Worshipping the wrong heroes

G. Gordon Liddy. A lifetime cheater who claimed a higher ground.

The Chicago Tribune carried a news story about the death at age 90 of G. Gordon Liddy, the well-known mastermind of the Watergate burglary that led to scandal and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

Liddy said of his actions, “I’m proud of the fact that I am the guy who did not talk.”

That sort of “loyalty” leads to all kinds of misery in this world. The Tribune article contained this interesting observation. “Born in Hoboken, N.J., George Gordon Battle Liddy was a frail boy who grew up in a neighborhood populated mostly by German-Americans. From friends and a maid who was a German national, Liddy developed a curiosity about German leader Adolf Hitler and was inspired by listening to Hitler’s radio speeches in the 1930s.’

As we all know, followers of Hitler were famous for ‘not talking’ even as the regime carried through on plans for a Holocaust taking the lives of millions of people. All while Hitler claimed to be aiming the nation toward a “higher ground.”

But Liddy liked Hitler because he felt kinship with the man’s journey from frailty to power.

“If an entire nation could be changed, lifted out of weakness to extraordinary strength, so could one person,” Liddy wrote in “Will,” his autobiography. Liddy decided it was critical to face his fears and overcome them. At age 11, Liddy roasted a rat and ate it to overcome his fear of rats. “From now on, rats could fear me as they feared cats,” he wrote.

That instinct for payback against the world seems to have driven Liddy to extremes in ideology that bordered on manic. “While recruiting a woman to help carry out one of his schemes, Liddy tried to convince her that no one could force him to reveal her identity or anything else against his will. To convince her, Liddy held his hand over a flaming cigarette lighter. His hand was badly burned. The woman turned down the job.”

That refusal to join Liddy’s team was an indication of sanity. No completely rational person behaves as Liddy did in that or any other circumstance.

Manic charisma

Liddy’s crazed brand of commitment to cause and manic charisma grew a great following among conservatives as he became a popular media personality. “Liddy learned to market his reputation as a fearless, if sometimes overzealous, advocate of conservative causes. Liddy’s syndicated radio talk show, broadcast from Virginia-based WJFK, was long one of the most popular in the country. He wrote best-selling books, acted in TV shows like “Miami Vice,” was a frequent guest lecturer on college campuses, started a private eye franchise and worked as a security consultant. For a time, he teamed on the lecture circuit with an unlikely partner, 1960s LSD guru Timothy Leary.”

Liddy never hid even his most dire intentions, even illegal motives: “Liddy became known for such offbeat suggestions as kidnapping war protest organizers and taking them to Mexico during the Republican National Convention; assassinating investigative journalist Jack Anderson; and firebombing the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank in Washington where classified documents leaked by Ellsberg were being stored.”

History shows that Liddy worked to subvert the legitimate dealings of government on behalf of Nixon. After serving time for his crimes, he decide to plant roots of public distrust in the government and even law enforcement agents. “In the mid-1990s, Liddy told gun-toting radio listeners to aim for the head when encountered by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. “Head shots, head shots,” he stressed, explaining that most agents wear bullet-resistant vests under their jackets. Liddy said later he wasn’t encouraging people to hunt agents, but added that if an agent comes at someone with deadly force, “you should defend yourself and your rights with deadly force.”

It is no wonder that an America fed such rhetoric for so long grew immune to the use of high-powered, cop-killing weapons such as AR-15s when men like Liddy were spouting anti-government rhetoric over the decades. Liddy normalized such violence in the minds of millions of people. He made them believe that violence equals patriotism and freedom.

Fascist roots and violent instincts

Liddy’s autocratic attitude and fascist roots fueled his violent instincts. These he spilled into the American dialogue without remorse or responsibility. We can draw a straight line from Liddy’s unhinged rhetoric to the brute nature of Trumpism and the insurrection at the Capitol driven by domestic terrorists, white supremacists and stark-raving nationalists claiming.the higher ground even while they devastated law officers charged with protecting the elected official inside.

