The New Sex

by on March 1st, 2006

Terror is the new sex.

We’ve bought toothpaste for decades because it will get that special someone to notice us. Anna Nicole Smith actually got Joe Six-Pack to pay attention to the Supreme Court for a day. But terror, that really sells. If the powers that be can scare Joe Six-Pack enough, they can cherry pick every possible advantage and go home with ALL the goodies.

Terror brought us the USA PATRIOT Act, a law that was passed without thorough consideration in Congress, but which has gotten Americans used to the idea that the government might “need” to watch them or “need” to curtail their constitutional rights. Terror brought us wars on two fronts, neither of which the United States was in a position to win when it entered them; it brought public acquiescence to the deaths of more than 2,000 Americans and tolerance for public racial slurs when they come from slender blonde women.

Terror is better than sex when it comes to selling some things. No one would ever believe that we let New Orleans drown because we were having a romance, but since we were off “fighting terror,” all those poor black people could just tread water during hurricane Katrina. Terror turned public attention away from corporate looting on an unprecedented scale, and has undoubtedly created a goldmine for Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown & Root, and ExxonMobil. Somehow the fact that the price of petroleum was stable for years before we invaded Iraq has escaped public notice; and terror equals money for those who own stock in defense contractors.

Terror has been such a fine sales tool that CEO Bush has managed to pack the Supreme Court in such a way that as it considers partisan gerrymandering in Texas, it completely ignores the question of whether partisan redistricting deprives people of representation, as long as the party in power is now correcting wrongs perpetrated when it was not in power. One man, one vote? Fuggedaboudit.

This week, the Democrats have discovered terror. Suddenly, awakened by the mid-term elections, and a little news that operations of U.S. ports have been sold to a Middle Eastern company, our honorable representatives have come over to the Vertebrate Party. They can finally call Bush soft on terror. Hallelujah!

These are the same Democrats who failed to impeach Bush, failed to prevent the United States from taking military action against two sovereign nations that did not attack us, failed to hold the executive branch accountable for torture, spying, lying, obstructing justice, acting in bad faith, or any other wrong. Now these Democrats are going to ask for our votes. They are now telling us how they will protect us.

The question is, if they didn’t protect us from the Republicans, the Right-wing wacko religious wing-nuts, or the likes of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, what makes us think they’ll protect us from anybody else?

Bush and friends sold the operations of our ports, along with their souls to the highest bidders. The Democrats are unlikely to do much different, except they might get a better price.

Ann Weaver Hart