American Coup

Lone Gunmen and Plane Crashes

related pages:

JFK - MLK - RFK - Carnahan - Wellstone - Pope John Paul I - John Lennon

Political history is far too criminal a subject to be a fit thing to teach children.
-- W. H. Auden, 1907-1973

"The men who possess real power in this country have no intention of ending the cold war."
-- Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

"there really are linkages between the murders of JFK, MLK, and RFK"
-- Representative Cynthia McKinney, September 14, 2002 reception for the Congressional Black Caucus www.counterpunch.org/mckinney0918.html

"Laurel and Hardy, that's John and Yoko. And we stand a better chance under that guise because all the serious people like Martin Luther King and Kennedy and Gandhi got shot."
-- John Lennon

It is my belief that since the JFK assassination the secret government, the CIA and the [Military Industrial Complex], have been running the show. They have not allowed anyone to become president, from either party, that was not under their control.
-- Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2008/07/jfks-conversion-from-war.html

 

Smedley Butler and the plot against FDR

www.chris-floyd.com/plot/

www.chris-floyd.com/plot/The_Plot_to_Sieze_the_White_House_by_Jules_Archer/


Representative Cynthia McKinney of Georgia

"And despite what the revisionists would have us believe about him, JFK rejected war against a smaller, weaker, poorer country, began to work for détente with the Soviets, and threatened to "scatter the CIA to the four winds." Now, that was leadership for a new generation. And at that time, we had a choice; but Kennedy correctly pointed out that what we really wanted was not a Pax Americana imposed with American weapons of war; not even a peace for our time; but, instead a peace for all time.

"Snipers' bullets took that America away from us. And almost in rapid succession, bullets took Martin King and Bobby Kennedy from us, too. It came to my attention during my last days in Congress that Bobby was considering King for his running mate. Now, imagine the America we might have had. But when confronted with evil back then, what did we do?


http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2005/04/early-morning-april-4.html

Oliver Stone, not everyone's favorite commentator, was interviewed a couple of years ago by Psychology Today. He had this to say:

PT: Where does all this lead us? What road are we going down, in your mind?

OS: I think when you kill presidents--when you kill Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and you get away with it; when you have J. Edgar Hoover in office for 50 years and he's a raging madman who prosecutes anyone who he sees as subversive to his way of American life; when you have Lyndon Johnson as president; when you have wars in Vietnam that are genocides; when you create a Cold War mentality that breeds defense-minded expenditures of the sums that we had--then there is a corruption that follows.
The fabric of society is warped. It has been increasingly warped since World War II and we've locked into it and now we're paying for it. We're paying for it morally and spiritually and economically. Cause and effect. It had to happen. We did not throw the money into the cities, into architectural or spiritual wealth. For this country these things are lacking now.


THE ASSASSINATIONS
Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X
Edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease

"The cumulative effect of these assassinations is quite clear. They resulted in the death of the old Democratic Party and the birth of the new Jimmy Carter-Bill Clinton-Al Gore Democratic Party. ....
"Imagine if you can, that if in the mid-1980s, at the height of the GOP Revolution, Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich, and George Bush Sr., had all been assassinated in the space of five years. Would the Republicans and the media not suspect something more than coincidence or happenstance? Would their party and their causes be able to sustain the loss? Would Dan Quayle and Bob Dole have been able to pick up the baton? Would history not have been quite different? Certainly, the Democrats were not able to sustain the loss. Nothing comparable filled the gap, nothing even came close. So the constellation fell from the sky and without any pressure from the left, our public debate shifted slowly, inexorably to the right."
-- p. 635, 638

 

www.RealHistoryArchives.com

This site exists because we are not being told the truth about our history. Are you under the impression that Oswald killed Kennedy? That the Media is independent? That the CIA never operates without presidential authority? If so, you need to peruse these archives and find out what you've been missing.
This site is designed to provide researchers links and leads to finding solid information about our real history, as opposed to the convenient - if somewhat fake - history the "mainstream" corporate press feeds us.

 

www.webcom.com/ctka/index.html
Citizens for the Truth about the Kennedy Assassinations

 

review by NameBase

www.namebase.org/cgi-bin/nb01/gC

DiEugenio, James and Pease, Lisa, eds. The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2003. 677 pages.

