing: it reduces us Proud American Citizens to lobotomized drones.
So evidently, we have made it our business to root out "tyranny" and smash it. By "we" of course, I mean the Executive Branch of the United States government, not to be confused with the will of the people or our international allies. Thus, the USA is free to define "tyranny" on the fly, in response to almost anything that doesn't please the Administration. Those who are not FOR us are AGAINST us.
(Is it just me, or is it getting awfully New Testament in here?)
How can a nation behave this way, unchecked?
Moot question. "Approval ratings" are a thing of the past, baby; we've moved on. Today, the Executive Branch can launch wars without the consent of Congress or the United Nations, can spy on its own citizens, can indulge in the buying of Votes and Favors, etc. This is political Darwinism at its eerie best: A superpower can change the rules in mid-game. That's why they're called Super Powers. The biggest rats always eat their young.
Anyway, the result of all this nastiness is a new breed of American President: A smiling tyrant. Currently, it would be King George II. FrankenCaesar.
But it seems there might be hope out there, beyond our borders. There are signals that small pockets of the world refuse to lie on their backs, submissively peeing in the air like epileptic spaniels. But it takes work to find those stories, because our own domestic news media seems so self-absorbed, you'd think we were the only nation in the world. Praise all the gods that's not so.
For that, tune in next time. Afterwards, we'll get back to more light-hearted blog fare, here at the Intangible Ashram.