No, that doesn’t stand for President Obama’s Orwellian re-election slogan, Winning The Future, but I am starting to feel like the character Winston Smith in the novel 1984.
The war on terror non-stop fear campaign has been operational for over ten years now, with both Republican and Democratic administrations enabling a national security state that is increasingly sublimating our democracy. Every week brings a new outrage, but my fellow citizens barely notice.
Last week, Congress passed legislation, doing away with First Amendment rights to peaceably protest. The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Know informally as the Anti-Occupy, the bill passed the Senate unanimously in February, and had only three dissenters in the House–all Republicans. Almost unnoticed in the mainstream media, this bill demonstrates what passes for bipartisanship in our congress. “The virtually unanimous passage of H.R. 347 starkly exposes the fact that, despite all the posturing, the Democrats and the Republicans stand shoulder to shoulder with the corporate and financial oligarchy, which regarded last year’s popular protests against social inequality with a mixture of fear and hostility.”
And on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech at Northwestern Law School, laying out the legal justification for executive order assassinations, where he trotted out some impressive “newspeak.” Said Holder, to the assembled law students: “Some have called such operations assassinations. They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings.”
Isn’t it nice to know that the President can kill an American citizen without charges or a trial and, by definition, it is legal.
Recent polling shows that Americans approve these authoritarian practices being carried out in their name. Conservatives typically support authoritarian policies, and liberals who screamed bloody murder when former President Bush made the claim of unfettered executive power, are cool when these dictatorial practices are carried out by the President with a D after his name.
It isn’t hyperbole that I am starting to feel like the proverbial frog as the water temperature rises degree by degree.