Speaking of Draft Dodgers, I in fact, am one. In 1967, one of my best friends was shipped off to Vietnam. And I, a child of the 60's, stayed behind and protested. But today I repent. God how I repent. I am not a liberal, by God, not! At least not any more. The first born son of a hard core New Deal Democrat, factually descended from a family who fought in the Revolutionary War, and I've willfully given it all up. Still, I confess to character degradation, corrupt as the current American President.
At the invitation of my veteran friend, I recently attended a dinner at a very small local Church. A seven-year-old girl sat across from me and giggled as my wife teased her. But the mood swiftly shifted when my Vietnam Vet friend got up and began to sing Amazing Grace. Then right in the middle he began to confess, then to weep, and finally to clutch his guitar and cry out loud. His eyes wandered the ceiling, as if he were studying something over a great vast distance. He brushed tears from his eyes with the back of the knuckles on one hand, while clenching his fist with his other. He began to share the details of two of his experiences, details he had never shared in front of me before, and I've known him on and off for 40 years. We played together as kids, you know. Fished, learned martial arts went through school. He went to Nam, and I stayed home. He became an infantry sergeant. I found a way to dodge the draft, then went to college to study liberal arts and communication. He wound up an A company soldier in the 7th Cavalry, the very one Custer once commanded, and came home with a chest full of medals. I wound up living one day at a time, without honor, a dumbed down civilian indoctrinated by the liberal left.
And in that Church, in front of humble everyday people, he told us of a time when he was 20 years old and went into battle with 123 young men under his command. At the end of the day, he was only able to bring 40 out alive. The other 83 were left behind virtually in bloody pieces. He agonized over it, tears streaming down his face. A white bearded old man got up from his dinner and handed him a handful of tissues. My friend continued by telling us that he was almost immediately ordered back into battle with another 123 men. "Green troops," he called them. That time he came back out with 50. A real l ife Platoon, unfettered by the self-serving political slant of Oliver Stone. They were his charge, you see. Their lives were his, while he was desperately trying to keep his own. And he cried there in front of us all, literally, to God, how he came out without a scratch. With odds approaching the magnitude of Utah Beach or Iwo Jima, fighting with life itself for what he at least thought was our liberty, yours and mine, he came out "without a scratch." Except of course the one inside him.
Then he pointed to me in the audience, and lovingly introduced me as his friend of 40 years. Quite unprepared, I shrank, nothing so spectacular to share, nothing so profound to give. Wiping the tears from his face, he gave thanks to God for his life, his wife, and his children. He's a barber now. On the wall in his barber shop, yellow and slightly crumpled, not even framed, is an Army discharge document. Next to it, on a bare nail, hangs a little ribboned medal he received for valor 30 years ago, a medal he truly earned, a medal he truly deserved.
As for me, well I quietly wept when I visited the Vietnam Memorial, alone and unseen. All those names on that bold, cold black monolith. Should mine have been there as well? I love the concept of liberty, but I didn't know how to fight for it. I didn't understand the real enemy.
So I can't help thinking about another fellow draft dodger, a certain William Jefferson Clinton. Even if only by circumstantial evidence, he's beginning to appear to many of us as corrupt as Capone, ruthless as Stalin, and twisted as Caligula. If it were not for the pitiful remnants of the system passed to us by the blood sacrifice of a handful of "Dead White Guys," he or someone like the person circumstances imply he is, could conceivably surpass all three.
I shudder at the smug denial by the phalanx of apologists virtually making up excuses why they, with their special brand of 'un-character' could keep someone like him in check. How they, in their infinite deception could deceive the master deceiver, that he would behave as they imagine, not as he does. How they're so sure they can hand someone like him the total means to defend themselves, and still be confident they'll never find themselves staring back into the dark regions of its deadly muzzle.
It is incomprehensible how the strangely deceased, the felony convictions, and the brutally injured all strewn around the battle field of the Clinton camp, even if entirely only an amazing set of unique coincidences, could have failed to even arouse, if nothing more, our serious curiosity. How a naked king could be perceived in a fine new suit of clothes. How a sick and smelly southern sow's ear could be spun by the witch doctors of deception into a fine silk purse. How the tabloids have grossly overpaid Hollywood bimbos jumped up and down on the Lincoln Bed because they finally got a philandering, pot smoking president to validate their debauched addictive instincts in the White House. Without compromise, without remorse, without repentance.
Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln must have rolled over in their graves, abandoning us in disgust now to our own demise. As if individuals up there so high in power as to be invisible to us, could want this man in place to do their bidding so badly, that no amount of psychological warfare could be too much to cover the stench. As if nothing were too brazen, nothing too obvious. These past six years have taken on a positively Byzantine aura of almost classical proportion, as if we tramped the dusty streets outside Herod's fortress at the time of the crucifixion. I can't seem to shake the haunting feeling, alive and crawling within me like a viscous parasite, that as a nation, our number is in fact nearly up.
We have met the enemy, and he is us. Thanks to the Gramscian politics of the cultural elite, we hover now on the verge of our own defeat. You know, Antonio Gramsci, the Italian socialist who proposed the destruction of Western Civilization through what he called a Cultural Elite? He coined the expression 70 years before pundits made it a popular politically sanitized term.
He postulated well placed agents in education, government, and the media could undermine our morals, destroy our religion, cause social upheaval, and leave us totally vulnerable to a handful of totalitarian socialists volunteering to save us from above. These agents wouldn't even have to know precisely what they were doing. Just get caught up in the basic idea and be well paid for it. So just a few well placed movers and shakers representing those who would control natural resources and human labor could put the whole thing into motion. The National Socialists tried it. The Stalinists improved it. Washington appears dying to perfect it. It was Gramsci's prescription. At least from a certain perspective, it appears to have become our medicine.
As we were ramrodded into a no-win war in Vietnam on one extreme, we've been herded like sheep into the slaughter of our culture, indeed our entire nation, on the other. By the polls, we truly don't care about character, and that 'character' we call the President, or someone very much like him, is eventually bound not to care about us.
We were warned, after all, in advance. But we paid no particular heed. Nobel laureate F.A. Heyek admonished us that the, "consequences of totalitarian propaganda ... are destructive of all morals because they undermine ... the sense for and respect for the truth. " He went on to advise us that, "No doubt an American ... Fascist system would greatly differ from the Italian or German models. Yet this does not mean our Fascist system would in the end prove ... much less intolerable than its prototypes." And didn't Eric Blairs write, "After the revolutionary Fifties and Sixties, society regrouped itself ... But the new High group, unlike all its forerunners ... knew what was needed to safeguard its position. It had long been realized that the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism ... The so-called 'abolition of private property' ... meant, in effect, the concentration of property in far fewer hands than before. At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother." Yeah, that's a quote from the still prophetic 1984, written under the pseudonym George Orwell, by a person who for some reason, appeared fearful of using his real name. Given his premonition, and recent American revelations, one can certainly imagine why.
What we saw in Arkansas, then in the White House, and the manner of our reaction, is very likely just a prelude to what is to come. Unless a spectacular miracle transpires to bring the authoritarian corruption and all of it's apologists into account, then we shall surely drown in the cesspool of our own mire. Even an opinion piece such as this may well bring down the wrath of the purges to our own door, as it did to the venerable Solzhenitsyn.
Gary Johnson, Arkansas resident and next-door neighbor to Gennifer Flowers, had his collarbones busted, his elbows dislocated, his bladder ripped open, and his spleen kicked out. It was during the 1992 presidential campaign, and he insists it occurred because he was in possession of surveillance tapes of Bill Clinton visiting Gennifer Flowers. Remember, when Clinton went on 60 Minutes and told us all he had no affair with her? Johnson gave the tapes to the roughnecks demanding them, and they beat him half to death anyway. Our friends from the Fourth Estate never raised an eyebrow. After all, the near fatal beating of one man probably means little next to the grand cause of the Pratt House clique and the Boy President they hoped would further it.
When I was younger, under a specialized contract to a communications corporation sponsored by General Motors, I had the liberty to wander the grounds of Mount Vernon in Virginia. I went through the Georgian home, largely unassisted, and leisurely sprawled on the grass under the afternoon sun in Washington's back yard. When we were in Philadelphia, I worked at Independence Hall while it was closed to the public. For two days and a night, and with a great deal of liberty, I was able to stand at the podium where Washington spoke, curl up on the floor and take a nap during night time breaks. I listened to Dylan there on a Sony Discman, lying on the floor between the rows of seats where men like Patrick Henry sat, at midnight in Independence Hall. It's a true story. For a moment I was literally a naive disciple at the feet of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and gave us the Bill of Rights. Not a payback night in the Lincoln Bedroom, but a humble rite of passage nonetheless.
