We Live in Crazy Land
Last night (June 17, 2008) Mike Malloy asked his listeners,
“How did we, the American people, get to the point where when we hear about this [American Atrocities] … we do nothing. That’s my question.”
Well … The short answer is … We’ve gone crazy. Long answer … As Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride would say … Lemmee ‘splain.
We’ve been living in the belly of the beast for so long … we’re delusional.
America has always shown its crazy face to the rest of the world since we took our first faltering steps towards imperialism. We’ve tried not to go crazy domestically … but The Dark Ages break out with alarming frequency.
The Sedition Act of 1918 made it a crime to utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States’ form of government. Anti-war protesters were arrested and imprisoned by the hundreds as speaking out against the draft and the war became illegal under this law.
During the Commie-Purging Hysteria that began in 1947, thousands of Americans were blacklisted for having once had ties, however tenuous if at all, to the Communist Party.
Here’s a fact from that period that gave me severe historical whiplash.
In 1947, Dalton Trumbo, along with nine other writers and directors, was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee as an unfriendly witness to testify on the presence of Communist influence in Hollywood. Trumbo refused to give information. Though only convicted of contempt of Congress, he was blacklisted, and in 1950, spent 11 months in prison in the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky.
Josh Bolten and Harriett Miers won’t be going to a federal prison any time soon as long as Attorney General Michael Mukasey blocks any prosecution.
But we were talking of National Insanity weren’t we … ?
In 1987 the FCC abolished The Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting. This was the trigger. And it was pulled deliberately by Corporate America … and blew our collective brains out.
Rush Limbaugh has been on the air for over 20 years. FOX News for 12. I submit that a lot of the delusional thinking of this country has iatrogenic origins. I mean to say our insanity isn’t home grown … It is imposed.
The Media Can Legally Lie
In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.
If you want to drive someone crazy … lie to them for over 20 years and tell them that the lies that you’ve told them is The News.
On our national airwaves Pastors Hagee and Parsley scream for the blood of Muslims, shovel Jews into the pit of Armageddon, call for beating gay people to death, and that’s religious programming.
There are people in this country who will not vote for Barack Obama because he’s a black man … but that’s “Old-School” craziness. Today there are folks out there today thinking “New” crazy thoughts … put in their minds by the media. Don’t vote for Obama because he’s a Muslim … and did you see his extremist Christian Preacher on the news the other day?
On Face the Nation the other morning, former House speaker Newt Gingrich echoed the extreme rhetoric of the right wing to decry the Supreme Court’s recent decision restoring the right of habeas corpus petitions to Guantanamo detainees, charging the decision would “cost us a city”
So Newt believes if we restore The Constitution of the United States … we lose a city to terrorist attack. Let’s look up the definition of Delusional: Having a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact. I think Newt has to go over there and sit with The Crazy People.
I’ve often said that eleven out of ten Americans are mentally ill but according to a study that came out in 2005, The National Comorbidity Survey Replication, I’m not that far off:
U.S. Leads In Mental Illness, Lags in Treatment
“… Although parallel studies in 27 other countries are not yet complete, the new numbers suggest that the United States is poised to rank No. 1 globally for mental illness.”
“… One-quarter of all Americans met the criteria for having a mental illness within the past year, and fully a quarter of those had a “serious” disorder that significantly disrupted their ability to function day to day.”
I still think their numbers are way too low. How would the survey rate Pastors Hagee and Parsley? Or their “flock.” Or the people who “would never vote for a black man.” And don’t forget the estranged Hillary voters migrating over to McCain … they have to stand over there with the crazy people too.
The political discourse in this country has warped into something unimaginable to a voter from 1952.
From Kennedy vs. Nixon to Carter vs. Reagan, presidential contests were primarily about competing ideologies but by 2000 the ideological divide had hardened down straight partisan lines. George Bush was the Republican. Al Gore was The Democrat. That’s all you needed to know. The campaign rhetoric was almost superfluous.
In 2004 we saw a huge shift. It was no longer a matter of partisanship. The 2004 election was the Smart vs. Stupid election. You didn’t have to be that smart to see that the Bush Presidency had completely failed. But you had to be really stupid not to notice it.
Four Short Years Later … This election is no longer in Smart vs. Stupid territory. We’ve gone that last extra step. This election is Sane People vs. Crazy People.
As reported by Crooks & Liars last month:
After almost eight years of the George W. Bush Administration, and six years of complete Republican control, there is not one single policy Republicans can point to and say, “this was a success.”
Anyone who pulls the lever for a Republican president in 2008 has got to be out of their mind.
By the way … If you want to register to vote in Florida you must check a box on the form that says you’re not crazy. Crazy people follow that rule all the time.
But to answer the question …
How did we, the American people, get to the point where … we do nothing? We have not just been desensitized; we have been deconstructed.
Gangsters control the Executive and Judicial branches of government. The Legislative Branch has turned its back on the people. The corporate-controlled media lies to us. And way too many of us have been driven crazy.
The solution? I keep buying Rolaids in those huge bottles and wait for the rest of us to get it together enough to just … sit down and do nothing. I learned a long time ago that it’s impossible to talk to crazy people.
We Live in Crazy Land June 18, 2008