The only surprise when Oliver Stone's "JFK" movie appeared in December 1991, was that the media began bashing it in unison six months earlier -- before anyone had seen the movie! Major media are supposed to feign objectivity, because it makes their unsuspecting audience feel better. But in this case their marching orders were clear and they couldn't contain themselves. Despite this, Stone's movie revitalized interest in research for a time. New evidence emerged, partly because Congress passed a law that declassified many additional documents. By now, of course, the major media lost interest -- they had already declared that Oliver Stone was the man with the tin-foil hat.
The journal Probe, put out by the editors of this book, was one of the better efforts during the 1990s. Unfortunately, it was also obscure. This is a collection of essays, most of which were written for Probe, on the four major assassinations. It's the best overview of the current state of research on these topics to appear in the last ten years. In particular, the essay by James W. Douglas titled "The Murder and Martyrdom of Malcolm X" is notable because this assassination has not been covered as well as JFK, RFK, and MLK. All together, this volume is important because it pulls together information that is becoming increasingly difficult to collect.
ISBN 0-922915-82-2


The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012
CHARLES J. DUNLAP, JR.
Parameters, US Army War College, Winter 1992-93, pp. 2-20
www.internetpirate.com/coup1.htm

MELANCHOLY REUNION: A REPORT FROM THE FUTURE ON THE COLLAPSE OF CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.
INSS Occasional Paper 11
October 1996
USAF Institute for National Security Studies
US Air Force Academy, Colorado
www.internetpirate.com/coup.htm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. is Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from St. Joseph's University and a juris doctorate from Villanova University School of Law. He also is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and a distinguished graduate of the National War College. Colonel Dunlap is the author of numerous articles on legal and national security affairs. His writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including Parameters, Military Review, Joint Force Quarterly, and The National Interest. One of his papers, "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012," was co-winner of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Essay Contest, a competition among students from all the military's senior service schools.

www.prorev.com/mil.htm
Mission creep: the militarizing of America
the US Military Coup of 2012

www.prorev.com/coup.htm
The Creeping Coup: News from post-Constitutional America

 

John Hinckley shooting of President Ronald Reagan

www.nathanielblumberg.com/neil.html
The connections between the Hinckley and Bush families. Stranger than fiction.

www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/Jonestown.html
The international operations of World Vision and the related evangelical groups continue unabashed. World Vision official John W. Hinckley, Sr. was on his way to a Guatemalan water project run by the organization on the day his son shot at president Reagan.[280] A mysterious "double" of Hinckley, Jr., a man named Richardson, followed Hinckley's path from Colorado to Connecticut, and even wrote love letters to Jody Foster. Richardson was a follower of Carl McIntyre's International Council of Christian Churches, and attended their Bible School in Florida. He was arrested shortly after the assassination attempt in New York's Port Authority with a weapon, and claimed he intended to kill Reagan.[281]
Another World Vision employee, Mark David Chapman, worked at their Haitian refugee camp in Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. He was later to gain infamy as the assassin of John Lennon in New York City.[282] World Vision works with refugees worldwide. At the Honduran border, they are present in camps used by American CIA to recruit mercenaries against Nicaragua. They were at Sabra and Shatilla, Camps in Lebanon where fascist Phalange massacred the Palestinians.[283] Their representatives in the Cuban refugee camps on the east coast included members of the Bay of Pigs operation, CIA-financed mercenaries from Omega 7 and Alpha 66.[284] Are they being used as a worldwide cover for the recruitment and training of these killers? They are, as mentioned earlier, working to repopulate Jonestown with Laotians who served as mercenaries for our CIA.
- John Judge

 

Gov. George Wallace, shot while campaigning against Nixon

www.webcom.com/ctka/pr599-bremer.html

Bremer & Wallace:
It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again
By Lisa Pease
From the May-June 1999 issue (Vol. 6 No. 4)

The question of conspiracy goes hand in hand with the old one of Cui Bono? Who benefits? 1972 was a year in which the Vietnam war was dividing the country. On the one hand, George McGovern was pulling votes from the more moderate Hubert Humphrey in large part because he was willing to speak out against the carnage there. McGovern could never have won in a direct fight with Nixon, as history proved. But with Wallace splitting the conservative vote, McGovern had a chance of becoming president. Clearly, those who supported the Vietnam engagement gained when Wallace was taken out of the running by the bullets in Laurel, Maryland.

