I would like to take a moment to warn you that this is the longest blog I've ever written...due in large part to the article from Caroline Myss in Huffington Post. I've transposed most of the author's points for you here, interspersed with my own observations of the surreal political landscape we now find ourselves in.
"There is such a thing as a crime against the soul of a nation. A person or a political party can deliberately incite actions that diminish the strength, the integrity, and the overall well-being of a nation's inner core."
Thus begins the article by Caroline Myss. To me, it feels like a virulent form of cancer has been loosed upon our country. From Reagan's dismantling of unions to the noxious events during the Clinton Administration, when Newt Gingrich and his home boys tried with everything in their power to bring down a Presidency.
The rest of the world looked on with amusement at our provincial self-righteousness. I myself, was a registered Republican at the time, and found myself appalled at the three-ring circus that was our political discourse at the time...cigars and "that dress" were talked of incessantly as a matter of the utmost importance.
I remember clearly the mental shift that began with that invasion of "The Moral Majority". I remember thinking at the time, that if one had to shout from the rooftops of America your pious moral certitude...then in all likelihood, your morals needed more time in the oven, so to speak...more time to rise to the level of true morality, in which one would no longer need the rooftops to shout from; where one's morality would be clearly evident for all to see...no advertising necessary...no need to convince the masses that you were the Party of Family Values...that none other than the Republican, Right-Wing, Christian Coalition were entitled to wear that mantel.
Ms. Myss councils...America's soul is in a fragile state. It has suffered severe violations over the course of this past decade and to lesser degrees, in previous decades. Through the years, the essential integrity of America has been eroded for various reasons but never was it so violated as during the Bush administration. The endless lies, the deceitful years of propaganda that flowed from the West Wing that fed the media, the bogus reasons for setting the Middle East on fire, and converting this country into a corporate state for personal gain are crimes that shattered the soul of this nation more deeply than we have even begun to realize -- if we ever will.
The consequences of puncturing the soul of a nation are witnessed in countless ways.
For example, there is a decline in the integrity of leadership and a growing apathy on the part of the public to care about keeping watch over its leaders. The nation ceases to produce statesmen or stateswomen. The best the public can do is to send semi-qualified individuals to Washington whose capacity to hold to their promises collapse within minutes of unpacking in their new offices.
As for the old guard, they are worn out good old boys mixed in with a few new and not-so-new women on the block, who continue to fall into their same old patterns of deal making and breaking. But nothing of great significance ever happens unless motivated by a catastrophe. Any truly positive ideas for change baffle the Congress.
But of all the crimes covertly and overtly committed by the Bush administration against the soul of America, none is as vile as the deliberate efforts they poured into turning American against American. We see that in the near hatred between the Republicans and Democrats, between liberals and conservatives, between free-thinkers and evangelicals that continues to fester. This crime was a strategic one, a well thought out plan to fragment the people of this nation in a type of contemporary replay of the Civil War. And sadly, the Republicans succeeded.
Thank you, Karl Rove. The result is that the soul of America is exhausted, wounded, mistrusting, suspicious, fearful -- and compromised. This is not a soul that can rebuild a country, not if you know anything about the laws of nature and the fundamentals of healing.
Ms Myss is right on target...we have all seen this extreme partisanship in our government, and in our own discourse with family and friends alike. Now, the Party of Family Values (laughter here would be quite understood) wants us to believe that listening to our President encourage their children to strive to do well in school is invasive to their rights as parents. They want us to believe that our President wants to convert children to Muslims...Terrorists...health care advocates...Democrats...you fill in the words. A virulent form of cancer is upon us.
Myss continues...So let's apply this to the Republicans present attack on Obama and his plan to address the children in the classrooms of our schools. First, a comment on how education is respected in general by our Congress -- it isn't. And this crime against the soul of America is a travesty for which both Republicans and Democrats should hang their heads in shame.
Consider, for example, how the education system through the years has corroded into little more than a mindless competition for grades. And the "No Child Left Behind" program (which should be left far, far behind) is nothing more than an insult to a true educational system that holds in high regard the passing on of knowledge and wisdom and not just technical skills and information. But such a program is in keeping with the insidious goal of the "dumbing down" of America plan that was consciously set in motion under the Reagan Administration .
Are we really surprised that we are now living in a society in which the news media saturates us with entertainment instead of actual news and that most of America was too asleep at the wheel to even notice? Should we really have to wonder for more than three seconds as to why so many media reporters have turned into nothing more than gossip mongers and paparazzi, lacking all courage to do actual hard core news, substituting their own hysterical opinions for informed reporting? I'm not surprised at all.
