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An American story

by Flashette Friday, Dec. 05, 2003 at 7:29 PM

Bob, the proud Libertarian, leaned forward and lowered his voice, and said something very telling. "I'm probably gonna get myself killed in here," he whispered, indicating all the predominantly dark skins, almond eyes and exotic faces in the Social Security office . . .

Unknown News, December. 1, 2003

I went to my local Social Security office today, and sat among many brand-new Americans. I had been given a scrap of blue, pointed paper printed with a black 44, the number served thirty minutes ago was 19, and the one being served now was 20. Dazed at the wait I was facing here in Atlanta, I looked around myself and saw a beautiful banquet of exotic faces, all sharing my weariness and deep, abiding boredom. I sighed and sat down.

Seated perpendicular to me were a man and a woman. The man had a fiery, red face and bristling beard, and was dressed like a lumberjack. Seated beside him, the woman was blonde and tight-faced, prim, eyes down, dressed well, her arms folded coolly, her ankles joined. The man spoke to her in a low voice, about having moved recently from Denver.

"The streets in Denver make sense," he explained. "You can find your way there. The streets go north to south, and the avenues go east to west. And if you lose track of where you are, you can always look up and see the mountains, and know where west is. I don't get Atlanta," he continued, with a smirk. "In Atlanta, every time you cross a street, the name changes."

I gazed into memory and considered all the nice things I had experienced because of or heard about Denver. Oh, that female science-fiction fan in Aurora who libeled me online for working with an actor she was obsessed with; the mysterious cat-mutilator of 2003, also from Aurora; and oh yes: that nagging and still unsolved JonBonet Ramsey case? I remember being one of the Atlantans embarrassed that Denver's most-convincingly child-safe couple had a spare home in our city, and that many Atlantans had considered actually picketing that house and telling them "please return to your mountainous abode"…

But the conversation I was overhearing got worse.

Soon the flame-faced man started on about politics. This always starts trouble. God knows I tried to shut him out. I tried to plug my ears. I started to hum the Star Spangled Banner backwards and silently recite the birthdays of all the people I admire, just to tune out what he was saying. In my gut I could tell something he was about to say was just going to light me up like a blazing menorah… And then he said it:

"Well, I'm a Libertarian," he told the prim woman beside him, and she smiled approvingly. "A Conservative. Do you listen to Neal Boortz?" She smiled and indicated she definitely did. "Well, I listen to him all the time," the man concluded. "That guy is right on about everything." And I turned facing him.

Deep breath. Thinking, why am I about to do this? But Neal Boortz, the popular, ranting, raving, Conservative blowhard of Atlanta AM talk radio? The guy who makes Rush Limbaugh seem like a Liberal shill? Oh, I've got to do this…

"I hope I don't make your day any worse, but I couldn't help overhearing you a moment ago," I began. The red-jawed man clenched, fixing me with a bright-eyed, wordless stare. "You said you were a Conservative?" He gave me a rictus, a locked, frozen smile, waiting.


"Well, I'm a Liberal."

The man's features lit up in the first genuine smile I'd seen that day. He thrust out his right hand, grinning. "I'm Bob," he laughed. It was the hearty kind of sizzling laugh I've heard men emit while being presented a juicy hot steak or seconds before launching into a passionate argument. He could have rubbed his palms together in gleeful anticipation to toss chives perfectly across this moment.

"I'm Heather," I replied. "Good to meet you, Bob." Then a stream of unchecked words spilled from my mouth before I could stop them: "You know, I'm programmed to despise you people." Bob broke into another honest laugh. It was almost becoming infectious. I was starting to almost like the guy.

"But instead of doing that," I continued, "instead of just knee-jerk reacting to you as a Conservative, I just want to know from the horse's mouth, what is it you Conservatives currently believe in? What does a Conservative believe, and why do you believe it?" The man looked like I'd struck him with lightning. The blonde beside him cocked her head giving him a sidelong grin saying, "Ah-ha! Get yourself out of this one!"

Bob leaned forward and lowered his voice, and said something very telling. "I'm probably gonna get myself killed in here," he whispered, indicating all the predominantly dark skins, almond eyes and exotic faces in the room.

Bob proceeded to explain Conservatism to me, the Liberal. It goes like this.

. The government should not be telling us, the people, what to do.

. Government should be small and private, not big and invasive.

. The government is corrupt at this time.

. Democrats are the scum of the Earth because they lie.