One can easily imagine G. Gordon Liddy masterminding such a coup, just as he tried to do way back in the 1970s.Trump preached to his followers in advance of his attempted sedition, “Come to DC. It will be wild!”

Trump’s level of corruption exceeded even President Ronald Reagan’s administration, one of the most corrupt in history with a pile of indictments and convictions left behind. The leading contender for Most Corrupt was Colonel Oliver North, who engineered the Iran-Contra affair and then went on to preach in mega-churches that he’s always been on God’s side.

Generations of lies

The liar in chief Donald Trump made a career exploiting cognitive dissonance in his followers.

A significant portion of America has spent several generations worshipping the wrong kind of heroes. That political bulwark Pat Buchanan claims this backwards philosophy of elevating criminals and corrupt bigots to top-level posts is pointing the country in the right direction. In a column titled “Trump–Once and Future Kind,” he praises the ex-president for his supposed success in economic terms. “Trump succeeded in enacting the traditional GOP platform of low taxes and deregulation, producing record-low unemployment — before the pandemic hit”

But Buchanan exhibits cognitive dissonance in his failure to even mention how Trump instantly spoiled economic prospects by selfishly denying the portent of the pandemic because he feared any deleterious effects to the economy. The result was a pandemic that spilled out of control, resulting in the need for economic lockdowns at the state level to assist overwhelmed healthcare systems. Trump’s lack of vision and stubborn claim that the pandemic was not a threat––despite his own admission to Bob Woodward that it was––directly caused the downfall of his supposed plans for prosperity. Trump has no one to blame but himself for his failure as a President.

Yet Trump speciously claimed the election itself was fraudulent because he could not imagine that so many would show up to vote against his despotic lies and political deceptions.

Blame Bush and Cheney, if anyone

Trump liked to blame all of America’s problems on President Barack Obama. But actually, the endless wars and drain on the economy caused by the economic recession under Bush took every effort by Obama to reconcile. He was largely a success at that, and won a second term despite constant Republican obfuscation.

Obama could not cure all of Bush’s mess because the GOP never admitted they were the primary cause. The feckless administrative style of George Bush depended on the direction of Dick Cheney, mastermind of the doctrine that led our country into the war in Iraq under false and badly miscalculated pretenses. That cost the country $7T in Iraq alone, all while torturing and killing its residents in the supposed name of peace. That war was America’s greatest failure, worse in many respects than the Vietnam debacle fifty years before.

All this misguided saber-rattling impoverishes the nation yearly, with a military so bloated by waste that a recent investigation into its accounting procedures resulted in a “no-contest” from the accountants hired to do the job. “We can’t even begin to figure out where the money goes,” was the summary issued, and I paraphrase, but that’s the outcome.

It all comes back to the toxic misappropriation of honesty and truth by men like G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, Dick Cheney and Donald Trump. They are all men raised to believe in themselves as a higher power unto itself. Those who believe in them are worshipping the wrong kind of heroes.

Why armed militias walk freely and peaceful protesters get mowed down

See those guys in the photo? They’re part of the Boogaloo movement planning to bring about a new Civil War. They’re a far-right, libertarian-style faction that hates government and loves American gun laws that allow them to carry weapons around with impunity.

See the people in this photo? They’re part of peaceful protests taking place all around America and the world. Their main objection is that police keep slaughtering black people in this country, and the death of George Floyd under the pressure-packed knee of a Minneapolis policemen generated legitimate public protests.

To review, the armed militias have had quite a bit to say lately, and plenty of latitude to say it. A group of them descended on the Michigan State Capitol, stormed the legislature and started making demands that restrictions on public access related to the Coronavirus pandemic be removed. One of them placed an effigy of the female governor as if she’d been hanged. Meanwhile, Kentucky Libertarian Rand Paul is blocking an anti-lynching bill even in the wake of the documented asphyxiation––a lynching in public––of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Some of this stuff you just can’t make up.