 

Governor Mel Carnahan, died in a plane crash in October 2000 while campaigning against Senator Ashcroft

CounterPunch
October 3 / 5, 2003
Can the Republicans Get Much Worse? Of Course, They Can
By WAYNE MADSEN

.... But as outrageous as Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger are, nothing can top Missouri Republican Senator Christopher Bond's now former communications director, Ernie Blazar. He decided to set up an anti-Democrat web site called "N8354N," the tail number of the plane that carried Missouri Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan, his son, and his assistant. All were killed in the crash. The plane crashed just prior to the 2000 election that pitted Carnahan against the incumbent John Ashcroft. Carnahan, whose name remained on the ballot, beat Ashcroft anyway.
Blazar just exemplified a party that is now under the spell of dirty tricksters like Bush's guru, Karl Rove. Maybe someone should check Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman's staff to see if they have a web site called "N41BE," the tail number of the plane that crashed killing Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, three staff assistants, and two pilots. Maybe the Republican National Committee has a web site called "N9253N," the tail number of the plane flown by John F. Kennedy, Jr., which crashed off Martha's Vineyard, killing him, his wife, and sister-in-law. Naming web sites after tail numbers of planes in which Democratic leaders died has the appearance that some Republicans are gleeful over these tragic deaths. Perhaps the FBI should expand its probe of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for the leaking of the name of Ambassador Joe Wilson's CIA wife (an outrage in itself) to include an investigation of Republican dirty tricks operatives for their possible involvement in multiple counts of murder.
Next Tuesday's California recall election and next year's presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial races must be seen by every American as contests between democracy and fascism. It boils right down to that and the future of the country is at stake.

 

1972 plane crash of Representatives Nick Begich and Hale Boggs

www.earthpulse.com/products/Disappearance/letter20010619.html

Dr. Nick Begich
Earthpulse Press
P.O. Box 201393 
Anchorage, Alaska 99520
Fax 907-696-1277

June 19, 2001
Dear Earthpulse Friends:
On Tuesday, June 26, The History Channel will air a one-hour History's Mysteries segment called Alaska's Bermuda Triangle. It explores the disappearance of my father, Congressman Nick Begich, Sr., and the late Majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hale Boggs of Louisiana. The plane they were traveling in disappeared on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau on Oct. 16, 1972. The most massive air search ever undertaken in the history of the world did not find any trace of the plane. This was just weeks before the Watergate story. Inquiries about CIA misuse of power were being made and a number of other significant international questions were being addressed in Washington. The story is being incorporated into a book I am finishing called Earth Rising II - The Betrayal of Science, Society and the Soul.
Twenty years later, in 1992, a Freedom of Information Act Request by Roll Call Magazine unearthed an FBI telex indicating that the plane was located and never retrieved. Information obtained by a government verified source described the location of the plane and stated that there were two survivors shortly after the plane disappeared. The information indicated an undisclosed "firm" involved in testing advanced surveillance equipment had located the crash. The informant had a military background, according to the FBI document obtained by Roll Call. The FBI telex was sent to the Washington, D.C. FBI headquarters where it was presumably passed to the Acting Director, L. Patrick Gray. The previous director, J. Edgar Hoover, had been in a significant conflict with Boggs, who called for his resignation on the floor of the Congress. Boggs was one of the most powerful people in the country at a time when misuse of power was just beginning to be seen, culminating in the resignation of the President of the United States Richard Nixon. A good deal remains untold from this period of the country's history and perhaps my father's story being released will compel someone to come forward with the rest of the story.
Some of the other interesting points surrounding the disappearance include the fact that Boggs was taken to the airport for the first leg of the trip by a young democrat named Bill Clinton who later, as President, appointed Congressman Boggs' wife Lindy to the position of US Ambassador to the Vatican after she served eighteen years in the Congress after her husband's disappearance. Congressman Boggs was also on the Warren Commission and had some interest in reopening the investigation. My father had just completed his first Congressional term and as a freshman had engineered the biggest cash and land transfer to native Americans in the history of the United States, over 44 million acres and nearly $1 billion was transferred. This transfer and "settlement" was needed for establishing a clear title for the right-of-way of the Trans-Alaska pipeline which was then built supplying 25% of US oil for much of the time since its completion.
Things seem to run in cycles and it is interesting when I look at my family's work in Alaska and the work which we are doing now as a result of these early encounters with government. I had always suspected that there was more to my father's death than was revealed in past years. Time does reveal the truth and it seems that conspiracies can appear to be fact through strange coincidence or may actually be of sinister design. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which it is.. We have posted the FBI documents and part of the story on our website: www.earthpulse.com

Always the Best,

Nick

 

