By Leyland A. King
July 7, 2017
No need be alarmed or outraged about the title. It really doesn’t matter anymore whether one chooses to be Democrat, Republican, or apathetic; religious zealot or palpably patriotic. It is too late! The hated Washington big government is no more, and the welfare queen has flown. Yes, the government we dismantled. No, we suffocated it. Fact is, it rotted away in plain sight while we called each other vile names and ignored the vile stench of decades-long institutional decay.
Now we can run the government as a business. A family enterprise. Hooray! It is a person with free speech and all the rights and privileges of a citizen, unconstrained by irritants like the constitution, regulations and such. Who needs voting rights anyway, Justice Scalia almost said. Free the Corporate citizen. They already have their own armies. They, in some countries, are called warlords.
Surely, we all heard of the contented frog slow-poached in a pot; about the jealous, happy frogs that prayed for a king to rule over them. The apt, belated comment might well be, they should have known. But there must be a parable somewhere, concerning the day the poor convened a meeting for super-rich men to, by the goodness of heart, discuss being kind to the poor. I can’t find one fitting, but Jonathan Swift’s satirical letter to the British, inquiring how they preferred Irish babies cooked, with what spices and accompanying dressings served, is as close as I got.
Now, like North Korean citizens ruled by a smart cookie, we’ll smile and cheer on sight of Trump, Paul Ryan, Betsie DeVos and so many, many others. Don’t ever stop cheering.
Just imagine the kind of society where this report was not necessary. But what is done is done.
Let’s now imagine a society where, having acknowledged its wrongs and flaws, actually took the report seriously, and went directly to work with the best of human resources and capital focused on fairness and justice, something like the Marshall Plan. Wow, what would America be like today?
Lastly, imagine such a dark report delivered to small, timid men, whose vision for humanity doesn’t rise beyond the walls and ceilings of their commodious offices; their loftiest dream is date-stamped on a pension, and a job held in trust for them by mysterious lobbyists.
Well, hey, time to get out of bed. Look around, nothing is there to imagine. The smell is that of wounds neglected and the body politic fast headed to mass graves. America chose that option as its destiny.