We listened when Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon told us that our democracy’s survival required us to sacrifice the lives of 58,000 of our loved ones and a vast amount of our treasure by starting a war against a tiny non-threatening nation on the other side of the world called Vietnam. Non-listeners were called un-American and were incarcerated. Non-listeners Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder were massacred by the Ohio National Guard on the campus of Kent State University. They told us “Peace With Honor”.
In a Joint Resolution of Congress in October 2002, almost every Member of Congress and Senator told us that “Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program”. Secretary of State and four-star army general Colin Powell “proved” this fiction to be fact in a Hollywood-quality production broadcast from the United Nations Security Council. They told us that our democracy’s survival required us to sacrifice the lives of thousands of our loved ones and trillions of dollars of our treasure, and, if we did, we would be “greeted as liberators” and we would spread democracy throughout the Middle East. Few non-listeners existed, because the President and Congress and Fourth Estate acted in unison. The still-in-progress war we started in Iraq in 2003 spread throughout the Middle East and into every corner of the world. Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barak Obama bombed more than half a dozen Middle Eastern countries that posed no imminent threat to us, and used remote-controlled drones that killed innocent civilian children — deaths they tell us are “collateral damage”. They told us “Mission Accomplished”.
They tell us and tell us and tell us. They tell us our Founding Fathers disenfranchised We The People by creating the Electoral College. They tell us they do not trust their opponents. They tell us their opponents have evil motives. They tell us their number one priority is defeating their opponents. They tell us we who voted for our President are Deplorables. They tell us a “speaking fee” is a fee for making a speech. They tell us actors know everything. They tell us the Fourth Estate is not biased. They tell us Supreme Court Justices are not biased. They tell us money is speech. They tell us corporations are people. They tell us We The People have no right to a remedy, if a politician steals our precious votes with lies. Jeb Bush tells us he is a Washington outsider. Marco Rubio tells us we should be concerned about the size of a candidate’s penis. Samantha Bee tells us our President’s daughter is a “feckless cunt”.
We have the right to turn off the television. We have the right to not buy a newspaper. We have the right to not go to the movies. We have the right to vote. Why do we listen to them?
Stephen B. Benisch, May 30, 2019