I'm stopped at a red light when a decrepit old Chevrolet pickup with its windows rolled down pulls into the adjacent lane.
Its radio is bleating Rush Limbaugh, and the rear bumper bears a sticker that reads, "My wife, yes. My dog, maybe. My gun, NEVER!"
The driver looks disheveled and haggard, making it very easy to surmise that here's the perfect example of an American totally screwed over by capitalism run greedily amok, decisively abetted by conservative ideology.
He's probably unemployed, has no medical insurance, no pension prospects, and is likely facing having sheriff's deputies put his family's belongings out on the sidewalk, following a heartbreaking eviction.
But he's got that radio tuned to right-wing propaganda, and he's so completely brainwashed that he thinks his greatest worry is gays getting married!
He's undoubtedly convinced that the "Democrat Socialist Party" is ruining his life -- not to mention his beloved country -- and that liberals are the reason his wallet has thinned to nothing but pictures of his gaunt spouse and sickly, skinny kids.
Meanwhile, Limbaugh and other well-compensated voices of radio or television reaction, live in luxury, exceeded in ill-gotten wealth only by the corporate Fat Cats who hire them to keep
the masses from angrily identifying their true enemy.
That allows the Silk Suits to laugh all the way to the bank, and then lean back with Mint Juleps in their poolside gazebos, while poor bastards like my guy in that truck fart out the remains of their
last unhealthy meal.
Or maybe a little cheap beer.
But here's the real kicker:
A father from our area, pretty much like that Chevy dude, sent his son off to war a couple years back.
"There aren't any jobs here, anyway. Plus, you'll learn a useful trade."
He did so with teary-eyed pride, emphatically believing both this nation's foreign policy myths and George Bush's lies.
It was beyond his awareness to comprehend that the U.S. aggressing a sovereign country for fraudulent reasons, in blatant violation of international law, made us no different than Nazis attacking Poland in 1939, or the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.
Despite letters from his boy that contained strange passages that a more critical soul would have seen as indicators of things on the battlefield being much different than what Republicans gloriously portrayed, Dad never let his patriotism waver.
Publicized photos of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse didn't faze him, because right-wing media "explained" it all to his manipulated satisfaction.
Then, one tragic day, his precious child got blown to bloody shards by a rocket-propelled grenade. Shortly thereafter, what was left of him came home in a box, and was lowered beneath cemetery sod as a bugler played taps.
The greatest tragedy, however, is that Dad will probably go to his own grave, decades from now, still convinced that his "Hometown Hero" served a noble cause, never mind those many thousands of foreign innocents who were themselves violently killed because the Americans needlessly, wrongfully invaded.
Or maybe, at some clarifying moment in otherwise foggy old age, he'll have an epiphany, understanding that his entire life was spent fleshing out a massive Fox News falsehood.
That medal from the President, presented posthumously, will suddenly lose it's luster.
It'll perhaps get hurled against the wall, leading nursing home residents to wonder what that bang and the accompanying, agonized scream were all about.
That's what it sadly boils down to for rank-and-file conservatives.
They'll either die entirely unreconstructed and unenlightened, clinging to absurdity until the very end.
Or they'll eventually see the light, as the armor of their fallacies finally turns to fully-powdered rust.There's nothing worse than realizing -- too late -- that one's entire existence was spent living, breathing, sweating, and bleeding to advance somebody else's abysmally selfish, decidedly wicked agenda.
It just doesn't get any worse than this | The Smirking Chimp