Trump excuses and welcomes brutality

The President of the United States of America excuses all these affronts to true justice because, he maintains, “People are angry.” That was also his excuse for the “good people” who assaulted activists during the removal of a Confederate statue somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line.

During his manic attempt to restore order in the face of recent protests, the President met with leaders of the American military to request that 10,000 active troops be deployed as a “domination” force against peaceful protestors. That request was made shortly after a personal call with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, also known as a strongman with a vicious bent for punishing his own citizens.

Conflation patrols

Trump’s defenders claim he was only trying to stop people taking advantage of civil unrest to loot storefronts. The two groups had entirely different motives, but Trump refuses to make that distinction. He conflated them as one, and then grandly proved that point by shoving aside peaceful demonstrators to descend on a Washington church where he stood with a Bible in his hand as if he owned the place.

Trump clearly thinks he owns everything, but especially the military. Everything the man has done, and all his claims to executive authority, are earnest expressions that he believes he owns the entire nation. His demeanor is one of a slavedriver demand response to whatever he chooses to impose. The nation is his plantation, you see. That is why he steals funds from the military to build his border wall. It is also why he sought to force Ukraine’s President to make up lies about Vice President Joe Biden. Trump’s version of political negotiation is to cheat or coerce the system until it does his will.

The gesture out front of the church with the Bible in his hand was particularly disturbing because it interpolated Christianity with the brand of fascism it took to place himself in that position. But perhaps that’s not such a big stretch. It was Adolf Hitler that once stated, “We are not doing anything to the Jews that Christians have not been doing for 1500 years.” Some traditions stick around. Others just come back in other forms.

Fortunately the nation’s generals did prevent Trump from sending tanks into the fray in Washington. Yet frustrated by the lack of force he could employ, he instead commissioned Attorney General William Barr to rally a group of mercenary prison guards to station themselves around the Lincoln Memorial.

Displays of fascist “domination” such as these align directly with the overwrought militia types that took over the Michigan state capitol. Their end goal, it seems, is to start a Civil War under the term Boogaloo to get what they want. That is a world free from restrictions on their racial prejudice and aggressive victimhood. They also want their firearm toys. It’s a compensatory thing.

That’s no different than the priorities of Donald Trump. Together these politicized nasties represent a Neo-Confederacy threatening the existence of the Union as we have long known it. That explains why armed militias of many types are being seen more frequently across America. Trump has no intention of giving up control of this nation’s armed forces or its resources, which he loves to dole out to his fawning loyalists. To accomplish this mission he welcomes even mercenary support as long as they share his goal of not letting anyone challenge him. Both the thugs in Boogaloo outfits and the Evangelicals cozying up to Trump share that in common: a opportunity to align themselves with such power. Fuck Jesus, and let’s go play with guns.

There is a third quasi-military faction involved in this mess. We’re already seeing the results of the vigilante confederate mindset, with dispassionately misguided police forces knocking a 75-year-old men to the ground because they can. If that’s how they treat the elderly, think of the brain-crushing they’ve got planned for youthful protestors full with energy and purpose. The bloodshed could be awful to behold.

Fascism rules

Trump’s supporters are keen to defend him. “This is not Nazi Germany,” they say. “He’s only trying to protect the nation from Antifa and looters.” Yet we’ll repeat: that claim aggressively ignores the fact that armed militias are being casually permitted to run wild and privately commissioned prison guards are hired to impose martial law in the nation’s capitol. And the police keep killing people.

This may not be Nazi Germany, but neither is it the United States of America. But perhaps this is what Trump meant all along by his slogan Make America Great Again. After all, Germany enjoyed a few great years before the world sent Hitler into his private bunker with a pistol and a getaway plan of taking his own life rather than having to face a tribunal for the deaths of millions of people. Trump’s Coronavirus body count is only up to 113,000 at this moment, but if he’d been allowed to carry on with his selfish plan of ignoring the threat, it is estimated that 2,000,000 may have died.

