Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Politics of Fear

"Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine matter. I do envision a world where water, electricity, food and education would be for free in the next 25 years for everyone on this planet. That's the beginning of dismantling fear, anger and politics and religion. The real evil in this world is politics and religion. Spirituality is the antidote because it is free." – Carlos Santana

I thought it was so interesting when I read the newspaper article containing this quote from Carlos Santana obtained during an interview. The writer had referred to Mr. Santana as an "alien", meaning he was someone not of this world. What a sad statement that is about us as a society and as human beings that he sees it that way. I must be an "alien", too, because not only do I understand those sentiments but agree with them wholeheartedly. But the real key to "dismantling fear" is not to make any material thing free...even food, water, and electricity...but for people to embrace their spirituality and live from it.

The Republican party likes to hold itself out as the party of God. Yet, the display of anger and derision that racked the airwaves during the Republican convention makes me question what god they’re talking about. The Republicans appear to be a party of religiosity and a prime example of why church and state need to be separate.

I know many people who are religious. I know few whom I consider to be spiritual.

When I look at what four years of the Bush administration has brought?war, anger, divisiveness, and suppression of freedom of expression--often through indirect attacks or attacks on character-- I don’t see how the country can sustain four more years of this. But the Bush administration doesn’t want us to see that or anything else, so they’re trying to deflect us by using the politics of fear. That is a very dangerous tactic to use in any free country. History is replete with examples of the worst politicians and dictators doing exactly that same thing, i.e., leading the people to rationalize their power and behavior by convincing them they are keeping them safe. We think we’re oblivious to sliding into dictatorship because we live in America. I bet the Germans thought they were, too. Or how else would Hitler have risen to power? Their denial was so thick they never questioned what he was doing until after their country was both invaded and vanquished and they were living in poverty.

If the Republican party has no claim to stay in office other than they will keep us safe, they deserve to be kicked out. It’s not the government that’s going to keep the country safe but the vigilance and resistance of each American citizen. The government plays a role; but without us, they can do nothing. They seem to have forgotten that.

We have Saddam Hussein (a Bush family personal enemy) but not Osama Bin Laden. Who has killed more Americans? Yes, Al-Quaida is more on the run; but one has to wonder how much more the organization would be wounded, if not fatally so, by the capture of its leader. Our armed forces are spread too thin and our attention diverted from Afghanistan, where it needed to stay, to Iraq, where it never needed to be. It is a parallel to what is happening here where our attention is focused nearly solely on terrorism and the war in Iraq while the economy, the environment, and many other things decay from inattention. Could it be that the Bush Administration knows it can’t manage these things so it’s keeping our attention focused everywhere else? They would deny that, of course, but then there’s nothing about Bush, his party, or his administration that points to self-awareness or anything that even remotely resembles true consciousness.