The Morning After: Dream or Nightmare?

By Cart H. Tannert, Jr.

On November 3rd, America will wake up to the reality of what they have wrought, intelligently or otherwise, and we all will live with it: Dream or Nightmare, depending on one’s perspective.

In any case, the results will determine our future on a national and world level but not on a local one. I remain hopeful that we will, in the coming months, put ideological, political and religious differences aside to confront our community problems and work together to make life better and more secure for every resident of Knox County.

However, as the national end draws near, I must continue to speak out and remind everyone that It ain’t over ‘til it’s over! But thank God it almost is. Because I’m tired of having what’s left of my aging audiovisual senses constantly bombarded by preposterous distortions of the truth that even insult the intelligence of an 8-year old. I’m even more tired of listening to pollsters spouting numbers which only serve to prove that Americans are closer than ever to being irrevocably divided over petty issues, while they dumbly (or purposefully because of self interest) ignore those that are real; those that could actually kill them.

Our environment and our cozy family nests are systematically being destroyed. Our fellow Americans are getting sick and dying, not just because they have eaten contaminated food or inhaled poisoned air, but because the enforcement of safety-in-the-workplace laws have been suspended, along with the enforcement of a host of many other laws protecting our human rights. Ronald Reagan was great at perception management. While he smiled at we the people and made a great show of flourishing the pens he used to sign into law environmental protection, worker safety and other laws, he quickly killed any funding that would have allowed the inspection needed to bring to light violations and enforcement. And his deceit did not stop there.

Today, Corporate America, blessed by our current government, continues to foist upon an unprotected public a steady stream of drugs with terrible side effects, vehicles with known fatal flaws and tobacco and alcohol products that, in reality, should have been placed under the control of the FDA years ago. Then, too, the rise in spousal abuse, the rape and mistreatment of America’s inmates (out of sight in our enlightened prison and mental facilities), the injustices in our legal systems and our own government’s total disregard for human rights, are all areas where critical alarms have already gone off but are sadly ignored by most Americans, who don’t know what’s happening or simply don’t care (thanks to a slack-jawed assemblage of incompetent reporters and wannabee journalists).

The personal ideologies, financial and family interests and far-right religious beliefs of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, supported by those who know better but continue to enjoy privilege and power at any cost, like Ms. Rice and Colin Powell; supported by the corrupt members of Congress and Judicial Branch who have been bought by the big bucks of Corporate America; and, supported by the thousands of government agency heads, like Tommy Thompson, who owe their paychecks to George et al, are responsible for racking up many more daily domestic body bags than those, increasing daily, which encase our once-vibrant sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, grandchildren, wives and husbands or fathers and friends, in the stillness of violent death, on the oil-rich plains of Iraq.

‘Iraq is linked to the 911 tragedy’ is a statement almost as absurd as the propaganda being circulated by the misguided of another era who believed, ‘There was no extermination, the Jews fabricated the Holocaust for their own interests.’ The American public was lied into the so-called Iraq War by George et al and he succeeded, not just because Congress was duped, as many now claim, but because our current Congress is riddled with corrupt millionaires and lawyers dedicated to their Corporate Paymasters and their own desire to protect their own power and perks.

Last Thursday, I became engrossed in a Frontline documentation on Public Television about the lives, careers of John Kerry and George W. Bush. They were presented in films showing them as they actually were at the time, in their own flesh and blood, and their own words came across, sans the spin of biased pundits. It was a forthright, honest NPR presentation of both candidates and showed Kerry and Bush for what they were and are.

Too bad that most of America, while watching and listens to sloppy, inadequate non-news networks and blatantly politically biased Fox-like reports, or religiously biased programs that Jesus himself would frown on or just plain mindless TV, missed it.

The Frontline Program could easily have been run without sound and the viewer still would have seen the stark contrast between Kerry and Bush. Silent, the result was the same as the split screens of the debates which showed each candidate, silent, as the other spoke. During the debate, Kerry came across as sincere, honest and Presidential. A perpetually smirking, put—out or angry Bush showed him as the little man he is. With sound added, the Frontline Program left Bush naked (quietly pleading Novo Contender). It is too bad that every skeptical American could not have seen it. It beat, hands down, any fictionalized Reality Show on TV today.

As we head down the home stretch to Election 2004, I am still amazed by the reactions from the self-righteous hypocrites who, having a lot of money but little class, become indignant when they perceive an insult (the very same people who condone the savage, dishonest pit-bull attacks their fellow dirty tricksters have engaged in for the past several decades). A good example of the unreality of their position comes right from the mouths of Bush and Cheney, and members of their family, as well.

Former President (and Iran / Contra dancer) Daddy Bush, who said Michael Moore was a ‘total ass, slimeball’ in speaking to WCSH-TV in Maine, and added Moore’s "Fahrenheit 911" was filled with ‘outrageous lies about my family.’ This is the same Bush who quite insensitively retorted to adverse comments a few months ago that ‘you think I lust fell off the back of a watermelon wagon?’ His wife, Barbara also evidenced the same lack of family class in a quote relating to President Clinton when she said that ‘a man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.’

