The title of this post is taken, of course, from Milton’s description of Hell in Paradise Lost. There will be those who deem my selection of the title as hyperbolic, too dramatic by half – possibly even maliciously intentioned – but they aren’t standing where I stand, and they don’t see what I see ….
I can’t speak for every citizen in this hallowed republic but I believe most Americans, whether of the multi-generational variety or newly-minted, to be fair-minded and reasonably even-tempered. We’re quick to praise, slow to anger, and we’re willing to forgive most venal, and even a few mortal, affronts. But we do possess a very real threshold of tolerance for shameless villainy beyond which the prudent interloper will not venture – a fact which politicians and other public panjandrums are blithely ignoring (at their peril).
In what can best be described as an orgy of disdain for not just their constituents, but indeed for all Americans, elected (elected!) government officials continue to ram dystopian laws up and down every available orifice of the citizenry. Blatant lying, flagrant self-aggrandizement, hypocrisy, betrayal, and arrogance (oh my stars, the arrogance) – all have become acceptable, even laudable, tactics among the ruling class.
Lest I be reflexively accused of hyper-partisanship, let me hurry to assert that I do not view this as a partisan matter, folks … Democrats and Republicans are measles and mumps … spiders and snakes … flotsam and jetsam … sturm und drang (for the Wagnerians among us). Why in the world doesn’t someone – anyone – stand up on the floor of the House or in the well of the Senate or at their desk in the Unicameral and just … raise … hell? Is there no one left in Washington (or Lincoln) who would like to move up from craven annelid to merely invertebrate?
Here in Nebraska we are treated to the spectacle of our senators (capitalization intentionally omitted) spending days earnestly debating whether or not Neighborhood Watch Patrols should be allowed to have amber lights on the cars and more days discussing the fate of a half dozen scrawny mountain lions (which 99.9% of Nebraskans don’t even believe exist). They take a break from time to time from such solemn policy matters to assure us that our tax situation here is Huskerland is just hunky-dory, even though it is well-documented that we enjoy one of the highest tax rates in the nation. That is just one small taste of the folly that seems endemic in the Unicameral these days; a comprehensive list of their shenanigans would run to several pages, so I will defer (for now). The same sad stories are repeated all over the nation – just crank up your Google-machine and punch in “legislative silliness” and stand back.
Rebellions are not that easy to initiate – King George perpetrated all manner of mischief and humiliation on the colonies before a bunch of easy-going good ole boys with muskets finally said ‘enough’ at Lexington and Concord. Lincoln practically had to put fire ants in Jeff Davis’ drawers before the Confederacy reluctantly cowboyed up and started shooting at Fort Sumter, and the French street fumed and frothed for years before Louis XVI finally turned his gendarmerie loose on those thousands of pesky sans-culottes tearing up the bastille and stomping around the Versailles courtyard shouting for his head. See, even the most lethargic giant can be awakened if he is sufficiently poked and prodded ….
That being noted, the gang of rotters currently infesting Washington as well as state-houses all over the nation should be aware that the electorate which they have been so exuberantly abusing for years are, I suspect, dangerously near their flash point. I have no knowledge of planned insurrection, and I certainly do not advise such action, but when a government so completely scorns those whom it was created to serve, the options left to the people are seriously limited – and those remaining courses will almost certainly be considerably less … uh … civilized than the pols might wish.
I have been interested in and moderately well-informed about matters political since the early sixties, and I can recall no time in which the degree of people’s anger and frustration with their leaders at virtually every level has even approached its current intensity. And the politicians don’t care – they are secure in the knowledge that We the Sheeple will continue to let them abuse us to whatever extent they choose. They are wrong … and their time to avoid swift and certain rescission grows short. My hope is that their repudiation will be based in ballots, and not bullets.
That old curse is coming true … we are living in “interesting times.”