The scary truth of that last statement is that Trump’s flaxenly selfish response to the Covid-19 epidemic was only changed because he realized that people dying in droves might hurt his chances for re-election. Once again, he did not act out of conscience, but for selfish political reasons.

Hideouts

Illustration by Christopher Cudworth

In something of a symbolic coup, Trump is now hiding behind 13-foot-tall fences installed around the White House. For a while at least, he was even hunkered down in a bunker out of fear that his life was at risk.

Yet he’s refused to wear a mask in public because he thinks it would make him look ridiculous. That’s a bit like that evil clown John Wayne Gacy complaining that his lipstick is smeared. And speaking of clowns, Trump shrieks like a carnival barker behind the podium of Twitter. He raves about how the game isn’t fair and that he’s a victim of all sorts of conspiracies against him, especially by Democrats, but some Republicans too.

Yet somehow white evangelicals line up and clamor for his words. There are women who worship and fawn and faint over Trump and his manhood. His business buddies just want to grab what they can before the economic collapse comes along. And “First Lady” Melania Trump keeps a purse and small suitcase packed and ready in case the whole carnival needs to take off for Argentina.

Why so many Americans have literal sympathy for the devil

With police playing both ends of the game as protests and demonstrations broke out across the nation after the choking death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a section of lyrics from the Rolling Stones song Sympathy for the Devil came to mind.

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint

Here’s both the beauty and the problem with a song such as Sympathy for the Devil. It is a masterpiece of rock satire, rich with insight into the motivations and corruptions of the human race. The Devil is both the cause and the foil of all these historic activities from the death of Jesus Christ to the murder of the Kennedys.

Yet given that the song has a title, “Sympathy for the Devil,” that can be literally construed as an apologetic for Satan, there are factions of people in this world that never comprehend the true meaning of the lyrics. They begin like this:

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste

It is critical to understand from the outset that the Satan character in question is an inherent part of human nature. Not a separate entity. Not an outside influence. Satan lives within us when we allow the “world” to take over our souls. That’s why they are “stolen” and laid to waste.

The song goes on to warn that the actions of the human race are complex, and that one individual can symbolize the plot, and the plight, of many who fall into the trap of worshipping power.

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Thus we find the refrain, brilliant composed to repeat itself throughout the song, in which the Devil reintroduces himself while tossing a cryptic statement out for our consideration:

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my gameI

Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had already seen much of how the world works by the time they composed Sympathy for the Devil. Rock stars gain a unique insight into the nature of idol worship in general. Combined with the worlds of unlimited drugs, sex and world travel, those two plucked symbols from history to illustrate how and why the world goes sour, and what the consequences are. It only takes a few cogent lines to encapsulate what happens when political upheaval tears into the fabric of society, and fascism runs over justice:

Stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vainI

Rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Ah yes, the devil gets around alright. And he/she is always glad to meet someone willing to play the dangerous game of choosing sides with authoritarians and despots promising heaven while they create hell all around them.

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeahI

The sad, sick part in all this is religion’s role in making it all worse. Mick and Keith dared to suggest that many gods were manufactured in the name of God. That’s where the worship of money and indulgences, the power of tradition, and the nasty habits of oppression and repression come together. We’ve seen it here in America in the last three years, and for the previous sixty years before that. Right now the penchant of authoritarian worship is blowing up in our faces. Donald Trump is responsible for it all, right down to the cop kneeling on the neck of a black man on the streets of Minneapolis. Trump is an expression of all the works of the devil. The Seven Deadly Sins: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, and wrath.

Watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

I shouted out
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me

At this point in the song, the Devil comes around to the original nature of his supposed virtues. The lyrics show that no innocent will escape his attention.

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

If you’re familiar with the song Sympathy for the Devil, you know how the searing guitars and Mick Jagger’s twisting voice turn the melody into a mocking tribute to the kind of all Con Men. He taunts and repeats the refrain, each time making it more obvious that the target of the song is often the perpetrator and a partner with the devil in committing evil deeds.