While "a bunch of Dead White Men" once put their lives at risk in the Green Dragon Tavern to show us the way to the First Amendment, we squander this endowment by snickering away at Gennifer Flowers attempting to reiterate her position on Politically Incorrect. We listened in awe to a pious Charles Grodin preaching that a man's personal life is his own business, as if the Commander and Chief's interludes were no more vulnerable to potentially lethal intelligence damage than some flaky middle level media personality. Under our dim cretin brow, we swallow the spin that Monica Lewinski is just a 24-year-old who embellished her stories about her 37 unofficial visits to the White House for no apparent reason but to see her platonic pal, the Prez. And all just for a little kiss.
We suck up the slimy rhetoric while four out of five of us act as if we don't care even if we have been lied to by someone who virtually holds not only the fate of our entire heritage, but our very future in his hands. Yet in our hearts we all know that such perverse sexual antics are only a symptom of the disease of abusive power. We intuitively know that the authoritarian methods inherent in the ideology are in fact the incarnate substance of our worst nightmare.
The apologists demand we get over it. Kill Starr, shoot the messenger. Innocent until proven guilty! Look at the bright side. Children have added the word fellatio to their vocabulary, and x-generation teen age boys have finally found a reason to want to be president. Feminists who would have reported a supervisor for a single smile at the drinking fountain, now swear Kathleen Willey must have smeared her own lipstick, untucked her own blouse. And even if their boy did do it, he must have had a reason. He's soooo irresistible, you know. The quintessential American alpha male. He's replaced the imaginary "I cannot tell a lie" myth about the man in the Oval Office with "I cannot tell the truth but who gives a flying f___ anyway! " Talk about the Grinch Who stole Christmas, here's a man who killed Santa Clause! But still we sit unmoved, unchanging in our denial, even applauding the President for his veracity.
We may titillate with Leno at the joke of the day, the way young ill mannered schoolboys compulsively spit out words describing human private parts. But the libido angle is but a very small part of the picture. Like the German intellectuals living it up in the Cabarets during the 1930's, unconcerned with what was really happening around them, we expose ourselves to the wrath of an imploding socio-political system. The stench of corruption and deceit reeks all through the beltway. The drip, drip, drip of slowly leaking sewage seeps down on the entire land. Something is dead or dying, but we can't quite put our finger on the opprobrium. It's a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. No, no! It's a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy! Its astounding we don't gag on this fiasco, unable to choke down the abusive issue of public deception, and admit the truth. That mournful thing wrenching about near death is in fact our Constitutional Republic.
We may be witnessing nothing less than the final transition of our governing system into the ultimate end of the egalitarian scheme. The tolerance of blatant corruption is the dead giveaway. It is another grand step in the formalization of a long developing American Fascism. From the proposed obligatory implantation of micro-identification chips in our bodies, to restricting Internet journalism and encryption technology. From prying through FBI files of political opposition, to the mass firing of high ranking opponents to obstruct justice. From strong-arm assault and extremely suspicious multiple assassinations in the highest places, to storm troop military exercises violating the Fourth Amendment as if it didn't exist. From masterfully disguised bribery, cash payoffs, and brazen spin doctored propaganda deceptions, to the attempted national monopolization of health care by those who own the HMO's. From the call to obligatory national public service, to the orchestrated outcry for involuntary euthanasia. From a renegade Internal Revenue Service to renegade intelligence factions stretching back now virtually for generations. From massive property forfeiture to real estate confiscation. From drug and arms running to global money laundering, it's no small list. Even the police agencies look more and more like storm troopers, fully armed with automatic weapons, dressed in black, and patrolling with armored personnel carriers. The thing that ought to make every onlooker into a Nervous Norvis is the high level effort going into protecting the obtrusive corruption right in the middle of all this. If that doesn't put fear into your heart, you deserve the knock that will sooner or later come at your midnight door.