Danny Casolaro and the "Octopus"

www.steamshovelpress.com/fromeditor24.html

"The Octopus Returns"
by Kenn Thomas
Here's a quick refresher paragraph on the Octopus:
    Danny Casolaro was "suicided" in 1992 on the trail of the mother of all conspiracies, a transnational cabal manipulating world political events since World War II called The Octopus. Key to his research was a super-surveillance software called PROMIS, which was given to a crony of Ronald Reagan's as a pay off for the deliverance of $40 million to the Ayatollah Khomeini for the "October Surprise" -- holding on to the 52 American hostages in Iran until after Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election. The crony profiteered from PROMIS (really owned by a company called Inslaw) by selling it to police agencies throughout the world for the purpose of tracking criminals and extrapolating their next moves.
    Feral House plans a new edition of the book The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Casolaro's own notes - those that didn't disappear the night he died - provided the basis of the book, which I co-wrote with another celebrated conspiracy writer, Jim Keith. That first edition came out in 1996 and is now a bit of a collector's item, costing about $100 on amazon if you can find a copy.
    Like all great conspiracy writers, Casolaro was dismissed as a paranoid crank. The book's existence as a kind of cult classic testifies to how cutting-edge parapolitical insight is pushed into an underground of the few who care to know. It's re-emergence now, however, has an eerie, although not unsurprising, parallel with events and people easily recognizable to the wider world. The Octopus, the real one, has returned just in time for the book.
    Example one: shortly after the Afghanistan war stories began circulating that Osama Bin Laden was using the PROMIS extrapolation function to avoid capture. According to these stories, it was given to him via a circuitous route from the Russians who got it from the famed turncoat spy Robert Hanssen.
    Example two: the June resignation of Paul Redmond, Assistant Secretary of Information Analysis for the US Homeland Security department. Described by some as a "legendary spy catcher" - he had a role in the capture of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames - Redmond officially resigned for "health reasons." Most took that as polite cover for Redmond's frustration with under-funding of the department, but others connected into to a rumored secret investigation Redmond was conducting of long-standing common interests between the Bush and bin Laden families and was forced to resign. Among the connections: PROMIS, also had been given to Saddam Hussein by the senior Bush in the early 1990s, and he too now uses it to avoid capture. Danny Casolaro had reported that Iraq was among the countries that originally purchased the software illegally.
    Example three: Casolaro had also written about John Poindexter, one of the few people convicted in the Iran-contra scandal, a trading-with-the-enemy affair that grew out of the October Surprise. An appeals court overturned his five 1990 felony convicitions, however, and more recently Poindexter was appointed head of a new information technology unit of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that developed the internet. This new DARPA unit was called Total Information Awareness. Symbolized on its website and on a wall decoration in Poindexter's office by an eye over a pyramid - a tip of the hat that he worked for secret masters -- its purpose was to further develop PROMIS-like software that could track every detail of every American citizen's life.
    In July, Poindexter was forced to resign from the administration when it was discovered that DARPA's TOI also was developing a futures trading market based on the prediction of terrorist events. Of course, a short-selling spree on the real market made a fortune for someone just after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, so someone was already pretty good at predicting terrorist events.
    Examples four and five: the central conspiracy that concerns even the major media now is the role of the Saudis in the 9/11 disasters. Casolaro had written about the al-Yamama aerospace contract umbrella that keeps US and British money flowing into Saudi Arabia. He focused on the career of arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi, who helped develop the contracts, and his partner, Manucher Ghorbanifar. Back in March, because of meetings Khashoggi set up with Bush defense adviser Richard Perle to privately profiteer from the still pending war in Iraq, Perle was also forced to resign. This month it has been reported that Pentagon underlings for the Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, have been meeting with Manucher Ghorbanifar, unauthorized by Dubya, of course.
    The pattern of resignations is erupting around the edges of the Octopus entity that Casolaro began to delineate back in the late 80s/early 90s. The low-level, limited hang-out resignations more or less shield the central creature from true exposure. The compliant press helps with that, of course, not having enough historical memory to see the pattern. The only memory it has of Danny Casolaro is that he had whacky conspiracy "theories".
    The new book looks at all of this and much else concerning The Octopus, Casolaro's original research as well as how it illuminates what now goes on in the post 9/11 warfare world.

 

Who Killed John Lennon?