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game, mm yeah

Then the song takes a wicked turn to illustrate the threat of what’s really going on when the devil inside people takes control. Let’s recall that the murder of George Floyd took place right after the news cycle chewed on the death of a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered by shotgun in Georgia earlier this year. The United States has embraced a brand of vigilante justice infecting both the public and the law enforcement world. This has turned the notion of law inside out and upside down. And we should not forget the long line of mass shootings during all this racist brutality as well.

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint

And then comes the bitter end, when Sympathy for the Devil wraps its arms around the issue of complicity and favoring those who claim righteousness while doing heinous work. One can almost imagine Donald Trump Tweeting these first few words…

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste…

But the devil finally gives us a warning. Better wise up, people, or you’ll be sucked in.


Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah

From there, the song falls onto a steaming river of lament and teasing when the devil taunts the innocents and calls them honey and sweetie. One can almost imagine the honeys and sweeties at one of Donald Trump’s rallies; those big-haired, blue-eyed blondes in MAGA tee shirts and oversized breasts fawning over the Cheater In Chief. He meets the combined fantasies and treasured taboos of sexual provocateur possessed of great wealth and supposed moral virtue. Yet he also appeals to the Boys Club of politically cuckolded husbands and dispossessed gun-toters hoping for a target to assuage their pent-up rage. But most of all, Trump appeals to the the Victimhood Mentality of rabid apologists who hand on his every sympathetic word. That’s why evangelical Christians seeking a hero flocked to Trump as a communicator of their claims to persecution despite the fact that Christianity is the most privileged of religions in all of American history. It is a perversion of truth for Christians to claim that their liberties are being threatened by granting equal and civil rights to other members of society. And let’s recall that a literal and legalistic brand of Christianity was a principle player in the institution of slavery in the United States.

Do you get it now? Or shall we explain it again?

But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah Oh yeah

One can imagine Trump standing over one of his fired cabinet members, Apprentice proteges or abused political appointments demanding them to repeat his name.

Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame

Did you catch that last line? That’s the gaslighting part of all this Trumpism. No matter what evil he does, or how many lies and excuses he uses to justify his own incompetency, Trump always tells the world someone else is to blame. Often it is those closest to him that suffer the most. And once he casts them aside, he taunts them publicly.

Oh, right What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name

But here’s the sad, sick truth in all this literal sympathy for the devil. Conservatives have long misunderstood and missed the messaging in social protest songs such as this. When Ronald Reagan played Born In the USA at his political rallies, he had no idea that the lyrics indicted all the things he stood for. And that’s what’s going on in America right now. The devil has all the literalists and slogan suckers in his grip, and all they choose to do is blame everyone else for their problems while spewing hate, gaslighting those who question them and filling the Internet with the repeated lies of the devil himself.

So perhaps it’s time to stop showing patience to the deplorable and depraved in this country, these people whose racist instincts and selfish lust for power have supported a man whose delay and denial of the pandemic have cost millions of people their jobs. If this were a different period in history, there would be a rush on the Capitol and Trump would be dragged to the guillotine and his head placed on a spike. Politically at least, that’s what should happen. But we’ll be lucky if we can even conduct a safe and legal election to remove him from office and begin to confront the sympathy for the devil that Trump supporters call Make America Great Again.

Can you guess my name?

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick JaggerSympathy For The Devil lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc. This blog originally published on GenesisFix.Wordpress.com by Christopher Cudworth.

How do you compare to Donald Trump?

gettyimages-698334Millions of Donald Trump admirers are hoping the man can run all the way to the White House with an incomparable vision for America.

But that raises a question, doesn’t it?

If Donald Trump’s American Dream is incomparable, with his billions of dollars, reality show stardom and a personal brand slapped on everything from ties to skyscrapers, exactly what is his political brand?

 

If you plan to vote for the man, how do you personally compare to Donald Trump?

