Monday, October 19, 2015

Panem et Circenses

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”
Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81
Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how the politics of the US seems to be degrading to one of uncritical acceptance of whatever one’s party tells us to believe. The left has its moments and its jingoists, but the right seems to be the winner in the contest of satire above substance! 

Another thing that Dr. Carson said on the talking heads shows lead me to wonder at the disingenuity of the political right. It seems that they are against anything that does not, personally benefit themselves or their families at the present time – especially if it appeals to the mean-spirited inclinations of the extreme end of their party.

It is strange that Dr. Carson thinks Medical School should be free but he (at least as of yet) has failed to grasp the fundamental fact that a public education should be free! Is this, as it seems to be, another example of the right’s fuck you – I got mine attitude? Have you ever noticed that social issues are “bad” things until they personally are impacted by the issue? Look at marriage equality: Why is it that the lawmakers on the right are strident about denying gay people their rights until it turns out that one of their children is gay – then they are all for extending equal protection under the law to their children. 

It is strange that Senator Rubio wants to toughen the very same lax laws that allowed his family and millions of Cubans to enter the country – why then does he issue the virtual “fuck you” to immigrants that want to come here just because they are from countries other than Cuba?

Why is it some of the most zealous voices on the right for “family values” have such abominable family lives? Children out-of-wedlock, sex scandals, affairs, and other such prurient grist for the hate mills of the right are routinely ignored or forgiven by the political right simply because it is being done by heroes of the right. They never seem to forgive or forget any misdeeds by the left no matter how small – or indeed manufactured. But just because someone on the right says that they were possessed of the devil when they did their misdeeds or that they have prayed for forgiveness – all is forgiven! 

There is a recurring meme in which the Queen of England purportedly revoking the Declaration of Independence because we cannot rule ourselves. I think that we have proven that we cannot rule ourselves and think we should start a similar meme where we beg Her Highness to take us back. Having lived abroad I can say without fear of disproof (if not dispute) that “American Exceptionalism” is a myth of the right – like the myth of the “Liberal Media.”

Wherever you are, I hope that you will look at what is said in the political arena with a critical eye! 

Don Bergquist – October 19, 2015 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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