The Belt of Justice
What I am about to write here may trouble some readers, particularly because I must unabashedly put on display that side of my views decidedly not in keeping with my more progressive, tolerant side. In advance, I forewarn that what I write below might not sit well with many, and I shall understand that discomfort. In some ways, it troubles even me that my patience with neo-conservatism has become so truncated that I must revert to attitudes within myself that pose in such harshness. That, unfortunately, is one of the many downsides of becoming agéd: patience in some areas of life takes the form of a precious commodity to be reserved only for those worthy of it. Neo-conservatives and Right-wing evangelicals have fallen off my list of those for whom patience, tolerance, and acceptance is warranted. I trust that they shall never again find their way to the limited space that remains within my soul for good will. With that caution in preface, suffer now my statement of position.
I have no delusions about the American people. Enough of them liked the mean, nasty, hateful words, ways, and innuendos of the Republicans to turn this into one of the grimmest chapters in American history. People like that don't change their stripes, and they certainly wouldn't do so in the span of a mere few years.
Those same people whose rah-rah, kick-some-ass-Georgie mentality got us into this mess are still out there all around us, and their attitudes now are every bit as disgusting as they were.
But those same people, like the people of every age, are craven and cowardly. When their former heroes get hanged in the public square, they'll be nowhere in sight to protest the swinging of the apes.
At worst, they'll hide in their homes grumbling about the horror of it all; at best, they'll feign shock and dismay at the "betrayal" by their former heroes, and they'll swear to God they had "no idea."
Bull. That's the same apology of the Germans as the truth about the Third Reich got rammed down their throats in the years after World War II. The facts shut up the Hitler generation and allowed a much more benign couple of generations to grow up. It took all of fifty years for Fascism to become once again fashionable in European polite company and its hate speech to become wholly defensible by American liberals.
We may yet again have to beat the Hell out of its ugly pigs over there in the decades to come, but at least we had more than half a century of peace and quiet, in no small part because the common people by the millions who had grovelingly supported Hitler, Mussolini, and their ilk laid low, died quietly, and got buried with their hate and their stash of commemorative swastikas.
That's how it can be here, too; but this will happen only if there is a loud enough, authoritative enough, and harsh enough presence standing in judgment over the leaders of this failed neo-con rebellion against the American rule of law and the progressed civil society we were achieving.
That is the dual purpose of a truth commission in every country where one has been established: not only does it expose and punish the wrong-doers who had infected and perverted the government, but it also puts their miserable supporters whose mentality had infected the society on notice that they weren't just wrong, they were also bad.
And, no, by that I don't mean they had bad ideas; I mean they were bad.
I might not be able to make a bad kid into a good one, but I can sure as Hell scare him into keeping his bad behavior to himself. If he wants to act like a hellian in his own private little bedroom, that's fine; but I want him to understand that, not only is his kind known for its ways, but if he ever again shows those attitudes in public, he'll get the same treatment as those he thought were so cool for their destructive malevolence that caused so much pain before.
That might not sound like a particularly caring, liberal way of thinking on my part, but then again, I have never called myself a "liberal" here or anywhere. I may be progressive—Lord knows, I might very well even be a Progressive—but speaking as an anachronistic version of old-time, Rockefeller-type conservativism (and this is just between you all and me, mind you), I really do know what a belt is for; and God knows, there isn't any other remedy of which I know that will cure this country of its current brand of Republicanism.
When a gang of kids has spent the past week tearing up the house, the first and most important thing I need to do is to turn the ringleaders over my knee for the swift Belt of Justice. I mete out the punishment right where the other kids can see it, and I make the sound of righteousness hitting paydirt ring thoughout the land. The rest of those malcontent kids will suddenly turn into the nicest, sweetest, most God-fearing little angels anyone would ever want to have to help clean up the mess they'd made.
That's how we used to take care of bad kids, anyway; and speaking here as an old-time conservative, it's high time we returned to some old-fashioned values in this country.
Let freedom ring? You bet. But not until the belt swings.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.