If you don’t have the courage to criticize and mock women for their looks, then you don’t compare to Donald Trump. Trump has publicly mocked Rosie O’Donnell, accosted Megyn Kelly, made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face and talked about women as sex objects in incomparably ugly fashion.

But The Donald doesn’t stop there. Because if you don’t propose bombing the families of your enemies in an act that constitutes a genuine war crime, then you don’t have the same values as Donald Trump.

Perhaps you’re like Donald Trump if you like to make fun of people with physical disabilities, or mock people who are overweight, or have people of color shoved out of your political rallies by your largely white supporters. These are all well-documented instances in which Donald Trump behaves like an ogre, and people cheer. So someone’s doing some comparison out there.

Hey, maybe you even compare to Donald Trump in having four business bankruptcies, carefully orchestrated in the public eye as “reorganizations.” And God Bless if you’re savvy enough to isolate your personal obligations from the companies you run, so that you don’t really have a stake in the game even when thousands of other people suffer the economic consequences of your actions.

That’s the mark of a real winner. Let the harm fall to others. It’s a trickle down world, you see, which is why Donald Trump is winning the Republican nomination. People seem to love to vote for candidates who guarantee that they’ll confer advantage to everyone who wants to kick the person below them on the social ladder. Donald Trump is truly incomparable at that, and his millions of angry minions want the chance to kick someone a notch down from their social status.

You’ve got to be tough to compare yourself to Donald Trump. He’s fired a couple wives, for example. Perhaps he’s just views them as property, because when you’ve traded in a few wives through divorce, they all start to look the same.

Creepy purity vow photos.jpgAnd make no mistake. Donald Trump is a real “family values” man. After all, he has publicly lusted after his own daughter. Nothing like a little incestual father-daughter thing going on to attract all those creepy faux-Christian dads posing with their daughters in purity vow photos. Trump’s a hard act to follow, you might say. But these guys look like they’re on their way.

Donald Trump wants to build a massively expensive wall along the border between Mexico and the United States. He wants to force our neighboring nation to build that wall, as if that were an option for an American dictator to demand. Trump clearly wants America to behave like Germany in the Cold War, or Hitler before that. Build those walls. Ban those Muslims from entering the country. Isolate the elements of society that you don’t like. Be isolationist. Forceful. Rally the storm troopers if you must, but get it done. Trump is a fascist, in other words. And in today’s supposedly wiser society, an incomparable one at that.

Yes, The Donald is truly incomparable in a number of ways. It’s quite clear that millions of people are rallying to his cause because they think they can’t compare themselves to his legacy. But perhaps they should.

 

 

America’s gun problem ultimately requires a peaceful solution

Guns were designed for one thing

Guns were designed for one thing

Back in 2008, which seems like a couple decades ago in today’s 24-hour news cycle, I published an article titled America’s Gun Addiction on Yahoo!, then waited for the requisite hateful commentary of gun addicts calling me “naïve” and other such nonsense.  I never proposed to take away their handguns and assault weapons, but that’s all they could read from it.

Instead, I was simply asking people to consider whether they are addicted to the notion of owning and using guns. Reasonable question, given the proliferation of gun violence in America. And yet people do not seem to get the message that gun violence has a cause, a purpose and a political consequence. Let’s examine these three notions together, and do so a bit provocatively. This is to draw attention to the fact that we are traveling down the road of an escalation in gun violence that some contend will mitigate itself when we reach some stasis where the number of guns in society simply cancels out its own violence. But at what price, and how many lives along the way? And when that stasis of violence cancellation is reached, what will it truly say about our society when have created a culture where equality is defined by equal threats rather than equal rights?

The realities of gun fascism

To draw nearer the truth of where that journey is taking us, we must indeed go another step further, and add a new proposal.

What we have in America is a growing form of gun fascism wrought by the never-ending cycle of gun violence supported by cries for even more guns to solve the gun violence problem.

