Our country is something I never thought it would be in these modern times. It’s catawampus. That adjective means off-kilter, out of alignment, fierce and destructive. America is all these things and then some.
With the politicized Supreme Court handing down a Citizens United decision that deeds all future major elections to corporations and billionaires and with our state legislatures trying their best to keep certain people (read poor and black) away from the polls or have their votes mean nothing through voter suppression and redistricting and with two recent presidential elections being decided illegally, Democratic votes mean less and less even though Democrats are the majority party. With the vigilante and racist killing of a young black man and with enough guns to fill 50 freight trains and with a corporate-controlled group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in turn controlling most, if not all Red State legislatures and with the National Rifle Association (NRA) intimidating every legislator in the country, guns will continue to proliferate and in an insidious way exert tremendous control over the political process.
The right-wing of the court is currently attacking health care. Polls tell us a majority of our citizens oppose ‘Obamacare’. That’s true. But, as specific segments of the plan are explained, the nays invariably turn to yeas. It’s the ignorance of Ditto-heads and Fox News habitués that drives negative polls. Once even these people hear the truth, they change their tune.
That one example graphically demonstrates the impact of the right’s almost total control of the propagandized talk radio airwaves, most newspapers and a network with the single purpose of spewing right-wing lies and distortions, the biggest being that there is a liberal ‘elite’ media. The exact opposite is true.
We’re catawampus, cater-corner to anything representing a real democracy.
Guns are effectively leading the way. An imperative in any election is an ‘A’ on the NRA candidate questionnaire. Any less and the gun-nut vote (quite considerable) will move on to the candidate who lied his or her way to their ‘A’. Rowdy Rick Santorum made sure he was seen with his little pop shooter at the nearest gun range. Who will ever forget the staged John Kerry Eastern Ohio ‘hunting trip’ during the 2004 presidential campaign against GWB. He tried to overcome a dreaded ‘F’ from the NRA even though he’d faced more live fire than Bush and all the NRA board members and staff put together.
He dolled himself up in a camo jacket and clutching a 12-guage managed to crease a goose before the repeated clicks of the political paparazzi. Kerry, a Vietnam war vet certainly didn’t lack familiarity with firearms, though he was pilloried for his 1971 Senate Foreign Relations testimony as a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He was dead on of course in describing the war as a monster and in talking about men who are “given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history.” The fact the war was finally brought to a close by a republican president never registered with the stateside, knee-jerk, faux-patriot goober crowd. Even with all that disdain, republicans still had to cheat to hand GW a 2nd term, ironically in Ohio.
The U.S. has more guns per 100 residents than any nation on earth. With 88 per 100, we outstrip Serbia’s 58 guns by 30 guns per 100. Among industrialized and more civilized nations, nobody shows up until the 32 per 100 plateau. Bellicose Iran checks in at 7.3 and China, currently eating our lunch economically gets by with 4.9 guns per 100 people. Citizens of early half the countries of the world possess virtually no guns.
Now, in addition to massive gun ownership, we have ALEC/NRA laws that virtually guarantee that the taking of lives under the flimsiest of deadly threat excuses (walking while black with Skittles for instance) will not be prosecuted, as is the case as of this writing with Trayvon Martin. They’re called ‘Stand Your Ground’ and ‘Castle Doctrine’ laws. They let you kill anybody for any reason, especially, as it turns out – young minorities. If you decide to off this young minority person you may find yourself rolling in the grass for a few minutes with somebody who doesn’t want to die at 17. You might even spill a drop or two of the red stuff but with a 100 pound weight advantage, that won’t be a problem when execution time arrives especially since your adversary was armed only with a tattoo.
You’ll also experience the inconvenience of being carted off to the police station for an hour or so. You could even star in your own video, compressed to make you look thin and vulnerable. Not to worry, no matter what the Investigator decides, the state will protect you and your greatest punishment will be a grass-stained shirt. Then again, Trayvon will never walk through your neighborhood again and you’ll be lionized by morons as they spend 24/7 besmirching your victim’s reputation. Why you might even be awarded the prized “Cowardly Racist Shooting of the Year” trophy. One caveat, an objective prosecutor might, as Clint Eastwood would say, “make your day.” And not in a good way.
The additional tragedy is that such ‘executions’ will trigger a backlash that is already in evidence in some parts of the country. Five young South Carolina black men have been charged in the severe beating of a white North Carolina man. It’s like gang retaliation. It never ends. There is also the prospect of the rebirth of militancy in the Black Panthers, KKK and other hate-groups. Eventually, at the extreme – a race war.
Shortly after Arizona Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down into retirement while 17 others were shot and six died in a Tucson constituent information appearance, the Daily Beast checked out the 20 deadliest gun states in America. That’s figured by how many gun deaths per 100,000 population. Here are the top 10 best of the worst. Arizona was 2nd on the list barely behind Mississippi (at last, the state is #1 in something). It be should also pointed out that Arizona has the nation’s most permissive gun laws. Sarah’s state is #3, with Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Nevada, Montana and Wyoming rounding out this august list. Not surprisingly, all are considered red states.
Like Kerry’s prey, our goose is cooked if Democrats, Independents and Republican moderates don’t overwhelm the polls in 2012. Anything less, it’s over. I’ve said this repeatedly – I hope it takes.