|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Every Sunday morning on the political talk shows you can hear politicians positively crowing about how they manipulate Americans of all stripes into voting and protesting against their own interests. If you do not have the sense to realize middle class people have more in common with the poor than the rich you are being manipulated by the rich, who own the media and simultaneously sweet-talk and slander the rest of us constantly.
Your fellow worker has too much health care. Your fellow worker doesn’t deserve vacation time. Your fellow worker should retire later. Your fellow worker is a greedy slacker for joining a collective bargaining unit to bargain for better wages and a safer workplace. These are not problems. These messages should make men and women stand up and shout, “Good for my fellow worker! I will forge a collective bargaining unit and negotiate for better wages and benefits.” I don’t have to tell you all the old truisms you’ve known all your life but seem to have forgotten:
“There is strength in numbers.”
“The army makes a brave general.”
“Many hands make light work.”
“Two heads are better than one.”
Even “United we stand, divided we fall.”
All the same truth your grandparents knew: alone, we may survive, but working together, we can thrive. And yet, whenever some group of politicians or church group or think tank demonizes a group of our neighbors, friends and relatives, Americans fall for it. Right after 9/11, when the American flags went up everywhere and the flag-waving began, I knew because it has been true all my life that when Americans have waved flags bombs fell on the heads of brown people. Sure enough, that is what happened. There was never any reason to set anyone on fire, except that that’s what an angry mob does.
You can see the demands for groupthink and group behavior regularly on Facebook, if only for example. A few of my friends have recently re-posted statuses demanding supposed patriotic statements or gestures. That’s not patriotism. It’s a demand for conformity. Fuck that noise. My dissent is patriotic, and those demands are bullshit. Once again, if you don’t get that, you have been manipulated by someone who gains by your misunderstanding.