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July 29, 2006

State Of The Union Politics

As a kind of follow-on to the previous post, here are excerpts from an interview with Gore Vidal in the current issue of The Progressive:

The people don't matter to this gang. They pay no attention. They think in totalitarian terms. They've got the troops. They've got the army. They've got Congress. They've got the judiciary. Why should they worry? Let the chattering classes chatter. Bush is a thug. I think there is something really wrong with him. [...]

What is it going to take to stop the Bush onslaught? Economic collapse. We are too deeply in debt...I think the Chinese will say the hell with you and pull their money out of the United States. That's the end of our wars. [...]

We've never had a government like this. The United States has done wicked things in the past to other countries but never on such a scale and never in such an existentialist way. It's as though we are evil. We strike first. We'll destroy you. This is an eternal war against terrorism. It's like a war against dandruff. There's no such thing as a war against terrorism. It's idiotic. These are slogans. These are lies. It's advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented and developed.

But our media has collapsed. They've questioned no one. One of the reasons Bush and Cheney are so daring is that they know there's nobody to stop them. Nobody is going to write a story that says this is not a war, only Congress can declare war. And you can only have a war with another country. You can't have a war with bad temper or a war against paranoids. Nothing makes any sense, and the people are getting very confused. The people are not stupid, but they are totally misinformed.

[Our rulers] don't want us to know anything. When you've got a press like we have, you no longer have an informed citizenry. [...]

A huge number of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. You have a people that don't know anything about the rest of the world, and you have leaders who lie to them, lie to them, and lie to them.

It's so stupid, everything that they say. And the media take on it is just as stupid as theirs, sometimes worse. They at least have motives. They are making money out of the republic or what's left of it. It's the stupidity that will really drive me away from this country. [...]

We certainly are not warlike. We don't want [military service]. We want to make money, which I always thought was one of the most admirable things about Americans. We didn't want to go out and conquer other countries. We wanted to corner wheat in the stock market or something sensible like that. So we are very unbelligerent. [...]

[The Democrats aren't] an opposition party. I have been saying for the last thousand years that the United States has only one party — the property party. It's the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican. [...]

The tactic [to energize democracy] would be to go after smaller offices, state by state, school board, sheriff, state legislatures. You can turn them around and that doesn't take much of anything. Take back everything at the grassroots, starting with state legislatures. That's what Madison always said. I'd like to see a revival of state legislatures, in which I am a true Jeffersonian. [...]

I hope [Newton's Third Law] is still working. American laws don't work, but at least the laws of physics might work. And the Third Law is: There is no action without reaction. There should be a great deal of reaction to the total incompetence of this Administration. It's going to take two or three generations to recover what we had as of twenty years ago. [Emphasis added]

Not a pretty picture, but who can argue with it? Lots of chickens coming home to roost, sooner or later.

Posted by Jonathan at July 29, 2006 04:57 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


And if others are going to strike the US economy, doing so while we're weak will have the greatest impact. Here is our economic strength today:


If China stops investing in the dollar, it will affect their economy as well. But they're so fat in cash right now they can withstand a financial hit, at least for a while. China is in a position to make far reaching moral decisions regarding world events, should they choose to do so.

Oh, how Americans love their money.

Posted by: Jeff at July 29, 2006 09:27 PM