“Arm the citizenry!” has become the rallying cry of gun advocates and the NRA, and what a disturbing breakdown in logic that really us. But no real surprise. Yet we need to recognize that democracy has a hard time breathing when the air of logic is sucked out of the room by the irrationality of one cause or another.

Fascism depends on a circular logic designed to suck all the air out of discussion and dissent, you see. The strategy of fascists is simple: win the fight by claiming that the cause of our problems is actually the solution. Then repeat your argument often and loudly enough until people come to believe it.

Unless you don’t choose to.

Radical authoritarian nationalism

To call our gun culture “fascism” might seem un-American given our nation’s history of gun obsession, but the description fits. Fascism is defined as is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism. That describes our gun culture perfectly. Those of us who don’t really feel the need to own guns, and who don’t knuckle under to the hot desire to use them are being told, in so many words, that we are naïve, stupid and un-American for having such rational feelings. We’re told to “get with the program” or get shot. There is no in-between.

The not-so-well-regulated militia

We have now reached the point where gun culture has far surpassed the meaning of the Second Amendment with its call for a well-regulated militia. If our so-called “militia” is indeed a force of privately armed citizenry, then who is really doing something about the use of both legal and illegal weapons to shoot and kill dozens of innocent citizens? The gun advocates tell us the cops can’t stop it. They get there after the fact. So the gun fascists tell us the “only way” to stop gun violence is to give everyone a gun. Many would seem to be happy to make it a requirement of citizenship. “That’s taking real responsibility for your own life,” they tell us.

Instead of acknowledging the egregious state of affairs the Connecticut school shootings represent, the gun fascists such as pro-gun Senators just hide away for a few days and then emerging spouting the same gun propaganda they always spew at us. They go on telling us that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

That is a fascist, propagandistic statement designed to control and manipulate the thoughts of a nation by confusing the ability of people to place responsibility where it really lies: on guns as a tool of death and destruction. Such propaganda is a radical controtion of fact that completely ignores original purpose and design of guns, which is to kill.

The fact that we use guns for “sport” is only a deferral of the original design. It does not defer the nature of their original intent. Guns are weapons designed to kill things, and forever shall they remain so. Trying to shift the blame away from that fact is just like saying that people didn’t design guns, the guns designed themselves. We know that is not true.

Literalistic intepretation of the Second Amendment

So how has America’s gun culture become a form of fascism? Our gun culture takes a literal interpretation of the first part of the Second Amendment and exaggerates it to the point of an absurd and often bitter selfishness by essentially ignoring the phrase “well-regulated militia.”

Rather than accepting that “well-regulated” means logical control of those weapons so that the citizenry at large is safe, they cry in fear at any restriction of the so-called freedoms, and then take forceful political action to impose their will on the nation as a collective. “Don’t take away our gun rights!” the gun culture screams. It is the hallmark of gun fascism to hide behind the protection of the Constitution. Yet gun fascisms literally takes away the rights of others every day, with more than 50,000 gun incidents annually in America, and no less than 9,000 deaths a year as the direct product of gun violence. Whose rights are really being violated here?

No less than three 9/11 tragedies per year

We lost over 3,000 people in the 9/11 tragedy. Then our nation’s president (who is known to have ignored warnings about the pending attacks) declared a War On Terror, then proceeded to launch two relatively aimless and unbudgeted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing the nation trillions of dollars, many more American lives and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan. America has gone to great expense fighting its so-called War On Terror, yet three times as many people die in America from gun violence every year as died in the 9/11 attacks. What’s wrong with this picture.

The bully pulpit of American exceptionalism

The terrorists who committed the crimes in New York knew they were picking on the world’s biggest bully. America is a bully, yet a rather philanthropic one, if you take into account or practice of nation-building after we whack a few other bad guys. That makes us the “exception” you see.

But according to the rules of bullydom, no one is allowed to hit us first. We’re always the ones who get to hit first. If someone hits us we label it “infamy” or “terrorism” or “an act of war.” Well, duh. Sometimes America can be exceptionally stupid about its place in the world. So yes, we are exceptional in some ways.

