Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lies as Drugs

When it comes to matters of budget and climate, the Democrats have been forced into the role of the responsible chaperone, standing soberly by while the Republicans in Washington party down, their heads spinning with an elixir of lies intended to keep their Party in power indefinitely. Buy into the Party line, and you, too, can shed the dreary burden of responsibility and enter a fantasy world where tax cuts pay for themselves and global warming is nothing to worry about.

The counter culture of the '60s experimented with drugs, often to bad ends, but the lies that national Republican leaders have soaked their brains in, and are pedaling to the nation, are far more dangerous. Drugs mostly hurt the people taking them, but lies can lead a whole nation down the wrong path. Listen to a lie-besotted employee at Home Depot blame the high price of incandescent bulbs on the Save the Whale crowd. An imperfect stranger, he touches your arm lightly, as if for balance while he takes a psychedelic ride down paranoia's slippery slope, telling you how "they" want to control your life, how, if we let them, "they" will dictate what food you eat, what color shades you put in your living room, and before you know it, we'll be under Nazi rule if we don't fight for our freedom.

That freedom, it seems, is to heedlessly bequeath to our offspring a collectively polluted and radically damaged world. All you had done to trigger the employee's rant is remark to him how amazing it is that they're selling LED light bulbs for 43 cents each--cheaper than incandescents. You thought it was good news, but he sees it as part of a sinister plot. Just look at the price of candy bars, he says. In order to impose healthiness upon the people, he claims, "they" have made them $3 each. And vegetables. We're told to eat lots of vegetables, but they're expensive. Movie stars can afford healthy food, he says, but the working man can't.

And so you see how someone has fed him lies that drive a politically expedient wedge between him and those movie star environmentalists, and even makes him resent progress in the form of cheap, efficient light bulbs, while the real reason chocolate is more expensive has to do with our having exported a love of chocolate to Asia, which now competes with us for the world's limited supply of cocoa. Shall we resent those who want to be more like us? He may think he's fighting for freedom, but his mind is controlled by lies that let him experience a drug-like high of indignation.

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