Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I see a common thread throughout all the current shouting and fuss over Health Care Reform legislation. The Birthers, Deathers, Town Hallers, exhibit a certain energy and strength and yet they are still delivering the same blob of whatever as they did during the recent campaign. The cause changes but the energy of it all speaks of some common roots – linguistic and primal.
What I see in looking at recent campaign tapes on You Tube and elsewhere is a sort of recycled five hundred year coded message that immigrants to America brought with them from religious persecution in Europe. And they, the insecure, the border line crazy, will not let go of it!
Indeed, the last bus stop from east to west was Los Angeles for many decades. The pioneers, the immigrants pushed westward to La La Land and carried with them some long festering fear and paranoia related to an imperfect freedom in America – imperfect because somehow someone or something will reach in and take freedom away. Once they got to the west coast there was no place to convert mental energy into travel – or to hide from your active fears and anxieties.
A blunderbuss at your door mirrored the real fear of attack by those natives on whose lands you were now in some European sense taking hold of. A need to carry arms mirrored the belief that no European country with its religious persecution was going to take away the American dream, whatever that is – it like the pursuit of happiness can be very elusive and from generation to generation takes on new meanings and nuances.
Listening to some key words in the current anger and fuss in Town Hall settings, I see different things. Many Americans feel out of touch with the bizarre way Washington rules itself and is not accountable to anybody, not even God. And not balancing a budget is just bad business and bad economic sense but it just goes on and on and on. Now that we have reached our credit limits with China, I see new overtures toward India and their potential lines of credit for the American consumer appetite – the modern day version of bread and circus to keep the mob under control.
Some key code words being tossed around right now in the streets and on talk radio are:
Big government – possibly the English Crown, Tudors and Stuarts, who perpetuated the religious persecution of commoners along with German princes.
Hitler – Satan – the prince of darkness used to be black until the nineteenth century and the invention of color lithography when he turns red.
Red - Satan
Nazis – devils
Swastika – twisted cross – (Crucifix – the pope)
Eupropean Socialist – European.
Birth Certificate – legitimacy – one hundred and fifty years of European religious wars all over who has the right religion and who is more legitimate than the next guy.
Death Panels – the Inquistion – and let’s not overlook Sarah’s possible Freudian slip of death panels meaning death squads, an acceptable way blessed by conservatives to rule by dictatorships in Central and South America.
Sarah Palin’s (I’m Okay – You’re okay) wink – the secret handshake. And of course Alaska is the ultimate sci-fi last bus stop of the shrinking world in the twenty first century. (She’s got to be one of us!) Code Pink!
Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that in a coded subculture surviving to this day that used to suppress slaves and murders Indians, that the coded message going out now is a real message so much as very hot pressure point push words being manipulated by certain parties and that may go back to the Reformation.