Regular readers of my Pravda.Ru articles may have observed that I frequently promote the following three hypotheses: 1). That evil is the primary motivating force in human nature; 2). That even though human beings praise goodness with their words, they consistently produce, promote and reward evil with their deeds; 3). That human mortality ensures that the profits derived from doing evil shall not endure, and that those who turn away from evil will eventually be rewarded.
However, I also realize that a universal “balancing of the scales,” does not mean that those who do evil should go unchallenged. As I stated in my article “I Noticed Too” (Pravda.Ru, 11/18/09), evildoers, though rarely on the right side of history, often slow history’s progress.
During the nightmare years of the Bush dictatorship, I often sought solace in the belief that Bush, Cheney and their cabal of torturers, thieves, liars and war criminals, along with their supporters, had forfeited their souls, and thus a higher justice, beyond the reach of human corruption, would eventually require them to pay for their crimes. But I came to realize that the truth might be more complex.
Naturally there is no doubt that some, perhaps many, Americans supported the Bush dictatorship because it was as evil as they were. A cogent example of this reality is media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the apparent beneficiary of a Faustian deal that requires, in exchange for his becoming a billionaire, that he use his media empire to appeal to the vilest instincts in human nature. To that end he created the Fox “News” Channel to spread malevolent propaganda throughout the United States.
There is also no doubt that others recognized the evils of the Bush dictatorship and saw a way to profit from them. This can be discerned in the hypocritical antics of country singer Toby Keith. While The Dixie Chicks became pariahs in the country music world for openly (and accurately) condemning the evils of George W. Bush, Keith opportunistically exploited Bush’s warmongering policies by singing about kicking “a**” in Iraq. Not surprisingly, nobody in the country music world seemed outraged that Keith was exploiting, for personal gain, the sacrifices being made by American soldiers, even though he had never served in the military himself. In addition, nobody seemed angry when Keith performed with Ted Nugent, a rock singer who feigned insanity to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, yet who conveniently turned into a “conservative” pro-gun zealot after that war had ended. And recently, as if to accentuate his hypocrisy, or to underscore the fact that his fans are oblivious to it, Keith had the audacity to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize concert, even as he continued to hawk America’s current wars.
Given that Keith and Nugent are avid hunters, I wondered how many other people, beside myself, noticed the discernable link between hawking war while avoiding military service and slaughtering the defenseless. Former Vice-President and unindicted war criminal Dick Cheney, who received five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam, is also an avid hunter, and often participates in “caged hunts,” where animals are confined and have no means of escape. Apparently Keith, Nugent and Cheney’s definition of “bravery” is confined to killing creatures that lack the ability to shoot back.
It was then I realized that evildoers often rise to fame, wealth and power not by promoting evil, but by exploiting and manipulating the virtues, the trust, the honesty, and ultimately the gullibility of good and decent people.
The technique is simple. Honest people, by virtue of their honesty, usually assume the people they are dealing with are honest as well; therefore they are more susceptible to the machinations of dishonest people. Dishonest people, on the other hand, automatically assume they are being lied to, and thus take precautions to insulate themselves from the ramifications of these lies.
Sadly, even when the lies of mendacious individuals are revealed to good people, embarrassment will often prevent them from admitting they were duped. This is why, when no so-called “weapons of mass destruction” were found in Iraq, many people who supported going to war on this rationale simply used another pretext to justify it.
Thus Murdoch’s minions exploit good people by pretending they are fighting for the voiceless and dispossessed against the “evils” of big government. And Keith exploits patriotism and the desire to “support the troops” to lure people into purchasing his music. Sadly, most of these people fail to realize that if they had to depend upon people like Keith or Murdoch’s minions during wartime, America would still be a colony of England.
Evildoers also rely on denial and misinformation. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, for example, recently wrote an article discussing how Fox “News” blowhard Bill O’Reilly denied ever calling slain abortion doctor George Tiller “a baby killer,” even though it was documented that O’Reilly had uttered the phrase “Tiller the baby killer” over twenty-times; Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart pointed out how Fox “News” manipulated a scene at a political rally to make the crowd appear larger than it actually was; and comedian Wanda Sykes, on her talk show, revealed how Fox “News,” in its zeal to discredit statistics on global warming, actually falsified its own statistics by proclaiming that fifty-nine percent of people polled found it “somewhat likely” that research about global warming had been falsified, that thirty-five percent found it “very likely” and that twenty-six percent found it “not very likely,”—a grand total of one hundred and twenty (120%) percent on a scale that’s supposed to peak at one hundred (100%) percent.
Unfortunately people who fail to see such programs often remain oblivious to these inaccuracies, and therefore continue to believe that the original misinformation they heard was true.
There may be no greater proof of how easily good people can be manipulated by evildoers than the current debate over health care reform in America. America currently has a “Social Darwinistic health care system” where the fittest survive and the weakest perish. Of course, like everything in a capitalist economy, the “fittest” are not necessary fit in a physical sense, but in a financial one. They are the ones who can afford the health insurance premiums that enhance their access to preventative medical treatment and care. The weakest, however, are forced to ignore preventative care because they cannot afford to pay for it. This, in turn, causes them to disregard physical symptoms that frequently signal the onset of a serious illness, and by the time they finally seek medical attention for these symptoms this illness has often become terminal.
