A BuzzFlash Editorial
In mythology, the Greek Gods dealt harshly with those who thought that they had the power of Gods. That’s what we learned in high school, isn’t it?
We were reminded of that when we re-read the infamous quotation of an unnamed – as always – "senior Bush aide" who boasted to author Ron Suskind:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Suskind calls this a revelatory moment about the Bush Administration – and indeed it was.
The quotation encompasses a hubris that is pre-Age of Enlightenment. More than that, it is an assumption of God-like powers by Cheney, Bush, Rove, (Rumsfeld while he was Secretary of Defense) and their underlings.
It is not that Bush believes that he is listening to the directives of God, as he has claimed. It is rather that he – and especially Cheney – believe that they have God-like powers.
No reality intrudes into the decision of a deity, because a deity creates reality, as revealed by the quotation that Suskind recalls.
Outing a CIA agent and threatening America’s national security, an endless series of failures in Iraq, hundreds of thousands killed, illegal wiretapping, shredding the Constitution, torturing people – and so many more actions (known and unknown) have defied the founding laws of America and basic standards of civilization. So many failures have been revealed in the broad daylight of reality, so many lies, so many broken promises, so much "collateral damage," so much failure based on empirical evidence.
None of this matters to the "Masters of the Universe," who in their own minds don’t follow the will of a specific God (the father of Christ, in their case), but who believe that they have a seat at the table of the Gods, that they walk among them.
Such is the horrifying dilemma that we face in the United States, that we are ruled by those, who have assumed that they have the power of Gods.
Reality is of no concern to them. They, like the Gods, claim to create reality.
In the Old Testament, the world was created out of chaos. And so the quotation above, cited by Suskind (in a 2004 New York Times article), refers back to the ability of God to create reality from unformed matter, only in this case the Bush/Cheney/Rove trio – and their support staff of Neo-Cons – believe that they are a God-force on earth.
In ancient mythology, those who tried to usurp the power of the Gods were smote, destroyed for their hubris.
Today, in this glorious nation, our recourse for dealing with those who believe themselves deities above the rule of law, and scornful of the Age of Enlightenment that produced our Constitution, is called impeachment.
Suskind began his 2004 article, written prior to that year’s presidential election, with this quotation from a Reagan Republican critical of Bush:
Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that "if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3." The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.
"Just in the past few months," Bartlett said, "I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do." Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican, who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded; they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .
"This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts," Bartlett went on to say. "He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Bartlett paused, then said, "But you can't run the world on faith."
Yes, it is possible that Bush is just the Christian fundamentalist mirror side of Osama bin Laden. No action is to be regretted because all actions are divinely sanctioned, for both of them.
But more likely, in the last few months, as the evidence of illegal behavior and justification for endless war has unfolded, it has become clearer that Bush and Cheney are not under the perception that they are carrying out a divine decree. Although Cheney never even used the pretense of acting on behalf of another God, he has always simply acted as if he were a God. Instead, they are divine directors themselves at the moment of recreating the world.
At the same time, Bush has been virtually disinterested in actually pursuing bin Laden, who is the person that got Bush on his war obsession in the first place.
America is a nation that was created to welcome people of all faiths, but not people who assume the power of Gods. America is the product of the post-Enlightenment age, an evolutionary advancement from the religious status quo of the Middle Ages, in which faith defined the social and political order.
We are free to worship – or not worship – whatever God we please.
But, under the rule of law, we are accountable to the three branches of government, the Constitution, and the judicial system created back during the American Revolution.
It was a Revolution indeed, not a devolution to a distant past that rejected rational thinking.
We elect a President and Vice President in the United States, not men who assume that they have the power of Gods.
It is time for the Democratic run Congress to bring this government back to earth and, once again, make it a nation "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free