At Only Sayin’ we are sensitive—and vulnerable—to the charge of negativity. So today, let us place our bitterness to soak in a warm glass of bile on our bedtable, and declare the good news.
While the liberal whiners whine, and the America-hating, naysaying surrender monkeys say nay and throw in their 50%-post-consumer waste/50% hemp fiber towels, our nation stands on the threshold of a monumental victory.
As I’m sure you are aware, we have been suffering under the oppressive yoke of a President hell-bent on destroying all that is good and decent in this great land. A president determined to irredeemably corrupt our national soul. To set our government and society on a course for disaster from which we can never hope to recover.
Some claim that his intentions are pure, though his methods be flawed. But we who are vigilant have always known better. We have seen his henchmen and counselors masquerading as pillars of society while relentlessly cultivating our destruction. We have watched as he furtively gathered the reins of power in his insatiable embrace. And we have seen his plan ripen and grow heavy on the bough.
But rejoice, dear reader. For though you thought the harvest of that bitter fruit inevitable and were resigned to shatter your body upon the barricades in futile glory, or fall honorably upon your own blade, or worse still, to move to Canada—I tell you we have snatched victory from the ravenous jaws of defeat. The president’s conspiracy has been thwarted and we will soon consign his nefarious plot to history’s overflowing dustbin, along with 8-track tapes and most of the world’s glaciers.
For those of you who do not follow the thread of politics, I am speaking, of course, about President James Madison.
‘Twould be a bitter blow to the man known as “Jemmy,”—an inoffensive moniker that belied his infernal proclivities and craven lust for power—to know that his intrigues have failed. As he prepared to leave office in 1816, so confident was he that his machinations had matured beyond any chance of countering, that he dropped all pretense and brashly taunted our nation in his final address to congress, declaring to have established…
A government pursuing the public good as its sole object, and regulating its means by the great principles consecrated in its charter, and by those moral principles to which they are so well allied; a government which watches over the purity of elections, the freedom of speech, and the press, trial by jury, and the equal interdict against encroachments and compacts between religion and the state; which maintains inviolably the maxims of public faith, the security of persons and property, and encourages in every authorized mode the general diffusion of knowledge which guarantees to public liberty its permanency and to those who possess the blessing the true enjoyment of it; a Government which avoids intrusions on the internal repose of other nations, and repels them from its own…a government, in a word, whose conduct within and without may bespeak the most noble of all ambitions—that of promoting peace on earth and good will to men.
If you have ever stopped short at a cross-street with your children in the back seat, you know how the imagination proceeds into the intersection alone to envision the skid, the impact that almost was, the shattering of glass and bone. So in the case of Madison’s devilish scheming must we taste the horror of a tragedy averted and tremble for our country were his perverse vision fulfilled.
But this nightmare is truly over. As the rising sun peeks in our window, its rays strike and destroy each bête noir conjured by that most petite of founders.
No longer are we susceptible to the allure of such weak and effeminate distractions as the pursuit of “the public good.” Goodness is by its very nature dissipative, absorbed to no apparent impact among the millions. It is greatness we desire. Will future generations swell with pride to know that Meals on Wheels delivered extra helpings of canned green beans this week? Twaddle! The energy of such samaritanism were better redirected to hoist high the celebrities and magnates who will wallow in surplus on our magazine covers and society pages, and who may eat and keep warm as proxies for the rest of us.
“Pure” elections? Perhaps no other facet of Madison’s invidious agenda has been so hotly contested. As people of color found means to circumvent the best intentions of Jim Crow, and the advent of womens’ suffrage rendered the once-steadfast guidepost of federal policy no more than a weather vane gyrating wildly in response to the cyclical lunar ravings of that delicate sex, preserving the integrity of the franchise has required a Herculean commitment. Thankfully, the courts have been able to leverage the saving power of voter suppression and republicans have delimited our electoral districts to ensure balance. And when all appeared lost nonetheless, electronic voting arrived and enabled us to dispense with time-consuming vote tallying, and eliminate all possibility of error by starting from the correct result and calculating the precinct totals in reverse.