The National Socialists would have nodded with warm approval at the machinations of America, especially under this administration. The political left of the 1960's was so preoccupied with the notion that Fascism should necessarily come from what they viewed as the political right, they overlooked those very methods within their own ranks. But our denial is not so much about the sour taste of sordid sex in public life. What we deny is our own national orthodoxy. Fascism, in fact, is the unavoidable end goal of the collectivist ideology. By necessity, collectivism requires a powerful authoritarian central government to implement its strategy. In America it came into being by undermining the Constitutional checks that served as limitations, replacing them with layer after layer of statutory regulation and intervention. Its power has grown by feeding on the productive public, cannibalizing the common law restrictions put in place by the Founding Fathers as it crawls along, consuming or discrediting meaningful dissent in its wake. It is well disguised to most, usually hidden behind worthy ends. But it's not the ends that should alarm us, but the wayward means.
Hayek warned us. Orwell warned us. A myriad of other qualified thinkers warned us. Half of us know it's true but understandably can't summon up the courage to do anything about it. We dare not point to the corruption of the present perpetrators. No one wants to end up like Ron Brown, Bill Colby, Vince Foster, Luther Parks, Barry Seal, or any of the others on the almost endless list. Is it any wonder Susan McDougal would rather rot in jail than testify? Are we surprised that Marcia Lewis became ill when placed in the center of all this? And of course the other half of us cares but just can't believe it's true. We follow along, hands in our pockets, whistling to the tune of fanciful denial. Nope. Couldn't be. Not here, not me.
We've all heard that a fish stinks from the head down, and that one rotten apple destroys the entire barrel. Well here's another one. If the infection from Arkansas has in fact reached our brains, then it's to damn late for a change of heart. The blatant methodology we're witnessing at the national level will sink down with the decaying culture into the states and the counties, and finally to the communities themselves. If that particular brand of criminal liberalism conjured up by global oligarchs a century ago, tested in Europe and Russia in the 1930's, seeded in America with the New Deal, expanded in Asia and fine tuned in Arkansas, and now running an attempted end run in the White House, finally gets to our own door, even ten thousand Bufford Pussors won't be able to help us.
A bold and risky word of suggestion to his majesties handlers, for the benefit of all of us. No, not Vernon Jordan, David Gergen, Sydney Blumenthall, or even Kennith Starr, but to that all seeing clique before whom even those powerful men tremble when called to task.
It apparently isn't difficult to fool the American people. After all, our average IQ is only about 100. And within certain sensible parameters, even the best and the brightest submit and support. Out here in the nether regions, we know you all but rule the world, or are at least getting close enough to sink your teeth in and taste it. You, your European aunts and uncles, your favorite big brother, your seven sisters, and your Asian business buddies. But even the outcasts and unprivied can see the logical downside limits of those sensible parameters rapidly approaching.
If you don't do something about the massive high level criminal corruption in the system you've engineered, at least here in America, then even those kept on choke chains are going to eventually turn and tear into the master. No not from misfits in the public largesse, but from within your own ranks. There will be little any of us can do to hold back the hounds. Of course character counts. You know it. We know it. We know that a man can be held in check by greed and fear. But we also know that he is never as reliable as one contained by his own integrity. Enough toying around with this sophomoric Luciferian diversion! Even a dog doesn't defecate where it eats. If you must have all this power, then at least handle it with some common sense and classical dignity. You're not the first to mount Bucephalus in search of Dominus Terra Firma.
My friend, the Vietnam Vet, told me an anecdote. It seems a man was traveling down a road when he came upon a poisonous snake, trapped beneath a stone. The snake implored the man to set him free. "I don't think so," the man protested. "If I remove the stone, you'll bite me. You're a poisonous snake!" "I won't bite you," insisted the snake, "Please, just help me. I possess the magic of unlimited power, and I'll give you more you could ever imagine." The man thought on it, and on what he could do with unlimited power. So he removed the stone, and of course the snake bit him. As he lay dying, he cried to the snake, "You promised not to bite me if I helped you. You promised me power unlimited, and instead you've given me death! I helped you and you bit me anyway!" And the snake said, "Hey man, you knew what I was before you removed the stone."
Can you see the day when some puffed up praetorian autocrat you've stuck in the Oval Office is caught not merely receiving service from some pathetic power struck intern, but clutching the 'Football,' finger on the button, insisting that he will not go down alone? Who knows. Perhaps you can. Maybe it's all just part of your plan.
As we deserve our shame, we also deserve our fate. Dr. Strangelove, to be sure.
ACE © 1998 Provincial Proverbs