The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts
RANT 2: The Loss Of Meaning
Once upon a time words had meaning. A fact was truth, justice was blind and torture a crime against conventions. Then September 11, 2001 and our Country collectively lost the plot. Our leaders fanned fear. The People struggled with “why”. Then we were off to the desert races, invading this, liberating that, the carnage at a safe remove.
Days became months became years and still – “War”. For what cause? At what price? The particulars never dwelled on, simply a given until Election eve when rhetoric rose until the favored outcome secured then back to business as usual, the blood and bodies safely contained off-stage.
Bushco’s chief accomplishment was shaping the public discourse, dictating what was allowed and what was most definitely not, the consolidated news media happy to play their part. Word finally breaks that our Military has been torturing men who’ve been captured, Bushco spins it as “enhanced interrogation” with the Good Guys vs. the Bad, and the consolidated media makes it so. As acts of torture got redefined in the press they began to get redefined in our psyche.
Gloves come off. A little dunk of water. Ticking timebomb. Kill ‘em over there before they kill us over here. Worst of the worst.
As Bushco cowed the Congress and managed the Media, the reality of what any of the above actually meant went unexplored and unexplained, and the loudest (Executive) voice won out.
Twelve years on this pattern has repeated ad nauseam, degrading our discourse.
- “trade secrets”
Words we hear over and over, yet never what the fuck is meant by any of them. Governance by buzz words – no peeking under the surface allowed!
The problem is we now have a generation of politicians, soldiers, reporters, citizens, who know this now degraded state as the new status quo, the institutional memory of what came before fading fast. If we want to reclaim our way, will there be anyone left who knows fucking how?
- Who in Congress knows how to affect real oversight of the Executive Branch?
- Who in the Military knows why being the ones who don’t torture enhances our security?
- Who in the Traditional Media knows counteracting Corporate efforts to stymie public knowledge is their actual job?
Add in the Tyranny of the False Equivalency, where fifty Tea Party Protesters are given greater coverage than thousands of Occupy Protesters, or 1 Conserva-Dem Senator given greater voice than 150,000,000 women over what health care we’re allowed, and the road to right our Country’s course is getting longer by the day.
We’re living in a Bizarro-World where words look the same but are the opposite. I confess to not knowing the exact meaning the writers of our Constitution imbued in the following that sit atop the doc:
- Establish Justice
- Insure Domestic Tranquility
- Provide For The Common Defence
- Promote The General Welfare
- Secure The Blessings Of Liberty To Ourselves And Our Posterity
But I’m certain it wasn’t: whatever the fuck the out-of-control Executive Branch says so, in secret.
For me there’s been no greater loss of meaning than that of the words our leaders swear upon taking office:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
The words – our very Constitution – now a mere prop for their family photo op, paving way for the meaningless words they will proclaim on the stump and on the floor, while the real meaningful activities take place off-stage and out of sight of the 297,000,000. From the degradation of this solemn oath very bad things flow.
My churlish view of how meaning in our discourse has fallen so far so fast tomorrow, in:
Rant 3: The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear, Inc.
Picture from Design Decoration Craft licensed under Creative Commons