One of the charms of Walt Kelly’s classic comic strip “Pogo” was the ease with which its characters assumed new identities that received instant acceptance from all the other creatures of the swamp. Howland Owl donned a headband, stuck a feather in it, and instantly became “the Injun” to one and all. Albert put a mop on his head and “blunked out his eyeballs” to become “Nonnie” of “Li’l Arf an’ Nonnie.” And so it went.
But life today isn’t a comic strip, and there’s nothing charming about the way the American voter accepts the false identities the willing propagandists of the media assign to public figures. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan administration official who is unsparing in his criticism of politicians of every stripe, calls the media sycophants “presstitutes.” They have persuaded the American voter that there is a “left” and a “right” in U.S. politics. In their fairy tale world, President Obama heads the “left” — but that’s really just a feather in a headband. The Republicans of the House and Senate, back pocket employees of the Koch Brothers, Wall Street and Karl Rove, represent the “right” — but they’re just wearing mops on their heads and blunking out their eyeballs.
All of them are traitors to the country the United States once aspired to be. A list of their treasons would fill a very large book. In service to the neon gods of profit, they have un-democratized the U.S.economy, establishing a two-class nation of oligarchs and serfs. They have fueled an enormous portion of this economy with a succession of endless wars, sacrificing American blood and treasure and foreign innocents for nothing but the enrichment of those who control the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Already manipulating one of the most ignorant electorates in the First World, they are insuring their future dominance by privatizing education, providing profits for one-percenters and power for the religious right, a core sector of their blindest political supporters. They have callously and deliberately disassembled the most critical parts of the United States Constitution, those that guarantee individual liberties and a “voice of the people.” They have established a military police state, arming local law enforcement with the fearsome tools of war, the to better enforce their draconian laws, their political and racial persecutions. They have permitted presidents to assume the divine right of ancient kings, able to condemn any citizen to death or life imprisonment on what amounts to nothing more than personal whim. They condone the president’s acts of murder by remote control. They demean and oppress women by shameful laws that invade their bedrooms, their personal health affairs and their dignity. With bribes in their pockets and fear in their bosoms they genuflect before the gun lobby and pass legislation that encourages the mass slaughter of innocent people. They sanction their massive spy apparatus to collect mountains of data on not just ourselves but people the world over — data to use in inciting uprisings against leaders we disagree with, wars on behalf of our lackeys, and the assassination of “dangerous” (by Washington’s definition”) people anywhere on earth. Abetted by a ruthless, rogue Supreme Court, they have established a de facto state religion, utterly scorning the anti-establishment clause of the Constitution. They are systematically depriving masses of citizens of the right to vote, disappearing from the roles blocs of voters likely to vote against the interests of the ruling minority. They are creating shadow agencies to draft laws, codes and ordinances at every level of government, laws that oppress minorities, repeal rights and degrade citizens. They have emasculated the labor unions, silenced the populists, and created a vast fog of fear over our land. Their official conduct is based on lies, and when someone speaks truth to their power, that someone is declared a criminal. thrown into prison, executed, or forced into exile. They have no shame: they blame the victims for the crime of rape. Fairness is an utterly foreign word to them: they can spare billions to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine, and billions more to shore up the pretenders they installed in its place — but they cannot spare a thin dime to feed the starving, house the impoverished or feed their children here in the United States. The brainwashed wretches of the great, blind underclass continue to believe their lies and submit. With each election, our rulers rig the outcomes so that more of the rare and precious holders of office who actually try to represent the people are voted or gerrymandered out of office. They have made our democracy sick and are presiding over its death.
Flitting about in their Nonnie mops and Injun feathers, they carry abroad an endless supply of black toothbrush mustaches, labeling as Hitlers all of those in other countries who don’t knuckle under to their hegemony. Confronted with a foreign financed coup d’etat on his very border, Vladimir Putin of Russia heeded the calls of the Russian-speaking people of the Crimea. Russian troops already in Crimea oversaw the free and fair vote of the people to annex themselves to Mother Russia and we called it an “invasion.” The presstitutes pasted a Hitler mustache on Putin and the lemmings of our media led the electorate in mandatory hours of hate to denigrate him.
In an act of hypocrisy seldom exceeded in history, the Nonnie mops and Injun feathers decried Putin’s “violation of international law,” holding that their own real violations of international law in Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen and elsewhere around the globe were acts of democratization. Ask the starving and dying Iraqis about “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
Meanwhile, in Venezuela and El Salvador, in Central Africa and Somalia, in Honduras and Ecuador, the United States, its lackeys or its CIA thugs and mercenaries are fomenting war, regime change, death and destruction. It has halos for those who will profit from our lawless interventions and meddling.
Halos and Hitler mustaches. Nonnie mops and Injun feathers.
For Americans, it seems, that’s all it takes to masquerade as government leaders.