The reason Americans don’t seem to blink an eye at the prospect of spending billions of dollars and sacrificing thousands of lives in wars based upon nothing but lies, but who tremble at the prospect of devoting an extra dollar out of their paychecks for universal health care, is because both war policies and health care policies are controlled by the greatest evildoers in America—its politicians. And America’s politicians, or at least the bulk of them, are controlled by special interest groups like the health insurance industry and the military-industrial complex.
The sad reality is that most people seeking political office in America do not have an altruistic desire to serve the public interest. They are motivated instead by the need for ego-gratification, self-promotion, a lust for power, and for all the perks this power brings. And even though America is promoted as a bastion and proponent of “democracy” (although nobody apparently bothered to share this tidbit with the Republicans in Congress who support the instigators of the recent coup in Honduras), the corruptibility of its two party system virtually guarantees that by the time candidates are presented to voters, they have been so thoroughly seduced by the money and perks offered by special interest groups that they devote all their energies to promoting the agendas of these groups, even when they are contrary to the public interest.
This is why it is laughable for so-called “conservatives” to laud the “principled” and “unified” stance of Senate Republicans opposing health care reform. This unity and their so-called “principles” are based upon nothing more than the fact that this party of the three “R’s”—the rich, the racist and the reactionary—has become so tainted by the money contributed to its coffers by the health insurance industry that it would rather see millions of uninsured and underinsured people suffer and die than promote meaningful health care reform.
Unfortunately, as demonstrated by its infighting and disunity, this corruption and greed has infected many in the Democratic Party as well. The result is a watered-down health care “reform” bill that will serve as nothing more than a windfall for the very health insurance companies that created the crisis in the first place.
Under this bill, people too poor to afford private health insurance will be subject to monetary fines. Yet these same people will have no ability to purchase government supported insurance, because the provisions for a “public option” have been gutted. In other words, the poor will not only die because they lack health insurance, they will also be fined for doing so.
The primary force behind the destruction of the “public option” is an alleged “Independent” Senator from Connecticut named Joe Lieberman. When Lieberman, a former Democrat, lost the Connecticut primary election in 2006, he ran for the Senate as a third party candidate and won. Since then, despite the efforts of Democrats to appease him, Lieberman has betrayed them at every turn. He supported the illegal invasion of Iraq, endorsed John McCain for president, and even gave a speech at the Republican National Convention attacking Barack Obama.
Now, with his vote crucial to the passage of health care reform, Lieberman’s smirking face has been a fixture on cable news channels. Yet, despite attempts to present himself as a principled politician, Lieberman, who has received more than one million dollars from the health insurance industry since 1998, is being exposed as a self-serving, demagogic, warmongering, cowardly, opportunistic, unprincipled, corrupt, venal, mendacious and hypocritical charlatan.
For example, just a few months ago Lieberman openly supported the idea of expanding Medicare coverage to people aged fifty-five and over. Now he opposes such an expansion. It’s a sad commentary on American democracy when one duplicitous man, firmly ensconced in the grip of the health insurance industry, can hold hostage the health and well being of millions of Americans, of all races, genders and religions. Given this reality, Lieberman may very well be the most corrupt and despicable politician in the history of the United States, which speaks multitudes about a nation that produced Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, Jesse Helms and George W. Bush.
Lieberman’s hypocrisy is so malignant that it even extends to his wife, who currently serves as a paid “ambassador” for a non-profit breast cancer research center.
In reality many “non-profit” organizations in America are frequently little more than “feel good” publicity projects used by the rich and powerful to trumpet their alleged “benevolence,” or to alleviate their guilt over obtaining their wealth and power through the exploitation and suffering of the poor and middle-classes.
Still, it would seem that an organization devoted to fighting a deadly disease would not only seek to avoid this “feel good” stigma, but also be embarrassed by the fact that the husband of its “ambassador” may be responsible for depriving millions of poor, uninsured and underinsured men and women of the very preventative care that often detects and defeats breast cancer.
So I close this article by proposing that the names Judas and Benedict Arnold no longer be used as synonyms for the words “betrayer” and “traitor” in American lexicon. Instead they should be replaced by a single word—Lieberman.
As I discussed in my article The True Judas (Pravda.Ru, 6/12/06), Judas may have had honorable motives for his actions when he allegedly betrayed Jesus, and Arnold’s victory at the Battle of Saratoga has been acknowledged by many historians as a turning point in America’s Revolutionary War. Lieberman’s deeds, by contrast, are neither honorable nor courageous.
If meaningful health care reform is murdered because of Lieberman, may the suffering and blood of those who die be forever stained upon his hands, may his name be uttered with scorn and contempt in every history book and every classroom, and may “Liebermanism,” like “McCarthyism,” become a term of opprobrium used to condemn any and all duplicitous, self-serving, venal, mendacious, corrupt and cowardly politicians who place their selfishness and their evil ahead of the needs of the people and the nation.
David R. Hoffman
Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru