A BuzzFlash Editorial
June 14, 2002
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
In the 6/11 mailbag BuzzFlash wrote:
The formal psychological term for this defense mechanism is "Reaction Formation." (1)
Basically, the truth becomes so horribly unpleasant that your brain, in an attempt to make you feel better, converts the truth into the opposite. Whatever is bad, becomes good; that which is frightening, becomes inviting; a mentally and verbally-challenged Oval Office resident, becomes George Bush the President; and an administration destroying all that is good about our country, becomes one that is making our lives better.
What else can explain a Bush approval rating still in the 70s? What else can explain a populace that seems hunky-dory that eight years of progress, peace and happiness have been converted into two years of recession, war and fear?
The Bush administration's assaults on our civil liberties, their disregard for the government's duty to its citizens, their wanton abuse of the environment, their destruction of our social support system, etc., etc., etc., are so intense, frequent, and monolithic, that the average citizen just doesn't have the mental agility or time to comprehend it all. Reaction formation takes over and the whole thing is brushed away with a "Bush can't be doing that many bad things, look at his approval ratings!" The juggernaut of verifiable abuse gets shrugged off as inconceivable, another information UFO crash-landing on the Roswell of our unconsciousness.
We see it all the time. While explaining to the uninitiated "supporter" how many unquestionably ethically-challenged connections exist, in plain view, between Bush, Poppy Bush's Carlyle Group, Rumsfeld, Defense Spending, Sec. of the Army White, Enron, Cheney, Halliburton, Iraq, Rice, Chevron, Unocal, Karzai, Afghanistan, Pipelines, the War on Terror (read: War about Oil), on and on and on, we lose our listener. By the point in the conversation that it becomes clear how deep this collusion is, the Bush supporter's eyes have glazed over, their mouth has dried, and they look like someone who just walked in on their parents having sex.
There is a moment of silence as the information attempts to evade the elaborate defenses constructed for just such an occasion.
Then someone "breaks the ice" and says, "Hey, how about that weather?" and the conversation moves on to something more palatable and less intense, like the brisket or the salad. The truth gets swallowed like a horse pill and washed down with another glass of merlot or can of Budweiser, and the reality of what's been said gets numbed into nonexistence.
This "assault" by the Bush administration, as Rebecca Knight succinctly put it, is bigger than any right-wing conspiracy that any left-leaning soul could have ever conceived. This is an amazingly elaborate collusion, by a few well-connected current and former government officials, and their friends in the financial elite, to take control of the government and use the resources to further their and their friends' profit-making objectives.
Scared into submission by the sheer brutality of Cheney's remarks, the obfuscation of Rumsfeld's motives, the unmitigated gall of Ashcroft's actions, the heinous shifts of Rove's politics, and the enormity of Bush's ignorance, we do nothing and become unwitting participants.
The thing is, they are all laughing at us behind their "secret" government walls, and doing so all the way to the bank. Just ask Poppy Bush how much he made on the Crusader shell-game and how he will fare with his investments in the military-industrial complex, which is rolling in the dough of an endless "war on turur"?
Those of us who care, find that we're running around trying to put out the never-ending fires of anti-citizen, anti-civil liberty, anti-worker, anti-environment policies lit by the Bush administration, while W and his twisted band of evildoers take advantage of our confusion and rape the country of everything that was good about it. Our long-standing missions of peace, hope and charity have been substituted with war, desperation and greed.
This didn't happen overnight -- the Bush cabal has risen to the top of a system long-gone awry. But Bush and Co. represent the purest form of everything that is wrong with our government and our corporate elite, and they will use any means necessary to maintain their control of it.
Watch them work. Whenever we get a new terror alert or a new break in Bush's "war" (remember, Congress must approve a "war" and they did not), the announcement is political flak to camouflage something Bush and company did for their own personal gain.
But, we're tired of it. We're tired of hoping for a better future.
It's time to do something about it.
It's time to stop Bush and Co. from moving forward with their agenda.
It's time to decry the actions of this administration, at every turn, and make their choices known to everyone who will listen and to those who won't.
It's time to find, to be, elected representatives with courage, genuine compassion and real ethical standards.
It's time to demand what we want and demand that our representatives give it to us.
The truth is a powerful tool. Use it.
With that power we can pry back the minds welded shut with misinformation and point those people to a better existence, a better country, a better world, and a government that works for the people that it represents, instead of against them.
Below is the beginning of a list of demands. We know it is incomplete. We know you can help us build it, refine it and share it with the world.
Otherwise, accept life as it is right now, close your mind and your door, and pray that things will change on their own.
We choose to do something about it.
- A government that promotes peace, instead of war.
- A government that makes policies beneficial to all, instead of just a few already rich elite.
- A government that works to protect its citizens by promoting safer and healthier workplaces, a living wage, and accountability from CEOs who use their companies for greedy and nefarious purposes.
- A government that is open to scrutiny and expects its actions to be monitored by its citizens.
- A government that assists the needy, without question, at home and abroad.
- A government that wants a cleaner environment, promotes renewable and efficient energy sources, and punishes companies that pollute the environment.
- A government of representatives that vote for their constituent's needs first.
- A government and its representatives who uphold the rule of law, and strive to protect our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
- A president who is democratically elected by the majority of Americans.
Let us know what you want to add. We'll refine and rebuild this list until it's clear and concise so you can share it with your friends, both those that want these changes and those that need them. These demands can also be found as a separate document in the Perspectives section.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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(1) Reaction formation: a denial and reversal of our feelings. Love turns into hate or hate into love. "Hell has no fury like a spurned lover." Where there is intense friction between a child and a parent, it can be converted into exaggerated shows of affection, sometimes sickeningly sweet and overly polite. The feelings and actions resulting from a reaction formation are often excessive, for instance the loud, macho male may be concealing (from himself) sexual self-doubts or homosexual urges. Or, the person who is unconsciously attracted to the same sex may develop an intense hatred of gays. People, such as TV preachers, who become crusaders against "loose morals" may be struggling with their own sexual impulses. http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap5/chap5j.htm
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