That is not hating America, by the way, to criticize our nation’s propensity for stupidity at times. That is giving the nation tough love, and we need a dose of it on the issue that is killing our kids, which is guns.

Let us repeat for emphasis: within our own borders we lose three times as many people to gun violence each year as we lost when terrorists flew planes into buildings on 9/11,.

Meanwhile the gun proponents try to tell us it is all the price of freedom.

Nope. This is fascism and a brand of terrorism on our own soil. If we can’t seem to think of any other way to control it than giving out more guns to our citizenry so they can “defend themselves,” we have literally lost the fight for freedom. We certainly can’t shoot our way out, although some might like to try.

False myths and fascist wishes

How long do we really want to lie to ourselves about the open-ended terrorism of gun violence that rips through the fabric of American culture with a seemingly unrelenting pace? Gun fascists tell us to “wise up” to the fact that things will never change. There are 200 million guns in America now. We can’t get rid of them all.

More fascist mindset. It only wants its selfish aims to be fulfilled and uses the false myth that guns bespeak independence and authority.

A last measure of peace, and why America is not anything like a “Christian nation”

That mindset of current day gun fascists would greatly surprise the person known as Jesus Christ, whose instructions to “love your enemy” certainly did not mean to shoot them first and love them later. Yet that is the message of the gun culture we’ve created, a product of the fascist propaganda pumped out by the NRA to support its own commercial clients. America’s freedoms are being sold up the river so that gun and ammunitions companies can make money, and so that people who own guns, legally or not, can be exonerated from culpability for their misuse, at any level. It’s very sad. America is very sad right now because of it.

So we live with a form of terrorism and a fascist strain of a faux branch of government to boot.

The fact is, the way things are now, we could all be shot, any moment of our lives. The gun culture tells us this is inevitable unless we arm ourselves. Such is their interpretation of “freedom.” But it is certainly not in line with the notion of freedom espoused by Christianity, upon whose values some of our nation’s foundations were partly based. That brand of freedom shows personal discipline in resistance to violence. Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibited Christian resistance to violence. And what happened? It got him shot. But the solution was not to arm protestors. The solution was persistence in the face of prejudice and violence.

“Do not suffer the children to come to me”

If a nation dominated by guns is all we have to offer our children, that notion of a “city upon a hill” is all but lost.

Tell that myth to the little children shot in the latest tragedy, and to the millions of other children now asking their parents whether they will be shot at school next week. If we follow the logic of the gun fascists, our city on the hill must automatically become a fortress. The notion is simply medieval.

Jesus once warned his disciples, “do not suffer the children to come to me.” He wanted all to know the sanctity of true freedom, which is not borne on threat and self defense, but on love, charity, understanding and yes, education to the perils of evil in our world. We do need to watch out. But our first priority should be prevention, not vengeance in return for vengeance.

Echoes of vengeance

Today parents are at pains to explain to their children that the Connecticut shootings were just an isolated incident. That’s the advice being given by psychologists.

Tell your kids it’s okay. Tell them they’re not at risk. Assure them the bad guys will not reach their schools.

In other words, lie to them now, and hopefully you’ll never have to explain why that lie was so false. Some lies appear vital to the sanity of a nation at risk. It’s true in war. It’s true in supposed peace as well.

America was turned rotten from the inside out by people who have gone about preaching freedom while creating an iron curtain of weapons inside our own borders, an imprisonment of our imaginations. We’re all captives to limits placed on our imaginations when it comes to the true meaning of democracy and freedom. Yet nothing can kill the imagination quicker than the report of a gun. I’ve heard it in my own quiet neighborhood, the product of a domestic quarrel down the block. Yet I didn’t run out to Walmart and buy a gun. That’s illogical.

Yet that gun report did rattle the minds of those who live nearby. The sound of that guns has had a chilling effect on the notion that we are free to live in peace and harmony. Guns are everywhere, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

At least that’s what they tell us. It’s up to us whether we choose to listen or not.