So let's pretend, just for a minute, that we pull it off…enough Americans come to their senses and steer us away from the iceburg. We don't escalate Iraq and ignite a regional war, we change our borrow and spend fiscal policies and start planning for a sustainable future, we don't cook and then freeze ourselves out of existence, and we solidify, codify, and if necessary reframe out government to be more transparent and accountable, so that this sort of mess we've gotten ourselves into doesn't happen again.
Like I said, just pretend.
What do we do with these people? What do we do with people that advocate nuking entire regions (and lack the common sense that radiation would complicate their oil changes at Jiffy Lube)? What do we do with people who nod their heads appreciatively at radio hosts who advocate the poisining of Supreme Court Justices, genocide, political assasinations, and paranoid delusions?
What do you do with people who vote against their own financial interests based on "populist" notions like racism, religious superiority, xenophobia, and fascist authoritarian cult behavior and lack the intellectual curiousity and "liberal arts" thinking skills to actually evaluate how and why they are being manipulated?
What do you do with people who prefer the certainty of a lie to the uncertainty of truth?
The easy answer is to leave.
But I'm not leaving. This is my America, not theirs.
So then what?
Well, I've often thought we should give them a separatist homeland, like Utah, Florida, or perhaps one of the Carolinas or Dakotas. I suspect we could lose any of those without any problem. Furthermore, I support the construction of a large, impenetrable war, to keep "us" out. They can have as much guns and god (but no gays) as they want – the only catch is that their society needs to be a closed system. Of course, that isn't tenable either.
We could slaughter them…
Well, thinking about acting like them makes me like them, and that's particularly distasteful, but like our Dear Leader says, nothing should be off the table, right?
When I look at them, collectively, there are a few traits that jump out at me. White. Male. 50% Married, 40% Divorced, 10% Single. High school graduate, GED, or some College. Maybe a batchelors. The dark cloud of victimhood hanging over their head (fathers rights, gun control, environmentalists, political correctness, etc.), that someone is always keeping them from doing something. Religiousity – 20% Evangelical, 10% Jewish, 40% Christian, 30% Catholic. The tendency to abide by "their authority". The tendency to be cult-like in their worship of their various dieties, be they political, ideological, entertainment, or otherwise. A strong geographical link to the South and the Mid-West, or away from urban (less white areas). Those who are married have kids. Those who have kids have many kids. They look out their windows and see danger everywhere – the black man walking down the street. The TV, radio and cellphone. The internet. Multiculturalism.
Their entire personalities are oriented around their Conservative Republican belief structures. Who they are and what they do is absolutely dependent on it, although any reasonable person could look at reality and see that as an ideology, it's failed. So they do what's most logical – ignore reality and embrace the fictional narrative of good, God-fearing Americans.
When you get down to it, their entire philosophical structure is based on lies, mythology, and wishfull thinking, and is woefully ignorant of facts and proof that contradict those beliefs – if anything, claims that negate their own "beliefs" serve to strengthen their resolve. Lying to them makes them trust more. Stealing from them makes them more generous. So long as the one doing the lying and stealing is one of them.
For example they look at the following image of the results from the 2006 Election, one where the Republican-Conservatives where rebuked, and still console themselves that the majority of the country is "red", deliberately choosing to ignore that all of the populous areas are blue.
In other times and places, places that some of them might think weren't necessarily bad, like fascist Germany or maybe China, once they and their "leaders" had fallen from power, they would be "liquidated" or sent out to the countryside for "re-education". I really think we shouldn't do the former, and I think the later would be impossible.
The only possible other choice, the hardest, least likely to succeed option, is to actually win thier trust, show them how they've been used, manipulated, sacrificed, and gotten screwed, and then provide them a choice.
But how the hell do we do that?
There are so many avenues to explore, from ancient Bush-family history, to decades old CIA operations, to scandals past, a legacy of shady operators from prior administrations returning to haunt DC, the 2000 Election, the summer before 9/11, the confusion immediately after, the invasion of the wrong country, tax-breaks, Jack Abramoff, Cheney shooting an old man in the face, global warming deniers, the erosion of civil liberties, the Unitary Executive Theory, how evangelicals are used and abused, fiscal negligence and broken budgets, the lies regarding NCLB, and so, so much more.
But the store is and has always been about the lead up to the war in Iraq. When was it decided? What evidence was there to decide if there was a need? What factors were considered? How truthfull was the Executive Branch with Congress? How about with the American People?