Burch: Where do we go from here?

Friday, August 9, 2013 at 3:14am
By Michael R. Burch

This will be my last article for The City Paper, so I’d like to express my thanks and gratitude to The City Paper for giving me the opportunity to write a weekly column, and to my editors William Williams and James Nix for catching my mistakes, which hopefully weren’t too many or too egregious. I would also like to thank my readers, because I know their time is valuable, and I really do appreciate the time they invested in my work. And I want to especially thank the readers who took the time to comment online: Loner, Captain Nemo, Govskeptic, Yogi, Dargent7, Budlight, Pswindle, Bfra, BenDover, Brrrk, and all the others ... thanks so very much!

Where do we go from here?

I hope to continue doing what I’ve been doing, which is trying to keep the spirit of the Confederacy from rising up like an impossible-to-kill Jason in a third-rate horror flick, intent on committing mindless mayhem and destroying lives. Quite seriously, that is how I see the current incarnation of the Grand Old Predators. A better analogy might be Jurassic Park, with raptor-like Republicans running around trying to exterminate anyone and everyone who’s more highly evolved.

Is it a stretch to say that they’re trying to kill us? Well, perhaps not intentionally, but stupidity can and does kill. A party that denies the clear evidence of global warming; that strips away the safety nets from the poor and elderly; that demands guns in bars, parks, trunks and schools; that insists being scared justifies mowing down minorities; and that obviously intends to keep doing the same reckless things in the Middle East, is going to get many Americans killed, and god-knows-how-many foreigners. Someone needs to stop the tiny-brained predators from wreaking so much havoc, so operating on the premise that the pen is mightier than empty noggins as well as the sword, I have tried to make other people aware of what I see so clearly myself.

The Republican Party has changed dramatically in recent years, in its hard shift to the far right, where grammar-challenged rubes like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann can become stars of the highest magnitudes. In my early working days, I was a Reagan Republican — perhaps a bit like the character Michael Fox played on Family Ties — because I was very concerned about the economy and my taxes. Like many young people intent on living out the American Dream, I wanted to have the finer things in life: nice cars, a nice house, etc. I preferred to enjoy the fruits of my labor, so it made sense for me to support fiscal responsibility on the part of the federal government. But the “trickle down” theory proved to be economic voodoo because rich people don’t have to spend most of the money they make. “Trickle up” might work much better because ordinary Joes and Janes will spend most of what they make, with the people who own businesses, stocks and bonds being the main beneficiaries.

But in any case, what I didn’t realize at the time, perhaps because it seemed so far-fetched, was that the spirit of the Confederacy was about to rise from the grave and reanimate. Thus, a vote for “fiscal responsibility” became a vote for chauvinism, racism, homophobia, intolerance and irrational religion (for instance, all the sins of heterosexual Christians can be forgiven freely by grace, but a homophobic God singles out gays and Muslims for “special consideration,” in the form of an eternal hell).

A vote for the GOP also became a vote for a return to feudalism, with a few rich layabout lords prospering from the incessant toil of their lowly serfs. As a result, today average Americans are working themselves into early graves while being told that the retirement plans and medical insurance they fund are “entitlements” the nation can’t afford, when trillions of dollars have been wasted on two wars fought on false premises. Meanwhile, super-wealthy businesses like Apple and individuals like Mitt Romney claim to “believe in America” while keeping most of their moolah stashed offshore. They obviously don’t “believe” in America enough to pay their fair share of the expenses of the wars being fought, at least ostensibly, to protect it.

This is not the American that I dreamed of, in my youthful idealism. I wanted the best of both worlds  — prosperity and equality — not the worst of both, which is where the GOP will undoubtedly take us if we don’t stand our ground. The Confederacy may have lost the last few battles of the Civil War, but its spirit lives and raves on today in the bigotry and intolerance of the Tea Party. Those of us who agree with the stand abolitionists took against the enslavement of African-Americans must now take a similar stand against our own enslavement, and the enslavement of our children and grandchildren.

Where do we go from here? I may not have the opportunity to write another column in these days of diminishing paper and ink, but I will definitely continue to write and publish online. And as the primary author of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative (www.thehypertexts.com/peace.htm), I will continue to seek a peaceful settlement to the conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, which could be the key to world peace.

I believe it is a fundamental truth that on this planet, peace requires justice, and justice requires equality. Three times in its history the United States has made terrible decisions to subvert justice and equality, which resulted in large-scale holocausts. One holocaust was the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans. Another was the enslavement of African-Americans. The third, in my opinion, is American support of the ethnic cleansing and slow genocide of Palestinians. In the first two cases, massacre after massacre resulted, with the oppressors insisting that their victims were the “problem.” But it turned out that Sitting Bull wasn’t really a “terrorist,” just a man forced to the warpath because his people lived on the brink of extermination. It turned out that John Brown wasn’t really a “terrorist,” but a man willing to risk his life to end the terrible treatment of African-Americans. And one day in the future, if the human race survives, I have no doubt that the more enlightened people who study the actual causes of 9-11 will shake their heads sadly and wonder how so many Americans of our era could have been so blind.

I wish everyone who reads this final article the best of luck, but sometimes we have to make our own luck in this world, so I hope you will join me in the continuing struggle to establish a lasting peace, which requires real justice, which in turn requires real equality, both at home and abroad. Unfortunately, the self-avowed “greatest nation of all time” has not always lived up to its stated ideals. But if we keep evolving, we just might escape the fate of those other dinosaurs who failed to evolve, and of course the dodos.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

350 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 8/9/13 at 12:19

darg7: Why would we in Tenn be at all interested in the love of the President
within a state like Calif.? Truly the land of nuts and fruitcakes! I'm
sure you are enjoying it. Best wishes, ole timer.

