Panem et Circenses

by on April 12th, 2009

Many years ago, as a child, I believed. My belief was faithful and true; it encompassed the words of the Sisters of Star of the Sea, the few priests that spoke to me before mass or in confession. I also believed in policemen, doctors, most adults, and everything in print; this belief included a profound trust in my government.

When I joined the Marine Corps and was subsequently sent to Vietnam, of course being a Marine if I was ordered to parachute into Hanoi I would obey. However, at the time I did believe that my president and congress knew what they were doing and that they would certainly not sacrifice American blood unless absolutely necessary. I trusted that no commitment of martial forces would be engaged without the determined will of obtaining ultimate victory. After all, what kind of elected official would commit the nation’s youth to combat – another word for death and physical dismemberment – without clearly understanding the meaning and consequence of such commitment?

As I grew up I found that I could no longer believe in words. I find no surety in the words of elected officials nor do I have an assured believe in a person’s competency solely founded on their position of authority. I have learned to be suspicious of all the pretentious manifestations that effectually accompany those in elected office, private enterprise, and religious institutions. Over the years experience has proven to me time after time that one should be extremely wary of attorneys in general and I give no credibility to accountants, certified or not. I have no confidence in congressional competence, especially knowing a large majority of congress members being attorneys. As to college degrees and those possessing same, the passing of exams imposed by colleges, Ivy League or not, no longer impresses me as a gauntlet or stress test for leadership. Indeed, recent experience has me doubting that the elected, appointed, and even the employees of the Republican Party support the ideological virtues of a conservative governing philosophy – and they all (or most of them) attended or graduated from prestigious educational institutions.

I am convinced that the first cause of the elected and the wannabe elected is the retention/acquisition of power. This lust for power by the elected and the wannabe elected is an overriding ethical contradiction. The elected swear a dual fidelity: initially to the nation’s constitution, the other to servicing the interest of the people. Withstanding their oath of allegiance, the only known antidote for this lust of power is term limits; the longer a politician stays in power the more susceptible the office and office holder are to corruptive practice.

Nevertheless, term limits – even when voted into law – is ignored (i.e. Mayor of NYC) or amended to the benefit of the incumbents. The same attitude is taken by some of the elected when it comes to the new buzzword ‘Transparency’: The elect either totally ignore the promise of transparency or purposefully hide the documents of interest within their web site so to disguise ready availability.

I believe that this nation’s most recent former president, along with the last two republican speakers of the house, as well as incompetent senate leadership created the demise of believability and viability in the Republican Party.

This loss of believability and viability started during Bush’s first term wherein the administration’s spending on off-budget earmarks, their continuum of doling out the people’s currency violated the ideals of conservative governing. The Republicans controlled congress, inhaled the corruptive elixir of power, and wandered into the hinterland of self-dilution. It was this behavior, coupled with particularly Bush’s inability to communicate the Republican brand of governing ideology to the American people or to aggressively counter an effective response to the Democratic Party’s vicious and often scurrilous accusations that led to the outcome of the last two elections, leaving the Republicans defeated.

The Democratic Party’s carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation, disinformation, and outright distortion prompted and implemented by leftist-liberal politicians of rank, particularly the personal assaults on the president’s virtue and character, caused a continuum of disbelieve and disenchantment with everything Bush-related.

In addition, the president’s inability to astutely discern the exactness of the economic crisis caused confusion, disappointment, and a loss of fidelity for Bush and his political party. The president lacked the wherewithal to explain the banking/Wall Street crisis; enunciating the need for congress to appropriate billions was his only response while at that time his immediate critical imperative should have been to put in plain words – with meaningful, comprehensible specificity – the measure of the economic calamity. Instead, he fronted his Secretary of the Treasury who gave a statement as to the disbursement of the appropriated funds – only to do something entirely different.

Although the president and his party do host a fine lunch and dinner, I would not bet a ham sandwich on anything they say. The party’s lack of credibility, a poor performance by McCain (the moderate), Bush’s inability to comprehend the gravity of the political consequences of his policies – all such injections of Republican stupid gave life to the political left-of-liberal Obama-rise within the Democratic Party.

Naturally I have serious believability issues with the current administration; I am perplexed as to the how and why any elected official could endorse the political, economic, financial, and foreign policies of this president. The answer is possibly as simple as it is blatant: The secular socialist wing of the Democratic Party has taken control of America; their interest is plain: consolidate, enforce, and enlarge the responsibilities of government by financing larger governmental obligations.

Panem et circenses – and the people will vote, once more, in favor of the giver…

William Robert Barber