One Nation Under a Bus

October 11, 2010

The rally began with a group sing-along to John Lennon’s delusionally utopian “Imagine” and ended with a live performance by convicted crack-pipe owner George Clinton reprising his “One Nation Under a Groove.” Other musical acts included the Urban Nation Hip-Hop Choir and a rapper who calls himself Black Ice. Relative to their quotient of the literal American nation’s population, speakers and star attendees also tended to be disproportionately black. Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, Van “The Green Red” Jones, and Dick Gregory, who claims he hasn’t eaten in two years, were out in force. Corrupt-to-the-bone NYC politician Charles Rangel waded through the crowd, with one of his supporters assaulting a woman who dared to try and film him.

To be fair, attendees also included vestiges of the breed of crackers who helped elect Obama, as the spicy aromas of hog-jowled white union workers mixed with those of white lesbians and scruffy, ectomorphic white anarchists.

Several simple themes were repeated during the day: Jobs are good, war is bad, and hatred is extra-bad. What’s staggering is the amount of logical contradictions that were employed to get these themes across.

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and his jelly-roll body stalked the stage screaming about how the “forces of evil” had shipped jobs overseas and how the rally was “about the people standing up to the corporations.” He neglected to mention that his owners, GE and Microsoft, are mega-corporations who see no problem in outsourcing huge chunks of their workforce to faraway lands.

One Nation’s mission statement complained about “increased levels…of discrimination” in America, but they left out the part about how the only legally sanctioned discrimination that still exists is Affirmative Action.

Speakers hammered on the idea that outsourcing jobs was destroying the integrity of America’s work force, yet they all warmly embraced the insourcing of a dozen million “undocumented workers” from Mexico. Everyone claimed to love America, yet they all seemed to feel it was founded on morally malignant principles. Al Sharpton barked that it was time to bail out the American people rather than Wall Street and bankers, ignoring the fact that the trillions spent on welfare since the 1960s dwarf the amount of Obama’s recent corporate handouts.

And although a major theme was the need to end “divisiveness,” rally-goers drew a thick dividing line between themselves and the Tea Party middle Americans whom they consider their natural enemies. Like the reputed hatemongers they claim to oppose, they demonize “the other” just as all social groups and all true nations do.

According to The Washington Post, “Organizers said they also wanted to show that their supporters represented the majority of the nation.” During his speech, Sharpton said, “I hope they look at the Mall, because this is what America looks like.”

Was he right?

Only one in ten American workers belongs to a union, so unions do not represent the majority.

Fewer than one in ten Americans identifies themselves as gay, so gays do not represent the majority.

About one in eight Americans is “colored,” so the NAACP does not represent the majority.

A slightly higher quotient of Americans is Hispanic, so the National Council on La Raza does not represent the majority.

And fewer than one percent of Americans identify as Muslim, so when it comes to size-queening, American Muslims suffer from micropenis.

And although crowd-estimation is an inexact science, by all available evidence, it appears that Glenn Beck’s rally drew much larger numbers.

Such are the problems inherent in trying to sell a fraudulent notion such as “unity through diversity.” The word “diversity” shares the same prefix as “divide” and “divert.” Claiming that unity comes through diversity makes as much sense as claiming that one equals two.

For progressives, what seemed like a “Big Tent” in 2008 has been reduced to a dirty, undersized sleeping bag. The country is now more divided than I can ever recall. Almost everyone across the political spectrum now feels the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Ominously, the shared notion that we are no longer a nation seems to be the only thing that still unites us as a nation.

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