By: yogiman on 8/9/13 at 12:35

I'm proud of being a stupid old bastard in your state of mind, B2. Would you like to join me as a dumb diligent bitch?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 12:50

I would worry about myself if you did like me. I don't associate with ignorant assholes such as you.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 12:51

And yes it is obvious that you wallow in your ignorance, you old fool.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 12:57

Well yogi has something to be proud of, in his miserable life.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 1:01

Howdy, Nemo!

By: pswindle on 8/9/13 at 1:05

Thanks Mike, It is always my pleasure to read your writings because you get to the truth and report it in a gentleman's way. It is so important to keep the truth floating even in a deep red state.

By: gdiafante on 8/9/13 at 1:14

Well guys, gotta go. It's been a pleasure. I wish you all the best. Take care.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 1:16

Hello Blanket.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 1:16

You too, g. Nice knowin' ya. :~)

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 1:17

How's life in the wild, wild west?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 1:17

Take care gdia. I hope to meet in person someday.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 1:18

Yep, what Nemo said.

By: yogiman on 8/9/13 at 1:20

Dammit, quit comparing me to yourself, B2. It's obvious our minds function differently on legal issues. I want a president in office legally. You're well satisfied with one in there illegally.

wouldn't it be better, though, if you knew his legal name. Have you any idea why he won't identify himself?

Where did he get that birth certificate it took 9 pages to print?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 1:24

Its good,Blanket. This maybe my last Vegas Trek for a while, I am very tired. It is getting bigger every year and I have done lot more this year to add to my weariness.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 1:27

There is no comparing anything to a jackass like you Comrade yogi. The only exception is your son/grandson the flea.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 1:29

Too big to fail; Banks.

Too stupid to learn; yogi.

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 1:48

Blanket - Youngbuck is the one I couldn't think of. IMO he is the one that caused Clint Brewer to shut down the board & jughead sounds just as vulgar. Same person?

Mama G, Blanket slacker (wherever you are) house & munchkin will all be missed. Ditto Blanket on chief & mia. Old fools (yogi) they just blabber on & on & on & on & never realize they are blowing in the wind.

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 1:53

The only good thing about the CP closing is: yogi can't use it to spread his LIES dayin & dayout & potbelly sidiot to jump up & down agreeing.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 1:54

No - youngbuck was congenial. He was a good egg. H2O was vulgar.

By: brrrrk on 8/9/13 at 2:01

Nice knowing everyone....

The day of Juggys hate speech is dead.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:09

You too, brrrrkl!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:09

The ghosts of CP past......

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:12

Blanket - The youngbuck I recall worked for Metro or the State & kept changing his user name right before it was shut down & used language kinda like jugs. Don'g recall H20!

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:14

brrrrk - I have enjoyed your post, also. You are always on top of things & give great factual arguments.

By: yogiman on 8/9/13 at 2:14

gdiafante,

There is many differences between us. I readily admit, and don't mind admitting I'm wrong when proven so.

You obviously don't think you're ever wrong (bad mistake on your part) and will never admit it.

You ridicule me for not Italicizing my wordings. I ridicule you for such childish behavior. I explained before I'm not a master on this machine like you kids. I just use it the best I can to get my point across to you "know it alls". That's why you ridicule my writing when I use quotation marks because I don't know how to italicize it on this compute

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:15

OOPS Blanket - s/h/b Don't!

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:17

Po ole fool brainless blob is so damn dumb he still doesn't know the difference between is & are!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:18

No, he was criticizing you for calling it "italianizing" then not wanting to admit your mistake.

By: MamaG on 8/9/13 at 2:23

Just the fact that you use the term, "you kids" says you need to get out and enjoy life, yogi. Take in a movie, take a grandchild fishing, go for a walk, take a vacation, anything! There are numerous things you can do with your life that will give you much enjoyment and maybe you can let go of some of the bitterness you harbor.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:34

bfra I had lunch with young buck a couple of weeks ago.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:36

Who else can we conjure from the way back machine?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:37

Remember Dusty and his tall tales? LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:38

There you go with the lies Comrade yogi. You have been proven wrong empteen times and never have you or will you admit to being wrong or a lying ass moron.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:40

Yes I do. Sometimes I thought was buds alter ego.

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:40

Blanket - And Dusty's relatives, which I was gullible & believed on the start until I checked some of his BS he was posting. I didn't buy into Dusty's tales.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:41

Another photo op coming up.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:42

I think a few of us believed him at first.

By: bfra on 8/9/13 at 2:42

Nemo - Was it Youngbuck that Serr8 had so many arguments with?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:42

I guess we all assume idgaf is no more?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:44

I did for a time. Maybe I was the last to stop thinking he was legit.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:46

The slug got him fired, but yb came out the better.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:46

bfra, I think that's right.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:47

Well, we all know that serr8d is a POS.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:48

Yes serr8d is a low life.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:48

Hey, remember pandabear? He was always cool. I miss him.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:51

And girlygirl?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:51

Yes. He just stop after yogi started with his lies. I think that sorry ass fart drove a lot of people away.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/9/13 at 2:52

Another one of bud's alter egos. lol

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/9/13 at 2:52

Yeah, I think you're right.