Truth, Justice and the American Way

by bauer on January 12, 2017

In my youth, that was just a corny tag line to the Adventures of Superman, that black and white TV show from the 50s starring George Reeves. Truth was always a given; justice something that we just did; and the American Way just jingoism. Truth is now becoming the province of the governing, not the governed; justice becoming by the minority, not for the minority; and the American Way is on the road to becoming indistinguishable from the Russian Way, the culture implicit in the differentiation in the first place, manifested as Communism and revealed upon its dissolution as a corrupt, criminal culture at its institutional core.

This is a culture that has specific words for waging a disinformation campaign (dezinformatsiya) and for spreading compromising content (kompromat). This culture is being embraced by the Trump cadre. Steve Bannon, the shadowy “chief strategist” for Trump proclaims, “I’m a Leninist”. Kellyanne Conway, has been described as a “propaganda minister” by Carl Bernstein, he who exposed Watergate. Sean Spicer threatened Jim Acosta from CNN for asking questions Trump didn’t like. Truth is becoming indistinguishable from Dezinformatsiya. The American Way is becoming the Russian Way is becoming the Imperialist Way.

Is this such as a bad idea? Maybe it’s more realistic. Maybe it’s more effective. All we have to give up is American Exceptionalism. All we have to do shut up, stop asking questions, and believe what we’re told. It won’t be that hard. Spend a little time on Russia Today, the English language outlet for the Russian government. It’ll show you how. Should already be familiar to readers of Breitbart.

I remember being back in Lancaster, down by a bend in the Conestoga, drinking a Yuengling, watching my homies play cornhole. Bunch of guys, some women, around mid-life, a few more, a few fewer less. I only really know my oldest friend personally since college but I really know most everyone else. I can kind of tell we all grew up, more or less, in and around Lancaster - everyone pronounces the name of the Red Rose City correctly. Electricians, painters, carpenters, masons, truckers and me.

I imagine a number of them voted for Trump, even the union guys. I can understand why. He’d fit right in at the party. He spins some good yarns. Talks some surprising smack. Seems to have our back. So, sure, give him a shot. Jobs are tough, competition’s intensifying, Democrats are weakening. Besides, he likes Putin and Putin’s kind of our kind of guy. Throws people around, shoots stuff, surrounds himself with the most attractive women in the world. And we all like gold.

At the end of the day, though, I can’t believe we’ll give up being Americans. I remembered being little and seeing how the talking man in the suit sitting behind the desk on the black and white screen inside the little wooden cabinet was terrifying my parents. I’m sure we all share something similar in this regard. We don’t spread rumors, make innuendos, and outright lie to each other. Our principles don’t allow us to tolerate that kind of behavior. This is not about left vs right; at the least this is about violating the Constitution; at worst this is about committing treason.

Truth, Justice and the American Way. This isn’t corny to me anymore. It’s becoming sacred.

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