The Failure of Citizenship
By Charles Sullivan
02/04/06 "ICH" -- --
The Bush State of the Union address the other evening offered
the same mediocrity we have come to expect from this
illegitimate regime. It was nothing less than fascism incarnate
and it was palpably evil. Consider it a heaping helping of dung
soup served on a silver platter. It was cloaked in language to
create the illusion of substance and truth. Its message was
received by corporate America, by the fat cats on Wall Street,
and the congressional millionaires club with applause. The
remaining eighty to ninety percent of the population—those of us
left out in the cold and exploited—listened with disdain and
incredulity to the sickening miasma that oozed through our
As Bush himself has stated, the elite are his political base.
That much should be obvious. The wealthy have been handsomely
rewarded for their loyalty since the little dictator’s first
inaugural, while the rest of us receive a sadistic back hand to
the face. Behind the customary lies and garish displays of
nationalism, beyond the euphemisms of empty meanings, lie
austere truths that must be brought to the public conscience.
One wonders: What planet is this man from? Where is this America
described by George Bush?
In Bush’s America, truth has been so distorted, so utterly
turned on its head that America is no longer a real place. It is
the packaging that contains fascism, skillfully concealing the
horrid product within—George Bush’s Plutocratic America. It is
place devoid of real meaning; a cesspool of sorrow and disgrace,
the home of a demoralized and timorous majority. It is a place
sharply divided by two classes—the predator class and the prey
class. Upwards of eighty percent of the population are daily
preyed upon by the wealthy minority and they do nothing about
it. The ignorant even welcome the rape and contempt with a smile
upon their face—grateful for the chains they wear, glad for the
abuse they receive. This is nothing less than a modern form of
slavery; it is a true master slave relationship.
Evidence that the rich are fleecing the poor abounds. The cost
of insurance for a family of four rose seventy percent during
the past six years. The insurance companies and the
pharmaceutical industries are reaping enormous windfall profits
at the public trough. High premiums combined with high
deductibles render the cost of health care unattainable to
millions of lower income families. Insurance companies can and
do arbitrarily and capriciously drop drug coverage at their sole
discretion. The robber barons might as well be holding guns to
Bush’s health insurance plan provides additional evidence of
criminality coupled with a paucity of ethics. The plan removes
every ceiling for limiting the cost of drugs. It provides the
pharmaceutical industry carte blanche by prohibiting Medicare
from bargaining with drug companies for lower prices. Who
benefits? Private insurance companies and the pharmaceutical
industry—the very people who write the legislation!
Meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil reported record profits in 2005 of
thirty-six billion dollars, even while increasing fuel costs
fifteen percent. These are the highest profits ever recorded by
a corporation. Venezuela’s Citgo oil should not be lumped in
with the American oil companies that are driven solely by profit
motives. Hugo Chavez’s Citgo is offering deep discounts on
heating oil to the world’s poor (I put only Citgo gas in my
car). This demonstrates a clear delineation between Capitalism
and Socialism. Adding further insult to injury, the oil
companies received four billion dollars in tax relief last year.
How much did you get?
Despite the baroque words uttered by Bush, his every action
speaks contempt for ordinary people living from pay check to pay
check—Hurricane Katrina proved that beyond all doubt. With that
familiar sickly smirk on his face, Bush and his ilk are not only
stealing our treasure, they are distributing it to the wealthy
even as they spit in the face of the poor and the middle class.
How could anyone be more openly contemptuous of working class
people? Why do we tolerate such abuse and, in so many cases,
actually welcome it?
We are witnessing an all pervasive mediocrity in government that
has come as a result of a spectacular failure of citizenship. We
are a people that value ease and convenience over self
education, sacrifice and truth. We do not demand evidence in
support of our views. We believe what we are told; and we do
what we are told by authority. We do not like to make trouble.
Asking questions requires self examining critical thinking, a
skill that is rapidly disappearing from our culture of fluff and
ease. We want the kind of life where the decisions are made for
us—a life that does not place demands upon us. We want to be
entertained, not informed by burdensome truths that may assault
our conscience and cause psychological injury. That is dangerous
knowledge because it would dispel the myths about what America
really is. It would force us to think differently about who we
are as a people. We would see us as the rest of the world sees
George Bush’s Orwellian vision of America did not just happen.
It is the result of the influx of enormous sums of money by the
wealthiest people in the world. The return on this investment is
that the financial and social interest of the very wealthy is
represented at the expense of all others. If you are a
republican of ordinary means and you think that George Bush is
looking out for your social and economic interest, I feel sorry
for you. You are a damned fool who is unwilling to confront the
evidence, afraid to see what is really there. You are
encouraging and cheering on the very ones who are raping you.
Easily swayed by empty rhetoric, you do not examine the betrayal
of rhetoric through hurtful policies. You are a pathetic
specimen of humanity.
The long nightmare emerged from sinister minds lusting for
unlimited wealth and unrestrained power. It was aided and
abetted by the commercial media every step of the way—a media
owned by the wealthiest corporations. All of us are complicit.
We were not vigilant in protecting the Constitution and
upholding our civil rights. Through pervasive apathy and
indifference we prepared the ground for fascism to germinate and
to flourish. Now we are reaping the bitter harvest that may last
a century or more.
Thus we allow the most atrocious lies uttered by political and
moral prostitutes to go unchallenged. These lies are endlessly
recycled in the commercial media until they become ingrained in
the public conscience as truth. Worse than burying our heads in
the sand, we bury them up our collective ass. How do you like
The disgraceful and cowardly capitulation of the Democrats to
the neocons in the confirmation of Alito to the Supreme Court
demonstrates that the system does not and cannot work for just
purposes. There are no viable opposition parties to compete with
the Republicrats. We must be the opposition with our bodies; and
we must do everything in our power to disrupt and subvert the
cesspool of corruption that boils and festers in the nation’s
capitol, or it will consume us.
When will enough people with courage and conviction rise and
fight? When will we drag the criminal Bush cabal kicking and
screaming to the gallows? How much worse do things have to get?
Let us stop kidding ourselves by trying to work the system, by
trying to appear reasonable to authority. The fascists own the
process that gives them power and wealth. Political reform is
too weak to dislodge those whose tentacles are wrapped around
the planet and injecting it with poison. Nothing short of
filling the streets day after day with massive, unrelenting
protests will dislodge the prostitutes from their seats of
power. Massive rebellion is the only thing they have to fear.
Let us refuse to give this illegitimate government our
cooperation. Let us disrupt and take possession of the economic
engine that enslaves us. Nothing short of revolution will
dislodge the fascist rulers from power. Either we fight or we
passively accept what is coming.
If we continue to capitulate to our oppressors—the apostles of
Plutocracy—let us remove the lines from the National Anthem:
“The land of the free; and the home of the brave.” They will no
longer apply here.
Charles Sullivan is a photographer and free lance writer living
in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He can be reached at
(In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational purposes.
Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the
originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)