With a single brilliant stroke, the noble defenders of right have also triumphed over those pestilential twins, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Yes, it has proven impossible to stop individuals from trying to turn our country from good to bad by criticizing our policies. But the consolidation of media outlets engendered by deregulation combined with the symbiotic teat-sucking that pervades the relationship of giant corporations and the government ensures that the overwhelming majority of citizens are spared the discomfort of ever being exposed to anti-American thinking. By which we mean the kind of thinking distinguished by the degree to which it diverges from the thoughts thunk by our leaders. And in the event subversive ideas find voice in the media—for example, the morale-busting assertion that Saddam Hussein did not personally pilot all four of the 9-11 aircraft—there are a handful of heroic souls who, with the battle-cry “Iraq-nine-eleven!” will hurl themselves into the trajectory of such insidious notions. Thus do they selflessly “take the bullet” of treasonous, faith-sapping lies otherwise destined to lodge in doe-eyed America’s gut.
Trial by jury. It is hard for us, living as we do in this golden age, to believe that there was a time when jurors could actually have been expected to doubt the good intentions and competence of those charged with law enforcement. But indeed, it was a stroke of diabolical genius by which Madison required criminal justice professionals to grapple for the approval of drunk, illiterate, and possibly even Irish buffoons to consummate the pure formality of converting indictments into convictions. In his arrogance, he failed to anticipate that those buffoons would evolve and develop the uncanny ability to recognize the guilty as whoever is sitting in the accused’s chair when a prosecutor describes frightening things that might happen somewhere, someday.
But just in case–no more habeus corpus. Because you can’t be too careful.
Regarding Madison’s celebrated “interdict against compacts between religion and state,
” much work remains before we can openly acknowledge the obvious: the United States is a Christian nation. Yet who can fail to detect the hand of the lamb of god in the beneficent workings of our government? Think of the millions of starving, homeless African families whose sole joy is found in the clammy, listless embrace of the children who would never have been born had aid agencies been permitted to include birth control among their family planning options. Or consider how empty would be the naves of our nation’s churches were the destitute and downtrodden able to obtain shelter and sustenance via the sterile auspices of our civic bureaucracy. And what licentiousness would be too abhorrent for the ranks of the civil service were they not ably policed by god’s anointed bureaucrats?
Madison also aimed to obstruct the well-meaning interactions of constituents and representatives in the name of preserving the “public faith.” He hoped thereby to make government ineffectual. But let Madison roll in his grave, for his cynical attempt to mark as corrupt the proper and vigorous assistance the elected provide to their deserving supporters, and to make it impossible for the beneficiaries of such services to show their just gratitude has come to naught.
What about “the security of persons and property” and the permanency of “public liberty?” Of course, Madison hoped that prohibitions against the government monitoring the actions and intentions of its citizens would enable enemies of the state to plot without hindrance and eventually destroy the nation from within. But after numerous close calls, no longer do we cower and wonder where our foes are going, who they are conspiring with, or what may be secreted in the sinister recesses of their corporal cavities.
Eager to strangle our national spirit at home, Madison was equally loathe to share our blessings abroad. But was he avoiding “intrusions on the internal repose of other nations,” or was he such a stranger to compassion that he could deny inferior cultures the fruits of our generosity and the opportunity to play some part—however insignificant—in our national epic? On this score we may a long last sleep peacefully. For never has all the love, generosity, kindness, and protection that America can offer been displayed more ubiquitously to thankful nations around the globe.
“Peace on earth and good will to men,” said Madison in closing. Did he suppress the callow laughter rising in his throat as he twisted the long knife of this lie in the heart of his homeland? Did he feel a tinge of regret for inflicting the tragedy whose fulfillment he believed sealed? Was there even a shred of humanity left in his withered soul upon which the fragile seedling of remorse could find purchase? Only Madison himself could say, and from the regions of the damned where his shade surely dwells, no wayfarer can return with report. But here on earth, in this new, budding paradise, we can rejoice that his monstrous intent has been foiled, and the true meaning of his final words salvaged at last.