My cousin Jeremiah, a National Guard specialist, died in Baghdad, in July, 2004. He wasn’t even 21 years old yet, and he was sent to war. I am not mentioning his full name, for his mother’s sake. He was killed as a result of enemy fire, but also as the result of George W. Bush’s desire to put Iraq out of its misery—and also because, in Bush’s haste, he did not equip Jeremiah’s humvee with any armor. My Aunt (S) has devoted the rest of her life to vets, which is really helpful for her and for them and for the promotion of vet needs. I loved Jeremiah, and his mother had only one child, late in her life after a lifetime of infertility, and a difficult marriage to an alcoholic—my uncle. “S” felt so much grief and pride and sadness and regret.
She was a plain woman, intellectually and in living, who could only get on board with the conspiracy theory that “yellow cake” uranium had been found in Iraq. The conspiracy theories we have today were ever present even then. The “deep state” and the double language was all there. She bought into an agenda that –wow, sending her son to the National Guard because he could not otherwise go to college (bad grades, no money), was a terrible idea—but we should support a pro-war policy with governments like Afghanistan and Iraq. Thus, we send more and more of our children to die. The illogic could never come clear for her—because the surreal loss of her son was too much, to think we/she had actually made a mistake.
George W. Bush wasn’t the first president to outright lie to the America people to get what he wanted done, done. After 9-11 my immigrant neighbors began flying American flags to make sure everyone around them knew they were devoted to America. The Dixie Chicks were almost put out of the country music business and almost out the music business completely—and had to put out an album elucidating the hatred and death threats they received, because they dared to criticize George W. Bush overseas.
This narcissistic, “patriotism means war” propaganda has been brewing, and only those who support an aggressive, fighting president are correct. Since the wars have been going on so long, we have actually no agenda or solutions in Afghanistan, for example. So many have now focused “patriotism” on opposing immigration, immigrants and any people of color in this country. Any simple solution for the simple minded—those too lazy arrogant or narcissistic to believe that all people are –well people, and all deserve a good life and no ne NO ONE deserves the best—we all do. There is always someone else to blame. Someone else to hurt, and someone to distinguish ourselves from.
I do not like to mention the cheeto king in office, but his delusional malignant narcissistic behavior is believed by these same people, who think they are being patriotic by following the lead of the president. I have a former sister in law who is posting on Facebook, information on how to avoid getting a (non -existent) Covid-19 vaccine because she thinks “someone” is out to get us with it.
I am ready for Elizabeth Warren. I cannot convince these people to learn about or believe actual, real truth-because we don’t have any supposedly trustworthy source for anything. Some of us believe some politicians, because some of us were actually taught critical thinking. I believe, if we are to start taking back our country from the foolishness that has pervaded public policy and action, we have to begin in schools and public policy—and to begin that we need a government that a can pass laws to institute these gradual changes. So, by the time I am dead, these fallacious propagandist machines and beliefs can be pushed out, and more rational thought will pervade our country. For Jeremiah—may his death make us learn.