War And Bad Times
Understanding a stressed America

By Dorothy Anne Seese

War worries -- and in this case constant terrorist attack worries "leaked" from various government sources -- tend to keep the people focused on the war against all evils, one which is as perpetual as it needs to be. The objective is to keep the people's minds off their own problems and the real tough issues in our nation such as the slumping economy.

While people are distracted with war, they are not as focused on bad times ... there's something "unpatriotic" about squaring off with one's government in a time of war.  But that was the case when wars were against specific nations or blocs of nations, not against ideologies that cross many borders and walk into America with hardly a blink of a government eye.

Then there are the great natural disasters that claim the attention of everyone nearby and their relatives at a distance.  The Colorado Hayman fire, still raging out of control as of this writing, is down to where all of us ultimately live:  at survival level.  Kings, princes, sultans, imams, prime ministers and presidents the world over are basically no different than any other human being when it comes to survival ... whether it be fire, radiation, flood, hurricane, tornado, solar flares, or asteroids on a collision course with earth.

Everyone knows that bad times are bad for politicians.  It was clear in 1992 and again in 1996 that Americans vote their wallets (not that they had such wonderful choices anyway).  When the economy is good, people are happy and can weather the disasters somewhat better than when they are down in the doldrums with the economy and the joblessness, the bleak outlook for long-term investments or eventual retirement.  People loved the boom of the 1990's and the predictions of a never-ending bull market because that's what the people want: prosperity.

The above conclusion only goes to prove that P.T. Barnum was correct in his assessment that there is a sucker born every minute.  All it takes is a charismatic personality to sell snake oil even in the 21st century, be it bottled in a war machine, a terrorist threat of varying colors, or a hip-hip and hooray for the USA even when the dollar is tanking against the euro.

Well, if bad times are bad for politicians, then politicians who know their craft will divert attention from the bad times and shift them to something in which the people can find their identity ... "united we stand" or whatever.  This is not to downplay the personal tragedy of the individuals and their families who were victims of the September 11th disaster.  It is simply a statement of how government leaders, faced with bad times, react to create diversion and rally the nation to their cause.

The one thing politicians still need in this nation is our vote ... the votes cast by we little people of no import other than our mark on the ballot.  Of course, we were once the government, in the view of the founders, but that nonsensical idea began to lose steam in the middle of the 19th century.  Toward the middle of the 20th century, it was vaporizing.  At the beginning of the 21st century, we're just numbers on the census or statistics in varying reports.

Simply put, America now has so much government, both federal and state, that the burden on the people is overwhelming unless one attains to the status of a rock star or a sports idol.  Many a dotcom millionaire of the 90's is today's history, out looking for a job or maybe generating a home business in computer sales and repairs.

In the Clinton era, the US had convenient targets to bomb when el presidente needed to divert media and popular attention from his embarrassing escapades.  In the Bush II era, the economy that started to bubble in the water like a tire with a slow leak just went ahead and blew up, so now we have war and no peace, stress and no relief in sight, waning freedoms and more overwhelming government spending.  When the people cry out or show signs of mounting their voices against more government controls, we get a new attack or threat and more freedoms pulled.  This is a government of the people?  Of course not.

Any government that wants to pull the guns from its citizenry is afraid of that citizenry and its power by sheer numbers.  Any government that wants to "educate" the children from age three up has an agenda of indoctrination.  Any government that denies property rights is denying the basic right of a free society and the vox populus in that government.

Any similarity to real situations is quite intentional.

It's just difficult to focus on these things while trying to keep the lousy job you have, or drive the freeway and get home alive.  It's difficult to focus on what the government is doing when you have to watch the kids to see that they aren't getting into trouble.

We were supposed to have representatives we could trust to do the will of the people.

Could that be where the system broke down?

Back to column

PoliticalUSA.com Home