Simple Changes, Number One

  • el
  • pt
  • In the spirit of trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again, I’d like to see a number of simple changes made by the new administration, changes that will help restore constitutional government, changes that will support a return from Neocon American-chauvinist Imperialism to a more “reality based” style of governance.

    In the summer of 2024, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

    The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    I’d like to propose a few simple changes that will improve the way our country works and the way we relate to each other. These are presented in no particular order. Each stands alone. Each is important. My simple change for today is:


    I have no clue what to call it, but the proto-fascist “Homeland” thing (see “Das Heimat”) has got to go. Probably the whole department needs reconstruction. Since they’re getting new letterhead stationery anyway, what with th enew secretary and all, wouldn’t the time be right for new name?

    Posted in Miscellaneous
    4 comments on “Simple Changes, Number One
    1. I don’t have a new name, and you may be going to cover this in a future post, but I’d love to see an end to the “war on” terminology that is making our country resemble those in Orwell’s 1984. War on terror, war on drugs, even war on poverty…no, let’s work to end the wars (as best we can); let’s work to solve problems, not fight them; I’d just like to live in a country where ‘peace lover’ isn’t hate speech.

    2. I’m with you on that one Amber. Whenever I hear “war on [whatever]” I know there’s an advertising campaign afoot, an attempt to dumb down complex issues into an easily digestible polarization. “Two sides to every story….” You’re either for us or against us….” How absurd and reductive these things are, but after a while they saturate our consciousness and we are in danger of taking shortcuts when we think about complex problems.

      Here’s a good blog, On Day One, where the matter was highlighted some time ago.

    3. Betty Jo says:

      Hi Frank,

      When I hear the term “Homeland” I think of the song “America the Beautiful”. I like that term, and see no reason to allow the fascist’s misinterpretation to deny our use of it.

      In my opinion, It’s not the term “Homeland” that’s the problem, it’s the Bushian definition of “Security”.

      To me, Homeland Security means a strong Public Health Service, support for local first responders (from Volunteer Fire Depts to Community Policing), strong environmental protection laws, food security through support of local healthy food production and small farms, a strong public education system that encourages kids to advance their education by giving them the ability to pay for college without going into crushing debt.

      It is a encouragement of a national ethic that focuses on helping one’s neighbors, not (as old Ashcroft envisioned it), spying on them. It’s an immigration policy that actually processes applications for legal immigration (rather than simply piling up or losing the paperwork year after year after year). And, yes, it’s a tax policy that asks the question “how much compensation is enough?” and then answers that 7 homes and multiple private helicopters and private jets is probably excessive and ought be better put to rebuilding infrastructure and investment in education and health to the benefit of all.

    4. Eunoia says:

      Haven’t had homeland security since 1492!
      [paraphrasing Geronimo] 😉



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