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Shaking The All-american Dream


Last night I had a dream, well a nightmare, actually. I dreamed that George Bush was God and that he kept turning into Charleton Heston–which kind of makes sense if you’ve seen Michael Moore’s new documentary: “Bowling For Columbine”. In the film Heston plays the role of himself as the head of the NRA–which is a lot like getting to play God when you really think about it.

At one point in this phantasm, Bush/Heston raises his fist in the air and shouts “not from these cold dead hands” just like he does in Moore’s film about the scary reality of guns, violence and fear in America. Either I ate too many chocolate chip cookies before bed or the movie struck a deep chord and was seeping into my unconscious and wreaking havoc on my nocturnal repose.

Anyway, in the beginning of my dream, God hovers above a sea of major network TV news cameras vigorously beating his chest and shouting:”vengeance is mine sayeth the lord” and various other favored quotes from his Bible. Then God condemns most of creation for defying him and forming the “axis of evil” and plotting against his favored son, George Bush.

In my confused dream state I wonder several things, among them why does God keep quoting himself? I mean if he really is God–with a fairly substantial book deal–is it really necessary to keep shouting out his own musings? Shouldn’t that be left to his publicists? And whom does he need to convince anyway? And since the media cameras devour every word of pontification uttered by his Lord and majesty, aren’t the fist raising and the mugging a little over the top? But then again, in the age of high drama news reporting, maybe it’s necessary–even for God.

At one point, this crazy dream reveals that it’s not actually God, but George W. impersonating God who keeps turning into Heston. And it becomes very confusing (as nightmares often do) and I strain to decipher the interminable babble being broadcast across all network channels promoting war and everything American. In this hazy reality, I recall observing that only in a dream could a mortal Texan impersonate a deity using such a limited vocabulary and command such fear-induced respect rather than outright laughter. I struggle to wake up but am not strong enough to shake the horror.

The highpoint of this bizarre hallucination is that I decide to become a conservative republican. In the dream the media convinces me that conservatism leads to prosperity and sainthood and let’s face it, even in my sleep I’m conscious that most conservatives generally drive much fancier cars than I’ve ever been able to afford.

So why not become a conservative republican? In my upside down dream I ask myself “why not”? If you¹re a conservative, it seems you don’t have to be careful about what you say and the media will usually slant things your way anyway. As a conservative you can be indicted and convicted of crimes in one administration and be back on the horse (or the elephant) sharing your expertise with the next administration within a decade. You can blame the outrageous violent crime rate on television, Marilyn Manson, video games and black men–anything that points away from socioeconomic imbalance or injustice and of course, white European males.

As I toss and turn at the notion of changing parties, a disembodied voice whispers that since there are so few real democrats left in Washington these days, what difference does it make anyway? And just as I muse on the significance of these words, I am transported to the halls of Congress to witness Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney being targeted by conservatives and abandoned by liberals for speaking against war and oppression in the so-called Middle East. And the voice reminds me that very few elected officials with the courage of Barbara Lee and Ms. McKinney are left in Washington to carry the torch for Paul Wellstone.

As the shadow of Ms. McKinney begins to dissolve, Condoleeza Rice appears to assure me that where I am going, there is no need to worry about oppression and injustice because “we are all equal in George’s eyes”. She winks and disappears.

In the spirit of crazy dreams there is an all-star cast awaiting me as I enter Republican headquarters to sign on the dotted line. At first I am frightened by the sight of Orin Hatch, Strom Thurman and over in the corner Rush Limbaugh who is dressed as an elephant wearing a sign which reads “welcome home”.

Immediately upon registering, I am awarded a bonus check–which I am told is the gift that “keeps on giving”. As someone who is weary of fighting on the losing team, I immediately feel my shoulders relax. Thank God (or George) I no longer need to concern myself with racism, sexism, the ozone layer, globalization, poverty, the escalation of privatized prisons and the availability of assault weapons and hand guns. But best of all I will never have to worry about paying my bills– as long as I only concern myself with other patriotic and credentialed Americans who are also concerned with only themselves and their fellow “country men”.

As I turn to leave, Bill O’Reilly congratulates me and offers me the keys to my new Lexus convertible and assures me that Gannett is looking for a writer/columnist just like me. I explain to him that I used to have a column in Tennessee until I wrote about the war in Afghanistan when the paper informed me they “were taking a hard right turn in order to attract financing” and were “getting rid of all voices on the left”. Bill just smiled and said “don’t worry, you are with us now”.

Just when I am finally living the American dream, I wake up.

Molly Secours is a writer/speaker/videographer/activist in Nashville TN. She can be reached at: ([email protected])

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