Regardless of party allegiance all voters despise hypocrisy, empty rhetoric and corruption. Until recently, an accepting electorate had swallowed whole a propaganda-laden agenda served up by partisans and a power-hungry administration. But the long honeymoon appears to be ending.
It is only natural that people should want to believe in their government, especially when they’ve been fed a steady diet of fear and jingoism, with “we’re at war” constantly ringing in their ears. But disillusion has confounded the best efforts of the deceivers, even if ordinary Americans aren’t able to grasp the full extent of the damage being done by a duplicitous government. With the exception of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, much of what this administration does is accomplished by executive order and at cabinet and other administrative levels.
Take for example, the dissolution of regulatory standards in the mining sector under industry leadership. Lack of funds for the hiring of additional safety inspectors and other cost-cutting measures have not served to ensure the health and, in some cases, the lives of mine workers – – the result of an agenda that tilts towards corporate control over a government role as objective observer.
And, unless people are paying closer attention than they are inclined to do, it may not be as obvious as war and hurricanes that a Republican-dominated Congress passes laws such as the one protecting pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits once a drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration no matter what medical problems consumers may have encountered.
Similarly it may have gone unnoticed that executive orders cut foreign aid for organizations if they provide information about abortion and reproductive options – – or that David Hager, who was made Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health, uses phrases like “secular medicine” to question scientific opinion that fails to adhere to right-wing special interests.
And while the new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan may serve some elderly recipients well, it is fraught with uncertainties and pitfalls. Even if one takes care to choose a plan with the formulary that suits one’s prescription needs there is no guarantee the plan chosen will continue to provide that particular medication, or that the premium will always be affordable or that the gap in coverage will not cause a sudden letdown for many still in need.
In the end uncertainty informs the mood of the country and feeds a growing distrust of its leaders. We are told to be patient and accept curtailments of our freedoms and rights because “we are at war”, but the question is, when will an abstraction like a “war on terrorism” ever end – – what then of freedoms lost? If government is less responsive than it is dictatorial what have we become?
Many of us laugh at the malapropisms of our president, but his verbal miscues represent something more single-minded than simpleminded. When logic and informed decision-making are absent, the niceties of language are easily lost in meandering, repetitious rhetoric.
This administration’s agenda trumps all. The speechifying may be full of “sound and fury”, but it simply masks the internal workings of an agenda unfettered by reason and framed by ideological and religious extremists. We probably need to be watching these folks a lot more closely and not laughing so much.

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