“Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat. We’re sending a message here. It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see.” Grover Norquist, to the National Review
An Englishwoman presented her opinion to an English newspaper, just before the London Riots, saying Americans are not accustomed to doing without, that they live in a violent society, and that they have guns. First, a world sees the fabled ‘Arab Spring’, with government after government falling to popular movements, or so it seems; change, at any rate. A deranged nationalist opens fire on a youth camp on a Norwegian island. Then, riots in the city of London spread to distant municipalities all over England. Britons are normally a very polite people, not given to acting out in their frustration, accustomed to suffering hardship with denial and fortitude. A message of angry malcontent, a product of chronic disenfranchisement, is erupting and Grover Norquist throws down the gauntlet. The hubris of the neo-con is at once detestable and absurd. Detestable in its narcissism, it is of paramount absurdity to assume one could maintain his illegitimate domination in such a climate. Elections may be altered with Diebold voting machines and a lie may be repeated often enough for it to be regarded as truth, but the People will eventually awaken from their befuddled slumber. Cracks appear in the foundations of Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda empire. Norquist places too much credence in the narcotizing power of bread and circuses. His arrogance will be his downfall. In more affluent times, Norquist’s demand that Republican legislators sign a pledge to never raise taxes, no matter what, or face his wrath, seemed attractive, even sexy, no matter how sophomoric. Social programs depend on taxes. Cutting taxes and unfair taxation mean cutting social programs, and as the population of the desperate and needy burgeons, so does the foolishness of Norquist’s demand. The libertarian ethos inspired by Ayn Rand’s selfish, adolescent narcissism rings false and hollow in Norquist’s words, as millions struggle in the depraved world his pledge created. Millions struggle and two percent of the population lives in luxury, skating by sans taxation, thanks to Norquist’s treacherous manipulation. The breeze of the ‘Arab Spring’ buffets softly in the air. Have a care, Mr. Norquist! Have a care. A storm might be coming.
MagicRobert presented me with a vellum document, composed in an insane script. We were in a well secured vault in the Michener Library. His face exploded into a broad smile, as he saw me recognize the words, "That government governs best which governs least." It was a copy of "On Civil Disobedience" in the author's own hand. The experience called to mind a conversation Henry David Thoreau had with Ralph Waldo Emerson, as Thoreau sat in a jail cell, incarcerated for protesting the Mexican War. Emerson asked, "David, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau responded, "The point is, Ralph, what are you doing out there?" Once, long ago, I jumped off of big red trucks, lifted weights, and cleaned toilets for a living. Then I wrestled drunks, ran around in circles, and got splattered with blood and all manner of body fluids for a living. Now I enjoy the stillness of early morning in my rocking chair on the porch, with a hot cup of coffee, trying in vain to forget the past. Thank you, Robert!