... radio journalist Mae Brussell, who ... Brussell had no doubts ... a trance." ---
Who Killed John Lennon? ...
Description: Excerpts from the Fenton Bressler book of the same title, suggesting Mark Chapman was brainwashed...
Category: Society > Crime > Murder > Lennon, John
www.shout.net/~bigred/lennon - 11k - Cached - Similar pages
Who Killed John Lennon?
... Bresler quotes the late radio journalist Mae Brussell, who broke ... Brussell had no doubts:
"It was a conspiracy. ... and me, it was not an accident." -- John Lennon. ...
www.shout.net/~bigred/Lennon.htm - 12k - Cached - Similar pages
WWI #472 side 1
... Yoko the last few thousand in his savings in the early 60's before she ever met John
Lennon. "In '72 I published the Realist, with Mae Brussell's article, 'Why ...
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MP3 Recordings of Mae Brussell - Part 2
... Evaluation of Mae Brussell research to other critics. ... Mae's mail problems. ... JOHN
LENNON, PART I. Motives, Musicians murdered, Mark David Chapman's Doubles? ...
www.maebrussell.com/CD%20catalog/ Mae's%20CDs%20Part%202.html - 72k - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from www.maebrussell.com ]
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... Bresler quotes the late radio journalist Mae Brussell, who broke the Watergate story
2 ... Brussell had no doubts: "It was a conspiracy. ... Who Killed John Lennon? ...
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... Born in Beverly Hills 1922, Mae Brussell was the ... In addition to Mae's close friends
and weekly ... Krassner's The Realist was actually financed by John Lennon. ...
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... and young conspiracy students known as Brussell Sprouts, plus ... caper" and a "third-rate
burglary"–Mae completed a ... She and John Lennon were in town, and they ...
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... political assassinations (JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcom X, John Lennon, etc.), covert ... their
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... Conspiracy Queen and the G-Men: The Mae Brussell FBI Files; Microfilm at 11 ... Who Slew
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... John Lennon thought Frank Zappa was great and wished he could be him since Frank ... him
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America's Longest Night
Statement given at a Veterans for Peace Solstice
Concert, Gainesville,
Florida, December 22, 2003 by Doris "Granny D" Haddock

