Fondling Democracy

05/25/2011 12:00 pm ET

Gee, what pre-election bombshell can we salaciously feel-up during the next four days ?

For this mid-term season there was nothing like the series of sex scandals and associated allegations to favor the last round of tactical thrusts for the Democrats. Or was there?

Rhythm is everything, most especially with sex and politics. Wagging tongues philandered from "Foley, who? and Hastert knew when?" to "George Allen's "Macaca" and Jim Webb wrote what?" From Jim Gibbon's defense of his officer- and- gentleman- hands, and Bob Corker's interracial, blonde woman ad against Harold Ford, and then back again, away from sex--one botched Punch and Judy line later-- to the Bush-Kerry me- speak- prettier- patriotism- than- you, ad nauseam.

It all feels like a cheap, orgiastic, pre-climatic letdown.

In this game of sticks and stones and titillative politics, the real terror is the game itself--the camouflage that we, the American public, allow our politicians, our corporations, and ourselves to hide under, and not just during campaign season. A little self-touch is in order. Whatever your spiritual inclination, take a moment on this All Souls Day, just days before you cast your votes, to examine what your gut feeling of the American way of life means to you. Should manipulative, middle-finger pointing and war on terror, up- your- ass, rhetorical mud slinging represent the slice of our American pie that we're proud of-- so long as we win?

Sex abuse, of any kind, and war, for any reason, are serious enough fodder to chew. But corruption wraps itself in the most desirous candy. The real sex scandal, the one that we're all afraid to acknowledge, is that we've all been raped, over and over again, so much so, that like any victim we don't even know when we are in turn participating in the violations against ourselves and others, or how vested our livelihoods, the security of our families, our aspirations for a greater piece of the American dream, are entangled in the abuse.

Kerry, who was sounding, well, presidential, the past month, has again bent over, not for apologizing to the troops, but for not taking the opportunity to speak even more truthfully for them, at his faux pas. Meanwhile, the Bush humping machine stage-preps the next reel of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, oil, poppy fields, Halliburton & friends, immigration, death tax, legalized torture, gay marriage, whatever, whatever, patriotic porn- circus. Liberals complain about the ingredients, but lap the stew, with the same sullied spoons.

The reality is Kerry's misspeak had two truths. Most of our soldiers ARE less educated and less advantaged. Many of them are there out of financial need, or in trade for getting an education. They have become sanctified holy cows-- unofficially sanctioned Abu Ghraib genital abuses, Guantánamo Bay menstrual blood intimidations and Khasir Abyad rape, not withstanding. Our system relies on indoctrinating and sacrificing them, our youth, just as we depend on, as we simultaneously blame, illegal immigrants, who labor in our fields and nanny our children. As for Bush's perpetuation of ignorance, he and his neocons (remember them?) made education and academics about anything a dirty word, labeling those who weighed facts as "elites," while Cheney's cronies openly pilfer our economy.

Who wants an educated citizenry, when we can more conveniently be seduced by catchy-phrased solutions?

After November 7, no matter the outcome, we'll be tickled and fondled again. Or, we can control the foreplay, collectively confronting the what, and why, and for whom we're being seduced.