A conscious effort to "dumb down" the education of this nation qualifies as a crime against the soul of America. And dare I say this? If there was something as grievous as a mortal sin committed by a group against its own people, then the Republicans -- with Reagan at the helm -- and all the Democrats who stood by, or worse, backed this catastrophe -- committed that sin when they choreographed how they would dismantle the intellectual power and potential of our own children.
So is it really any wonder why the Republicans would stage this outlandish outcry over President Obama addressing the schoolchildren of America?
You would think that everyone would support the President's desire to inspire our children to want an education. Who would not want to see their children enthusiastic about an education?
Hum ... Well, could it be that education intimidates them? I mean, given their history with education and their experience with their recent president as well as their recent candidate for vice-president, you can appreciate that the education of President Obama would engender a bit of jealousy.
Consider that when Bush showed up in a classroom, they gave him My Pet Goat to read to the students. Why was that, ya think?
Perhaps his team feared a more sophisticated book would be a bit too much for him. Or maybe he was providing students with an example of how "dumbing down" works. Or maybe, just maybe, given Bush's overall success and reputation for brain-power, Republicans fear Obama would inspire students instead of generating the jokes and comedic responses Bush did every time he opened his mouth.
I can't begin to count the number of times I listened to Bush joke about his own lack of intelligence before an audience. The audience members that included some now former as well as present members of the Congress and Senate, actually laughed as he made these comments. Whether they were laughing with him or at him, I couldn't tell. I KNOW I WAS LAUGHING AT HIM, BUT I WAS ALSO EMBARRASSED AND ASHAMED THAT THIS MAN WAS LEADING OUR COUNTRY. (caps mine)
How could he possibly joke about his lack of intelligence before a State Dinner? How could he laugh about his inability to comprehend matters of great importance? Why would he think that the public would find that funny? And if the public did find that funny, SHAME ON THEM.
The vice-presidential candidate that the Republicans ran in the past election against Obama was of equal educational quality. We all know who I mean, Miss Lipstick-on-a-Pig. Even her humor is low-class, in keeping with her intelligence. One has to ask, "So this was the candidate Republicans believed could handle the cosmic-sized dilemmas we now have facing this nation?" Sarah Palin? Are they nuts?
Listening to those Republicans lie about their support of her in the face of the crises facing this nation was a crime against the soul of America. Why? Because they did not believe a word of what they were saying and that was obvious. Most of them could barely cough up their contrived words of support. How they could possibly live with themselves is beyond me. But that is the blessing, I suppose, of having no conscience whatsoever. You're free to say whatever is required in the moment.
But if you want to talk about an educational violation, Palin is the poster child. She is a perfect example of the success of the "dumbing down of America" program. No wonder she is a Republican. Birds of a feather, as the saying goes. But you have to give credit where credit is due, yes?
So no wonder they fear Obama coming near the classroom. Republicans have little experience with a refined intellect. (They probably are wondering how Obama escaped the, "dumbing down" system. They certainly didn't. Check out Eric Cantor. There's a "dumbing down" success story if I've ever met one.)
I don't blame them for being upset, really. They actually owe America an apology for their actions and for their choices of candidates and for their overall quality control when it comes to who they believe qualifies for leadership positions. Truth is, the Republicans are embarrassed by their own actions and they are poor losers, not to mention unethical and immoral opponents. We just have to get them to own that, right? We have to hold all Democrats to the same standard as well. If a Democrat is unethical or immoral -- burn them at the stake. (That will probably clear out most of the Congress, but in the end, we'll all be better off.)
There comes a time when we have to just stand up to these carnies (slang for carnival barkers) and tell them to stop polluting the soul of America with their constant and endless transmission of psychic free radicals in the form of lies, negative press, ridiculous criticism, overall lack of intelligent ideas and comments, and complete absence of creative thought. We should just blast them with emails and tell them to stop polluting the soul of our nation. JUST STOP IT. WE'VE HAD ENOUGH.
I know I have. And I deeply believe the soul of our nation can't take much more of their strategy of deliberate division against the people of their own nation. That is a true crime -- and perhaps their greatest crime -- against the soul of this great nation.
In finishing this epic blog...perhaps, had we been diagnosed early enough, this cancer in our country would not have metastasized to the point that it now threatens the very embodiment of our founding father's wish for our nation when they crafted our Constitution. Had this devastating and destructive tumor that is the current evolution of the Republican Party, been seen for what it is: a mass of cells that our body America can no longer ignore in it's toxic, harmful, vengeful current state...then we may have been able to remove it without undue stress. As it stands right now...I am no longer certain of our chances for survival.