Sekhmet pays little attention to politics, regarding it essentially
as an exercise in futility ... But one overlooked aspect of
the current American political scene has caught her eye. The
scenario is familiar to all. The American president (and also
Grand Sheriff) George W. Bush has thrown down his philosophical
gauntlet, declaring, 'If you ain't with us, you're agin' us'.
He and his posse brand all those "agin' "as 'unpatriotic.'
Alleged unpatriotism is equated with 'aiding the terrorists',
effectively treason. The accused deny the charge, staunchly
defending their patriotism; citing dissent as the very essence
of patriotism. This confrontation interests, bemuses and yet
saddens Sekhmet, for she finds that no one, not one politician,
no journalist, no TV commentator, no one anywhere --as far as
she is able to determine-- has bothered to look at patriotism
itself. So she has taken that look and reports:
is not a virtue; it is a pathological condition. Patriotism
provides a surrogate soul for nonentities who have never developed
souls of their own. (Yes, Virginia, there is a soul, but, like
a talent for music or baseball, it must be developed. No development,
no music, no baseball, no soul.)
is inherently confrontational, divisive and destructive. The
familiar bumper sticker reads: GOD BLESS AMERICA. But the hidden,
sticky side says: AND FUCK EVERYONE ELSE.
storm troopers were patriots; Palestinian suicide bombers are
patriots-without-a-country as were the members of the Irgun
and Stern gangs in those conveniently forgotten pre-Israel days.
Of course, there's a difference between American patriots and
their patriots. American patriots are good. God loves American
patriots (otherwise why would He have made them so rich?) Their
patriots are evil. God hates their patriots.
was Stephen Decatur, 200 years ago, who best captured the essence
of Bush-style patriotism. 'Our country! In her intercourse with
other nations may she always be in the right; but our country
right or wrong.' This ranks high on Sekhmet's list of Ten Stupidest
Statements Ever Uttered by a Human Being. It is like saying,
'My father! May he never kill or rape, but killer or rapist,
diagnosed the malady, prescribing a cure remains problematical.
The normal Washington response to any problem, real or perceived,
is to declare war on it. But the wars on Drugs, Poverty and
Crime are losing battles. Moreover, a War on Patriotism has
a genetic illogic to it. Who would fight it? The Unpatriotic?
True, America is winning the War on the Environment, (unconditional
surrender is due any day now). It's unlikely, however, that
a War on Patriotism would attract the same marshaled support
from government and corporate forces.
only hope, according to Sekhmet, lies in a massive, across-the-board
recognition of patriotism for what it is, a tragic but repugnant
psychological affliction -like pedophilia, but more dangerous-
incurable yet broadly containable via applied public pressure.
In other words: when patriots have the same social status of
child molesters then, and only then, is there any possibility
for peace to prevail.
notes that intelligent, informed, considered solidarity in the
face of real danger (not pretend danger like Iraq) is the constructive
approach. This must not, under any circumstances, be confused