. Well, yeah, Republicans lie too and that's not good either, but…

. Well, when Democrats do it, it's worse, because they always do it.

. The media is controlled by Liberals.

. At last the Conservative media has a small, weak voice out there.

. This voice is endangered because, soon, Liberals will destroy it.

I sat back and went, "Hmmmm!"

I then proceeded to preach him the Gospel of John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, of which I consider myself a true believer:

. Your Conservative government is in fact telling Americans what to do.

. Government is more invasive now under a Republican than at any other time in American history; if it gets any more invasive, our freedom is gone.

. All governments are corrupt. Democrat government is less corrupt.

. Republicans are the true scum of the Earth because they lie and also kill.

. Well, yeah, Democrats lie too, and that's not good either, but…

. Republicans are lying about 9-11 and everything else so we win.

. The media is controlled by fascist Conservatives.

. The internet and are the only Liberal media.

. This voice is endangered because, soon, Conservatives will destroy it.

The point that irked Bob the most was my counter-statement that the media is controlled by Conservatives, not Liberals. "In what way," I asked him, "is the media Liberal? Prove it!" He replied flatly that it just was.

This is when I showed him my TV credentials and let him know that I worked in television for a living. "I'm an independent producer," I told him, "and I am telling you, the media is Conservative right now. There isn't a thing Liberal about it."

. . . . . .

(Bob) began asking me those quiz questions from the Qu'Rand — the Aynish kind of stuff Libertarians like to ask you while reading them from that funny laminated square with those four colors on it, to "grade" your Conservatism the way Scientologists "audit" recruits; after I answered these questions truthfully, Bob snapped his fingers with a bright smile and shouted, "Aha! So you see, you're actually Conservative!"

Having been raised in a home where a born-again Christian father single-handedly made my life hell by endlessly crusading for my new age, incense-lovin' soul, I recognized a strong whiff of proselytizing in Bob's pop quiz enthusiasm. I began to realize that much of Conservative America, and the source of the world's biggest problems right now, stem directly from America's bloody past of using Christianity to make genocide a divine mandate, and Caucasian America's past and present relationship with Christianity.

Most of the most affluent white American Republicans subscribe to the Christian faith, either in practice or in acquiescence. Christianity, whether Conservatives like or admit it, can be read enormously to endorse theft, murder, savagery and genocide in the interest of material gain -- with a built-in clause denying all accountability for the above, because Jesus has "paid for it" in his blood. It's another way of saying something affluent white American Republicans say often growing up, when they owe something: "Daddy's got it." Daddy's got the check, and Jesus paid the debt.

Most affluent white Americans are Republicans. Most Republicans are Conservatives. Most Conservatives are born-again Christians. George W. Bush is a Republican, Conservative, born-again Christian.

So there we have it. America is under the grip of a Fundamentalist Christian President backed by a Fundamentalist Christian clique doing ugly Christian things, just as surely as we would think Iraq was, were it under the grip of a Fundamentalist Muslim Premier backed by a Fundamentalist Muslim clique doing ugly Muslim things. Israel, in turn, is under the grip of a Fundamentalist Jewish Prime Minister backed by a Fundamentalist Jewish clique doing ugly Jewish things.

And here we have the source of the world's conflict, and the sole reason it can't be solved. Real Christians, real Muslims, and real Jews, want to see peace happen. They can't have peace, however, because the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cliques are standing in the way and masquerading as the voice of the majority.

The Fundamentalist clique, a minority, controls what the Moderate populace sees and hears. A minority of the Moderate populace in each country is brainwashed into supporting the Fundamentalist leadership and his often vicious, backwards, blood-thirsty campaigns. Thus a Fundamentalist core support group is created. In the beginning, only the Moderate populace, which is a majority, will suffer at the hands of the campaign.

By the end, as history has shown us, the clique itself will begin to suffer; then things will generally unravel, the land will be soaked in bloodshed and chaos, and the Fundamentalist leadership will put a bullet in its own brain, leaving orphaned clique-members to scuttle like cockroaches to the rotting timber anonymity of far-away lands, such as South America, to avoid the now-educated masses, who hunt them to hang them.

This is the future for George Bush and the Republican Party; it is the future for Ariel Sharon and the Likud Party; and it is the future for all Islamic extremists and their dizzying, hundreds-new-daily, endlessly replicating sects. History has already sealed the deal. Owning Fox News can't prevent the inevitable, and spinning frantically ain't gonna stop it. It's history. Gentlemen, the die is cast . . .
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