WHY IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE HAVE A TRUTH COMMISSION
This started out as a commentary on the video I produced and published on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9filoR7cfk) last week titled “8 Years.” Since then I was moved to write a commentary to accompany it, which I did when I added the video to my website www.primalspirit.com (http://www.primalspirit.com/decider-dictator.html) Writing the commentary I began to realize some important and overlooked truths concerning one of the issues that our government is facing right now. As Obama, Pelosi, Leahy, the Republicans, and all the media struggle over the issue of having a truth commission to look into possible illegalities committed by Bush-Cheney, I was flooded with one of those obvious truths, the common sense kind, that gets lost in the complexities of personalities and politics.
On one of my websites, Primal Spirit: Powerful Catalysts for Fundamental Growth of Self, Society, and Planet, we haven’t yet had occasion to publish too much, some…not a lot, on the “powerful catalysts to society” part of the title . . . until now. For just as on the individual level, as in primal therapy, hidden TRUTH must be uncovered, faced, dealt with, and ONLY THEN put behind oneself; so also must society uncover its hidden truths or it will be sick. And by sick, I mean the same thing that Santayana meant when he said “A society that does not remember its history is doomed to repeat it.” So far, nothing big there. Then it hit me: But if history is not known, how can one help but repeat it? In the current situation, if we DO NOT look into what was done by Bush-Cheney during the 8 years that, as my video points out, numerous scholars have determined was America’s first dictatorship, then we will not have a TRUE history of what happened. And if our history is not true, then it is fantasy, speculation, or propaganda. In that situation, which is our current one, unless we have that truth commission, we “are doomed to repeat it.” Repeat what? DICTATORSHIP. And the even sadder thing is that when we fail to learn from our past experience, whether as individuals or societies or nations, when it repeats, it repeats in a bigger form, carrying more impact, force, devastation…more dire consequences.
We have numerous historical examples of this pattern in recent history alone – on both sides. When Germany, South Africa, and Japan faced and dealt with the horribles of their recent past (after WWII for Germany and Japan; after the end of apartheid for South Africa), they went forward and prospered tremendously, even phenomenally.
Everyone quotes Santayana on history repeating. How then can no one seem to make the connection that your history has to be TRUE HISTORY not a web of lies hiding deep and festering wrongs. So it is just as important for nations and societies to uncover its repressed truth, in order to heal, as it is for the Individual
And just as on the individual level, if our nation — specifically right now our government — continues to deny,refuses to let our truth rise up to heal us, or simply, as Obama may end up doing, look the other way on the grounds that there are more important things to deal with, well then as a nation — just as individuals, we are driven to continually re-enact our biggest mistakes over and over despite our best efforts not to — so also on the level of the nation or society, we will fix a problem only to see it rise up again during the next election cycle.
In fact, it is exactly that lack of facing the truth that has led to the current global economic implosion, started here in the U.S. Reaganomics caused that; we are finally admitting on our talk shows. Yet we had 12 years of Reaganomics from 1981 through 1992. And during that time, we saw how effective it was: it not only almost quadrupled the national debt during the 12 years of Reagan and Bush, Sr., it not only severely unbalanced the budget, but it caused a recession so important that it led to Clinton winning the Presidency on the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid!”
Despite the fact the Clinton reversed that downswing dramatically by REVERSING Reaganomics; and despite the fact that his policies helped create one of the most prosperous decades in recent history, even leaving a surplus for the next administration, not a peep was heard about the disastrous experiment Reaganomics turned out to be. Apparently our country was not about to call Reagan wrong at that time; too many idiots felt that somehow we had to treat him like a nice Grandad and not say anything unseemly, regardless of how the rest of the country would fare. I fear there were more insidious reasons than that for not broadcasting what we had learned, as such a cost.
And it was just that lack of truth-telling of the obvious, so as not to smear Reagan, though his economics was a horrible failure and it had been proven to be so, that allowed Bush to come in and go about doing Reagan’s mistake, only doing it several powers greater and doing it sooner. Bush came in and gave the budget surplus to the wealthy, without a peep from any in the media or any outrage on the part of Americans, most of whom had suffered through the recession only a decade earlier.
But the average American would not know economics like the experts, the media, and the government. So it was tragic to refuse to point out that Bush’s ideas had already been tried by Reagan and his father with horrible consequences. Everyone kept quiet and suppressed the knowledge of their own experience.
What happened? We “were doomed to repeat it,” only karma seemed to have a part because we are not just repeating it. We are being punished severely with one of the worst economic downturns in America’s history; and it seems to me we deserve it because obviously the lesser medicine did not teach Americans and their media and leaders a damn thing; but with this one; oh, well, NOW, we are hearing that trickle-down Reaganomics started it all. So if we are too stupid to learn from a mistake, that mistake will come back bigger and bigger until we wake up and realize that the path we are on is not working.
Now this is very important, why?
Because scholars have determined that in studying the actions of Bush-Cheney, America, for the first time in its history, went into a dictatorship, meaning that their policies, which involved tossing out the Constitution, and pillar-by-pillar removing the foundations of our rights, our freedoms, and our democracy, including even the right to have a vote that will be counted, or more specifically, will be counted in favor of the person you voted for, not counted toward the opponent. Consider that the ones with expertise in poring over all the documents and data have determined that we had a smokescreen of democracy and freedom talk, but that actually we were living in a dictatorship.
There are scholars galore putting out books delineating the ways in which our Executive Branch acted as literal traitors, and worse, to America, and list the grounds upon which Bush and Cheney would be tried for murder, for starters, if they were anyone else in America. …
If these truths are not faced by our country, God help us. For just as voodoo economics returned, with results many, many times worse than the first time; well, what can we imagine would happen if we don’t face the truth about the dictatorship of George W. Bush, the loss of rights and freedom and honest elections?
For one thing, consider how easily this dictator rose to power. Our supposed democracy didn’t stop him, like it is assumed democracy will. If we don’t take in that lesson, not only are we doomed to repeat these horrible eight years, but we are leaving a door wide open for the next one; and if you think you have to have concentration camps in order to see dictatorship, well, gee, just guess what you are going to get under the next American dictator.
And this will surely happen for it is simple common sense that anyone would understand if it were related to something in their commercial life. You don’t see farmers feeding the wrong kind of grain to their livestock more than one time, do you; can you even imagine it? Than why would we think that we can ignore finding out what happened and fixing it in order to keep something worse than it from happening in the future when it comes to politics?
Is it that we think that as Americans we are immune from something so horrible? Then are we a nation of Pollyannas? And how many Katrinas, Iraqs, Vietnams, Bush-Cheneys, being rated at the bottom in health care among developed nations, having one of the shortest life expectancies among developed nations, having one of the worst educational systems, and having one of the lowest standards of livings among developed nations kinds of events is it going to take before people stop engaging in magical thinking, believing the things that pandering Republicans will tell them to hide these facts, instead of taking their truth from the experiences of their own lives?
I hope all Americans and our representatives will resist the tendency to run away from the unpleasant past and instead find ways, and there are plenty of easy ways, to turn and face the darkness behind us, so that we will not be forced to walk through an even blacker and more horrible darkness before us.