The American Cassandra

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In many ways writer Chris Hedges up until now is the American Cassandra.
In Greek mythology Apollo gave Cassandra the power of prophecy—but when she refused him, Apollo made sure even though she spoke truth—nobody would believe her.

His latest article on Truthdig is worth a read.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/american_psychosis_20170129

The lies fly out of the White House like flocks of pigeons: Donald Trump’s election victory was a landslide. He had the largest inauguration crowds in American history. Three million to 5 million undocumented immigrants voted illegally. Climate change is a hoax. Vaccines cause autism. Immigrants are carriers of “[t]remendous infectious disease.” The election was rigged—until it wasn’t. We don’t know “who really knocked down” the World Trade Center. Torture works. Mexico will pay for the wall. Conspiracy theories are fact. Scientific facts are conspiracies. America will be great again.
Our new president, a 70-year-old with orange-tinted skin and hair that Penn Jillette has likened to “cotton candy made of piss,” is, as Trump often reminds us, “very good looking.” He has almost no intellectual accomplishments—he knows little of history, politics, law, philosophy, art or governance—but insists “[m]y IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” And the mediocrities and half-wits he has installed in his Cabinet have “by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled.”
It is an avalanche of absurdities.

This mendacity would be easier to repulse if the problem was solely embodied in Trump. But even in the face of a rising despotism, the Democratic Party refuses to denounce the corporate forces that eviscerated our democracy and impoverished the country. The neoliberal Trump demonizes Muslims, undocumented workers and the media. The neoliberal Democratic Party demonizes Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey. No one speaks about the destructive force of corporate power. The warring elites pit alternative facts against alternative facts. All engage in demagoguery. We will, I expect, be condemned to despotism by the venality of Trump and the cowardice and dishonesty of the liberal class.

Trump and those around him have a deep hatred for what they cannot understand. They silence anyone who thinks independently. They elevate pseudo-intellectuals who adhere to their bizarre script. They cannot cope with complexity, nuance or the unpredictable. Individual initiative is a mortal threat. The order for some employees of several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research service, the National Park Service and the Department of Health and Human Services, to restrict or cease communication with the press or members of Congress, along with the attempt to impose 10-year felony convictions on six reporters who covered the inauguration protests, signals the beginning of a campaign to marginalize reality and promote fantasy. Facts depend solely on those who have the power to create them. The goal of the Trump administration is to create an artificial consistency that conforms to its warped perception of the world.

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Yet another great post Ted!
    A great philosopher once said “none can speak of a wound with skill if he hath not a wound felt”.

    To such great prophetic living voices are given the power of words to elequently put verbiage together in such perfect eloquence. I have always known Ted to have that inspirational gift of prophecy but only on this site did I come to know Chris Hedges. And now I see the two of them carrying the same baton as the Berrigans. Deeply committed Christians inspired by the gospel targetting the perpetrators of war and fearlessly calling them out inspite of the harsh criticism.

    Ted reads. A zealous reader and I graciously thank him for digging up Hedges for me. Reading him over the past few years has greatly helped my understanding of our ignorant neighbours to the south.

    Sadly, our own country is not too far behind this ignorance. But it is a spiritual work of mercy to inform the ignorant and these two great prophetic voices are doing just that.


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