George W. Bush trashes his opponents with lie after lie, but as dumb as his lies are, his nonpolitical comments and quotes reveal an ignorance that cannot be believed. They could be as amusing as those uttered by the great Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel, were it not for the fact that George W. Bush is a Yale graduate. That Bush has no class is a given, but after all that education he should at least be able to do better than these: ‘What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think vulcanize society. So I don’t know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their relative positions, but that’s my position.’ And this one: ‘Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? You can track these quotes and see others by entering Said What? into your search engine. Me? I use Google.

We should remember that the current crop of offended politicos are the same who savagely and relentlessly attacked President William Jefferson Clinton and squandered more than 70 million dollars of our money trying to bring him down while he was in office. Clinton, however, was too smart and too tough for them. He beat them at every shyster turn they took and, after eight years of being bombarded by the Dirty Tricksters, left the American public with billions upon billions of surplus dollars in the U.S. Treasury.

An honestly-elected President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore had the vision and courage to appoint an outstanding we-the people-minded, competent Cabinet. Then, Bill Clinton actually listened to them and made smart (not unreasoned) decisions that improved the lives of America’s poor and middle classes. Sadly, however, Clinton’s lying about his personal indiscretions cost him (and millions of Americans) dearly.

Had Clinton’s tarnished reputation not reduced Al Gore’s popular-vote win to such a slim margin and allowed an unscrupulous Supreme Court to exercise its partisan-bias, thousands upon thousands of American dead and wounded would still be with their families, today. Instead of lying in fragments on oil-soaked foreign soils or buried deep in family cemeteries. Instead of being fitted for new limbs or new minds, they would still be working in a respected, prosperous, environmentally-clean, safe America.

A strong, united America would have quickly come together and destroyed the real cause of New York’s 911 disaster: Saudi’s Osama Bin Laden and his gang of thugs. We could have happily forgone the luxury of watching our current politicos vie for ‘Champion of 911.’ We would still have a balanced budget, a full treasury and the respect of our peers throughout the world. But the reality we now live in is horrible and due to the elite few who have riddled our government with corruption and deceit.

The same people, having dishonestly amassed fortunes, make a show of attending church, produce trust-funded offspring and enjoy their life in rarified, pristine atmospheres along our ocean fronts and high country, Jackson-Hole-like cliques. These self-appointed ideologues have no regard for truth or morality, living insulated lives and firmly believing that God (and their money) gives them the right to savagely attack anyone who is not one of our own. When these people finally do face opposition and perceive they are getting hit below the belt, they squeal like little children.

I was particularly amused by the retort coming from the mouth of Lynn Cheney (candidate for Elite Mom of the Year) and from her somber husband, Dick Cheney, who is a better actor and abuser of fellow humans and the environment than Ronald Reagan could ever have been (after all, Dick is our co-President, perhaps even more). Lynn and Dick cried foul when John Kerry offhandedly referred to their daughter as a Lesbian, a remark I thought of as innocuous. But that’s probably because one of my own three fabulous daughters is married to another great lady, who produced two wonderful children. Thanks to in vitro procedures, I now have six grandchildren.

Actually, I found the barbed retorts of Lynn and Dick to be typical of those coming from others traveling in the same elite circles. They evidenced only their fear of embarrassment in front of their social peers and the shame at having their daughter’s perceived stigma revealed in public. How very sad.

I intend to exercise my vote on a national level because it is my duty to myself, my family, my fellow veterans and the American people to do so. I will pay particular attention to retaining solid, proven representatives in the House and Senate and to bringing in some clean, new, youthful, yet uncorrupted blood like Obama. And I intend to track their voting records and at the first sign of their abandoning we the people, I, along with hundreds of my fellow Knox County voters, will let them know we are watching. Then, no matter who sits in our White House’s Oval Office, I intend to begin concentrating on what is right for Knox County, for Main Street Galesburg and for we the people who wield substantial economic and voting power when we stick together.

In an age where stage-managed, faux-journalists seriously report on sex, murder and displays of the life-styles of the rich and famous and avoid reporting (pardon the expression) on the bodies coming home from Iraq; the many wounded vets being turned away from medical facilities; the disconsolate poor sitting for hours in hospital emergency rooms; or, the non-action taken by a justice system that actually condones the growing problems resulting from corporate dishonesty and individual white collar crime, it is very difficult to learn the truth.

Unless of course, the truth really matters to you.

No matter who wins what this November 2nd, the real challenge for residents of Knox County begins on November 3rd. Then we’ll begin to see if we the people of Knox County are really serious about building a better community, together, in a non-partisan, ego-free environment. I invite you to become part of a bipartisan assemblage of neighbors, businesses and government officials who want to build a better life for all of Knox County, working in a nonpartisan, ego-free environment.

Keep watching your Zephyr for information on a planned We The People Forum to be held in the Galesburg Public Library on Thursday morning, November 18th, at 9am. You may contact me by e-mail at CTANNERT200@YAHOO.COM or write me c/o The Zephyr to reserve your place. I look forward to hearing from you.