Deleted Scenes: The Wages Of Rhetoric

This week at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is the 2012 RNC, the Republican National Convention, ahead of the presidential election in November. By the time you read this, they’ll already have gotten off to a smashing start: the threat of landfall of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac forced them to cancel the first day of the convention, the stated theme for which was “We Built It.” No doubt that won’t be the last of the ironies to come from Florida this week.

Apart from party nominee Mitt Romney, among the expected speakers are Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, RNC chair and massive human shitbag Reince Priebus, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, VP candidate Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and others among the Republican milieu of vaguely recognizable names. Oh yeah, Rob Portman. That guy. Whatever.

It is a week of news that I’ve been dreading. Not because I care deeply about the country or the direction it will take over the next four years—anyone who tells you a presidential election can determine such a thing is probably running for president—but because the rhetoric these people spew is so ridiculous, so heinous and so disconnected from the world we live in that it makes me embarrassed to be white, to be male, to be American and most of all, to be human. Tell me more about that “legitimate rape,” Mr. Akin.

Or tell me about job creation while you eviscerate workers’ rights, or dogwhistle some racist bullshit about “taking America back,” or perhaps ask Arizona to weigh in on when life actually begins—last I heard it was three weeks before sperm is made—or have our own governor, Chris Christie, talk about “unnecessary” government programs less than a week after one of the only people to walk on the moon—arguably the pinnacle achievement of a single member of our species—has died. Tell me about how we don’t need gun control while I wait for news of the next mass shooting; they’re this month’s bath-salts zombie apocalypse. Roll back voting rights. Show me who and what the government is really there to protect.

I’ll bury my head in the sand to the best I can, watch baseball and spend the rest of the time listening to Neurosis, but I already know that some slivers of that special kind of right wing jingoist, American exceptionalist, opiate-of-the-masses, urging-the-lambs-to-complacency flag-waving, chest-thumping patrio-fascism will slip through. It’s inevitable. And the rest of the world will once again shake their heads at the baseless boisterousness, the fear-mongering and the weird isolationism of these United States. I could’ve sworn I heard Skynyrd was playing, though I might be making that up.

These are the men—and since it’s republicans we’re talking about, they are all men—with their hands ready to open the floodgates and let the corporatocracy run rampant over our economy, our culture, and our lives. And they’ll do it, because like most people, they’re bought cheap. Promises of money, power, fame, influence. Maybe the greatest irony of all—rich as Romney—is that the ultra-right republican platform of smaller government is based around the idea of “vote for me and I’ll go away.” They never do, though, sadly.

It won’t be any different when it’s the democrats having their turn next week, trumpeting the various achievements of President Obama and saying Mitt Romney’s a tax-dodging douche—which I don’t doubt is true because, as I’ve said before, the rich don’t pay taxes—but the democrats are quieter about this kind of crap, which is also why they lose. Well that and the millions of dollars poured into corporation-friendly republican campaigns since Citizens United. But nobody talks about that, because, well, newspapers don’t have budgets and the same corporations that own the government own the media.

But hey, balloons, American flags, slogan-chanting. This is the stuff of great conventions. And maybe while all these phony smiles in suits are threatening to nuke Iran and build a fence across the southern border, they’ll take a second to cut a check for whichever slums are torn asunder by the hurricane. This is me, not holding my breath. Anyone know where a guy can find a good FEMA trailer?

Preferably one without a tv?

JJ Koczan