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Barry Crimmins

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political satirist Barry Crimmins

Inhuman experimentation Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Inhuman experimentation

Guess which sentiment I agree with -- the one above or the ones below.

You know what's bullshit? The term "the American experiment." It implies a continuing and noble effort to reach some sort of perfected society. We employ the haughty phrase to first delude ourselves. I know I have. That doesn't change the fact that it's bullshit.

This country is no experiment. The fix has been in since Shay's Rebellion. The results of rigged experiments are useless except for those who want to distract and deceive with the fix. Experiments have variables. The USA has mass obedience. It never varies. Unless a person first burns incense at the altar of mythological American exceptionalism, they can't expect to to make  any political hay in this country. That's why last night we heard John McCain talk about how he has been devoted to this country "every day of his life," while Hillary Clinton claimed she doesn't just love America, she "deeply" loves America. So McCain was saluting in his cradle and Hillary turns down the lights and romances the red, white and blue.

We are a country of people who never take down their flags. In nine cases out of ten, these flags aren't flapping because of faithful devotion to great principles but because of fear of what our neighbors will think of us if we don't display our nationalistic devotion on a stick on the front lawn. Oh say, why can't you see?

None of this could ever happen without a pond infested with suckers. Believe me, I have been one of them more times than you. We are forever subjected to talk of "a new day in America", when we are supposed to believe things will be improved by the replacement of a few politicians with a few others. It rarely dawns on us that perhaps we should ask why the replacements are cashing checks from a lot of the same sources that funded the alleged rapscallions they're replacing.

I've been clinging to far-fetched hopes concerning my nation's political future for most of my life. For years I bought into the myth that this country was exceptional, and because of that, it had a special place in, and obligation to, the rest of world. But then my studies took me past the George M. Cohan version of of the United States. I learned about, well, what I should have learned about early on. Such as:

The massacre and robbery of this continent's native people...

Slavery and the permanent stain it left on our national soul...

The exploitation and brutal mistreatment of immigrants...

Incredible disparity between rich and poor, era after era...

Bigotry that's forever targeting and scapegoating those least capable of fighting back...

Obscene misuse/theft of everyone's natural resources...

Indoctrination in drag as education that makes kids believe that becoming cannon fodder is a great honor...

A savagely cruel and phenomenally racist system of 'justice'...

The systematic eradication of the left by a society dominated by fascists and peopled by cowards...

A foreign policy that's responsible for heinous injustices in every corner of the world...
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I could go on but I'm tired and sick and since I'm an American, I have no health care. I do have a bloated military and more and more of a need to show a picture ID upon demand.

Many nations are mature enough to treat politicians as a necessary evil. In those lands pols are watched carefully and held accountable. Here we turn them into legends before they ever do anything or worse, after they have done awful things. So I'm, at best, a skeptic.

Please don't let my skepticism interfere with your political year. The hope many of you are feeling is natural. It's as natural as the embitterment felt by any reformed sucker. I'll watch this year's elections with a literally jaundiced eye while wishing that all the time I spent hoping hadn't made me into a skeptical old man.

Good luck to you and your candidates. May they fool me by living up to what they promise.*

*Offer does not apply to Republicans, who deliver the hell they promise all too well.

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updated: 15 years ago