Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ownership Society

There's this idea that we owe something to Bush. This idea that Bush is our leader and that, like it or not, we owe it to him to provide our support to whatever he chooses to engage in. And also that we owe something to America; not we as individuals, but we as a group of people; as Americans. And many people really seem to believe that. Much of their crap is just noise intended to throw us off our game, and convince moderates that liberals are extremist. But I don't think this is one of those issues. I honestly think that most Republicans believe that we all owe something to Bush and our country, and should not criticize the actions of either.

The way they think of things is as if we, the people, are the employees and that Bush is the CEO and owner. And that he, as our leader, is supposed to tell us what to do. And we're supposed to follow his lead because he's the boss and can tell us what to do. And that someone who isn't doing what Bush says, that person's a shirker who isn't doing his duty; and deserves to be left behind and ignored. And this extends to America as a whole too. That Americans owe something to the company for everything the company has given to us.

And that's absurd and a complete inversion of reality. Bush doesn't own us; we own him. We don't work for Bush; he works for us. And I say that, not as one denouncing Bush or America, but as one supporting democracy. And this dangerous attitude of theirs is an offense to democracy, and thus to America itself. And by wrapping themselves in our America, they are inadvertently helping to destroy the very essence they wish to exploit. But America can't own us; we own America, equally.

We the Owners

In Democracy (and no, I don't want to debate that term, so just deal with it cause that's the one I'm using), we have no personal leaders; as we are all equals. Bush isn't our leader, in the way that a general is a soldier's leader. He is the head of our government. He is the boss over the government. Not us, the citizens, but the government. They have to do what he says. They have to obey his commands. The government workers, not us. It's just a job, and that's his job. This isn't controversial or an opinion. This is how it is.

And how did he get that job? Because we gave it to him. Not all of us, but enough voted for him in accordance to the bylaws of our nation. Just as stockholders at any company vote to elect their leaders. But the stockholders are not electing a boss; but choosing an employee. Their chief employee. That is the essence of democracy. Led, not by a superior; but by an equal. Not as a father; but as a brother. With our President owning as much of our country as anyone else.

To follow our business analogy, it is obvious that we are the stockholders of this company. We are its owners. And we hired him to be the President of the company and to manage its business. Not to own us or control us. Or to tell us what's good for us. Or to denounce us. But to do our bidding. To lead our country in the way we see fit. He can choose to go against the will of the stockholders, but they have the right to denounce his performance and even replace him. And that is exactly what us "Bush-haters" are accused of doing. Exercising our rights as owners of our nation. We don't owe America. We are America.

This may all sound quite obvious, but unfortunately it's not obvious enough. We need to remind people of this. And don't forget to smile. It helps.

1 comment:

S Ty said...

Yesterday, one wingnut went ballistic when I pointed him to this:

http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

And I was even being polite, even made a couple of smilies! :)