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Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The Making of a US Mass Murderer

A'screamin' and a'shoutin' and a'dancin' in the aisles - Brother, can't you feel the power! Amen! Lordy, lordy, we're in Beulah Land! Bring in the rattlers; it's revival time!

Screaming, shouting, and ecstatically swooning - a vast multitude, caught in the throes of worship and adoration, mindlessly chanting the same empty slogans again and again, ad infinitum; Americans have caught the wave.

What is this - a tent revival, a rock concert or a pep rally?

If you have chosen any of the above, you are off base, my friend, because the answer is 'none'. It is a US presidential campaign - a mania that sweeps the nation once every four years.

Granted, this year, the craze is much wider spread than during any election in the past, but despite all the spin, it is not a new phenomenon. It was a long time coming. This year's election fever is simply the culmination of a trend that began in the United States back during the Kennedy/Nixon race - nearly half a century ago.

Foreign observers might very well wonder where all the thinkers have gone, for it appears - except for a few lonely 'Voices in the Wilderness' - as if American intellectuals must have flown South for the winter. Indeed, if the shallow, mindlessness gripping the devoted fans at the rock concerts - oops, presidential rallies are any indication, the American IQ, as a whole, must have dropped lower than that of one Laguna Beach airhead.

And when one considers the fact that these airheads are choosing the next person to occupy the single most powerful post in the world that they are choosing an individual who will have access to a vast arsenal of deadly weapons, any one of which could annihilate all life on the planet - the conclusion is horrifying.

However, the moot question is: how could otherwise intelligent, reasonable people be reduced to such a state of brainlessness at election time? And when they are in this condition, do they really understand what the presidential election is all about? Are they consciously choosing a president, an executive to guide and lead the country, or are they choosing a rock star - or perhaps a god?
To find the answers to these questions, we need look no further than their actions.

Obviously, Americans are not looking for a president, a dedicated, hard working, executive, who will be a 'servant of the people'. Instead, they appear to be searching for a rock star and/or god, who will join the Hollywood-Wall Street pantheon - the deities of success, popularity, self-aggrandizement and greed to whom many Americans already pay tribute.

A head-of-state, who begins his term as a god and ends it ignominiously, as a fall guy, is, unfortunately, the American trend. It has happened time and again. In Washington's halls of power, vacuous candidates are chosen and introduced. The spin doctors go to work and the candidates are made to appear to have the answers to all the country's ills and all the Earth's woes. If you are having problems with your teenage son or your in-laws, don't worry. When so-and-so is in the White House, everything will be different and all your problems will disappear. Life will be heaven on earth. When your candidate is elected, he will save the world. "Look up for thy redemption draweth nigh."

The most popular candidate is elected and a state of national euphoria ensues. It continues for about six months - in some cases, an entire year. Then the fledgling president makes some mistake and the American people receive a rude awakening. As they sip their morning coffee on that fateful day, they suddenly realize that their golden boy (or girl) has clay feet. Superman is only a human being in disguise. He is not the god they had believed him to be.

A spirit of indignation soon sweeps the country. The people take the position that they have been lied to - cheated. Few, if any, are willing to admit that they eagerly accepted those lies and refused to question their candidate closely back when he was running for office. Instead, they blame the man, himself, for having lied to them and for not leveling with them. They refuse to admit that they are just as culpable as he, for having blindly followed him.

Once the 'god' has been knocked off his pedestal, the recriminations begin to build up around him. Eventually, he becomes responsible for everything from higher state taxes to Johnny's case of measles. Finally, whether or not he is unable to hang on an additional four years, his end is the same. He is sacrificed to the gods of the media and replaced by a new rock star/savior and the cycle begins again.

In actuality, the phenomenon is ancient. Historians maintain that there is evidence of a similar process in pre-dynastic Egypt. A pharaoh was chosen and more or less worshiped for a period of time; then, when his strength began to wane, he was sacrificed to the sun god and replaced by a younger man. There is evidence of the same type of procedure in the Minoan civilization. Whether or not the Egyptians and Minoans made their chieftains national scapegoats before they disposed of them is open to conjecture.

However, the Americans do - from the moment of their disillusionment when they discover their hero is only a human being. First they accuse him of having duped them and lied to them. From that point, it continues on downhill to his final, ignoble end.

The crux of the matter is the fact that the American people, for the most part, refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions. They refuse to admit that they share equal blame with the president for the nation's woes. Perhaps they are even more responsible because they are the ones, who put him in the White House in the first place. Though deep down, some of them must know that their candidate is as vacuous as a bobo doll, they listen to the spin and allow themselves to be deluded. It is far easier to go along with the flow than it is to fight the current. It is much easier to shift the blame onto someone else than it is to accept responsibility for one's own actions.

What Americans need to realize is that no amount of rationalization will change the facts and people get the government they deserve.