Greetings to you all, Brave Veterans for Peace and Friends!
We now come to the longest night of the year. In ancient times people worried that the sun would just keep falling further on the horizon until the world turned to one long, cold night. But we have come to understand that there is a rhythm to life, and that the dark is followed by the light, and the sun halts its retreat and begins its way back to us. And so it is in the history of our nation, for there is some natural gravitational pull that provides for a return of human warmth after the frightening chill of dark times.
America, politically, is in one of the darkest nights of its history. There is a way forward, and the forces of nature are with us.
Although many of us hesitated to think it as such, America suffered something very much like a coup three and a half years ago. A radical faction took over the institutions of government after sending thugs to physically stop a vote that was not going their way.
That sounds harsh to say, but history now shows it to be the simple truth
, and every day's news plays out the brutal changes sought by this usurping faction. If American values are for the growth of the middle class, the equality of the races, the projection of peace and justice in the world, and for the preservation and advance of our own rights and freedoms, then this coup is so radically against the values of the nation that it may be called a kind of treason. But it is different in that it is a legal treason, just as the large campaign donations from business interests are legal bribery. This complication has put many to sleep, but also it has caused many others to awaken from long political sleeps.
In the years since the 2000 election, this coup, which was launched on behalf of a wealthy elite, has destroyed or damaged our ability to care for each other now and for decades to come, has redefined American policy abroad in a unilateral new and bloody garment, has ruthlessly ravaged the environment, and has coldly undermined the personal liberties and rights formerly granted to all Americans through our Bill of Rights. It is indeed an overthrow of some sort, though it is sophisticated and the old institutions remain functioning and appear to be little changed--though they are propped-up corpses.
The same wealthy elite who yet engineer this American nightmare, thanks to corporate deregulation they paid for with awesome bribes legalized as campaign contributions, own our largest news organizations, which they have silenced on all but issues of films and celebrities and celebrity crimes and foreign danger and the bright young heroes and martyrs of America's New Imperial Army. The corporate radio stations, and much of the cable spectrum, is filled with the mind-poisoning lies of this big lie machine.
If brave courts and a bare handful of elected Members of Congress who are not corporate whores nip at the heels of this
coup, they do not long deflect the cruel trajectory of this overthrow.
We worry now for our very elections. We know we cannot endure another four years of it--and yet we will have to do just that, if a fair election decides in that direction.
Those of us who are awake to the villainy, who wonder why the few good newspapers do not call it the treason it is, who despair sometimes at the comatose intoxication of our neighbors, have to now work an important miracle for our nation and its future.
And on this solstice night let us know that the cycles of nature do favor our work and they doom our greedy and hate-mongering enemies.
Our strength rises from the gentle and fair aspect of the American character, which is indeed mighty. There are other aspects of our character, as our violent history shows. But at heart, Americans have an idea of America as a good and fair and caring place. It is the America they cherish.
We who are awake must become circles of influence in our families, neighborhoods and workplaces, so that the next election will be the counter-coup. Republicans, Democrats, Greens and Independents must unite to elect people who will destroy the goose-stepping advance of this un-American invasion that now is destroying our moderate and rational nation. Our enemies are not Republicans or their party, which has been hijacked away from its values of moderation, fiscal conservatism, American jobs, American family businesses, and individual rights and privacies. Good Republicans must be tough against this takeover, and Democrats must help them by offering useful candidates for this moment of historic intervention and correction. These candidates must be able to not only offer a strong and
wide bridge, but--and here is the trick--they must be able to inspire the half of the citizenry who do not vote, for their services are needed if we are to come into November with overwhelming strength, so that no villainy by election officials or voting machine makers can have enough effect.
After the November election, if it is a fair election, we must live with the result. All our energies are required now, in these months before the election, if we believe in democracy as we say we do.
And democracy is indeed what it is about. Democracy is the welling-up of power from the hearts and minds of free and equal citizens. It is a conceptual framework that the radical right abhors. It is why they insist upon the strict hierarchy of a creationist view, where orders are all given from yet higher above and there is no creativity or power below--only servants, only slaves, who need no rights or protections or health care or overtime, nor life itself. It is a power-mad mindset that invades every aspect of their thinking. It is a neurotic -and in some cases psychotic-- illness that now threatens the peace and health of the world.
Many of our neighbors are mentally disposed to look to political, cultural or religious leaders for the formation of their own opinions, and they do not see what is in front of them or how their own lives are being destroyed. While these many are authority-friendly, others of us are not that at all. We the authority-averse have had our smoke alarms blaring in our heads for three and a half years now, and we offer our services to those who have fallen asleep in the smoke and who need waking or dragging from the building.
When America has good, decent and creative leaders again, those neighbors of ours who only take their cues from leaders will be singing friendlier tunes again. But for now, we have a massive rescue effort ahead of us, and we had better know what this struggle is all about.
It is a culture war. Remarkably, it is not as much about issues as you might think. We met a fellow in a West Virginia coffee shop who thinks Bush may not be able to win, so he is thinking about moving his support to Kerry. "He's a vet and he seems like a person of moral strength, like Bush," he said. White fraternity boys at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi watched a Dem debate and came out impressed with Dean, according to a TV pundit. Why? "He seemed like the strongest guy," was the group agreement. And of course Arnie won in California. An African-American college student in Philadelphia said he would support Arnie for President if he could. Why? "You know, man, the Terminator!" he said--as if that said it all.
The common thread in these examples is this: it isn't about issues; In a dumbed-down political environment, it's about the personal strength or, more truly, the perception of personal strength. It is to be a battle of comic book heroes, and issues are not important, except as weapons of character assassination.
So when one democrat criticizes the issue position of another democrat, it doesn't do much damage except to the accuser, who looks weak to be making criticisms about things that no one really cares about. A culture of fear has been shaped, and the voters demand a strong leader to lead them through it. Issues are only important to the political junkies like us.
A culture war cannot be won if it is fought like a regular political campaign. It is about the creation of images and the framing of futures and the posterization of complex candidates into comic book colors. It is more like professional sports promotion. Until all the candidates understand this -Bush and Rove certainly do--they won't stand much of a chance. If Dean has a head start, it is because he does get it. If you want another candidate to beat him and Bush, you had better send him or her to comic book school.
And while the campaigns do all that, we the people have to use the issues to get to our friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors, and open their eyes to where their self-interest resides in this battle of dumbed-down warriors. They will not get this information from the campaigns.
As I say when I rap it to students, "It's not just a game for your Matrix mind: It's a culture war--you're on the front line." And so we are this war's foot soldiers, and foot soldiers are all about shoe leather, not email.
The Democratic Party seems not yet up to this challenge of fighting and winning a culture war. The moderate wing of the Republican Party, as we know, is in chains. That leaves you and me and the temporary institutions of the counter coup that we may devise.