Worldview of a Local Yokel

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2020 by Uwe Bahr

If churches tell people how to vote, then these churches should be taxed. They invest in the stock market from their sheep’s tithing and own property worth more than 600 billion free of tax. At the same time, Joe Schmo toiling for Walmart has to pay his share into the coffers, thereby subsidizing the heavenly phrase mongers and their Sunday morning story time. According to a study from the University of Tampa, poverty in the United States could be eliminated if religious institutions would not be granted a pass on taxes.

“The only way to make any real money in this world was to start a religion.” L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of the Church of Scientology

In the countryside of Guns and God, where church comrades Jim Bob and Joe Bob happily shoot through their neighborhood and a widespread mentality seems out of step with realness, one will wonder no longer how things could change for the better. In lockstep with such obvious backwardness and a meticulously fostered system of “good old boys”-connections, serves a local newspaper in the scenic north Georgia mountains. The provincial paper, distinguished by its perpetual dullness, was capable of publishing the reader’s letter of an alleged Reverend, whose name I do not even want to cite on my blog.

On pages 4 and 5 in the paper’s October 14, 2020 edition, the presumed minister jabbers about a topic he in his perfected bigotry obviously never heard much more about than through dull propaganda widely distributed in the United States. His assertions culminate in the sentence that America is – quote – “on the verge of becoming a socialistic state, which is clearly the work of the great deceiver Satan.” End quote.

I wonder how much time this scriptural genius has spent with lunatic conspiracy ideologists to utter such nonsense. At this juncture, I could go through his absolute baseless gibberish about Socialism line by line and confute him, factually accompanied by verifiable historic facts and first-hand experience. Instead, I would like to refer the reader to my various writings on this blog site.

Apart from that – and probably more importantly – is the rationale that a Reverend as a religious servant should never convert himself publicly into a political ideologist. But that’s exactly what this man does, for he not only uses a poor language in a baseless and repulsive propagandistic style, but rather makes his intention abundantly clear: namely, suggesting to his readers not to vote for the Democratic candidate because the consequence would be nothing but Socialism. This, Mr. Reverend, is not only shameful in attitude and false in itself – it also incapacitates you as your boss’ servant, always in service, whose public rhetoric consequently should be separated from his political bias.1 For what you did, you should change your job.

I am more inclined at this point to express my incredulous astonishment about how in the world, in the United States of America and in the 21st century, a newspaper can publish such horrendous, ultimate mischief without at least labeling a customized warning notice, especially when the personified existence of Satan is mentioned2. This has nothing to do anymore with freedom of speech, but rather with the journalistic obligation to exercise diligence. Or do the protagonists of this newspaper assume that their own children will get educated by being exposed to such ultimate stupidity?

1 And therefore again comes George Carlin’s quotation in mind: “I don’t know how you feel, but I’m pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else.”

2 I am aware of Satan’s central character in the Bible, although the unforgettable, genuine Lutheran Pastor Thoms in his religious instructions never mentioned this horrible figure toward us children. The spook probably would have scared the hell out of us. – I had encounters with Satan in a more appropriate place – in the book of fairytales sent in 1969 over the Iron Curtain by my aunt in West-Germany. It is still on my book shelf.

Americans and their Specter of Socialism

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2020 by Uwe Bahr

The closer it gets to the election day, the more the political right in the United States is riding their hobbyhorse of “Socialism” in a desperate attempt to defend a President who not only has proved a lack of intellect and morale, but bullies, lies, and sneers. Followers that are still holding on to him – careless or clueless about the incorrectness of terms used in the heated political language – walk straight into the verbal trap, eagerly abusing the mystic expression themselves. And yet, the strenuous iteration does not make it an inch truer.

This writing comes from someone who – not voluntarily – has lived nearly thirty years in the pseudo-Socialism of the extinct German Democratic Republic (GDR). I would not want to have it back.

Nevertheless, a dose of clarification seems necessary at this point in view of the utter nonsense spreading like a virus in Trump’s America almost every time the term “Socialism” is being referenced.

So, my fellow Americans, hold on to your seats, lean back for a minute, grab one of your numerous dictionaries especially Trump supporters should always have at hand, and look up what “Socialism” stands for. I am for my part quoting for you Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (unabridged), page 2162. A pretty heavy book, by the way – but any other American dictionary will do.

Socialism is a – quote – “System or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.” End quote. Period, that’s it – no more, no less.

Got it?

A socialist command economy – I did not have to see it with my own eyes decades back for coming to the conclusion: Such state controlled, nationalized economy cannot function due to its utter inefficiency. Which makes me wonder: Where in the United States are such circumstances in existence? Is somebody out there who can please prove me wrong?

Hold your politicians, regardless of their political color, responsible for their baseless propaganda trick, don’t let them take you for a fool with an imaginary scapegoat that does not exist. Don’t fall for the catch phrases from political pied pipers who themselves have never lived in Socialism, like no American within the United States has ever even seen a glimmer of Socialism in their country.

For the sake of bettering the conditions for most Americans, it is worth noting here that an accompanying, controlling mechanism – ensuing from the government in terms of checks and balances – must be incorporated in the legal system to protect the little man from exploitation. It’s not called Socialism, but rather: Justice. Those who have – for example – ever worked for America’s largest retailer, W******, (and again, I was there, too), should know what the talk is about. The indiscriminate cut of work hours without any legal regulations versus the corporations own dictates, recurrent bullying, the shortening and eliminating of night shift allowances, the virtually non-existent access to institutions to defend themselves, a broadly lawless work environment in general, as well as a wage which does not allow hard-working Americans to make a decent living – all these facts experienced by the author disparages American citizens to a merely disposable mass of people without rights. The phrase of a “Free Country” becomes a farce here. Not even in the pseudo-Socialism of the GDR have I witnessed human beings being treated like this, which arises the question: Why do Americans, in their very own country with a Christian claim, humiliate their own people that way, albeit the means for a fair treatment and more income justice are available and could be easily arranged? Why?

By the way: If social justice is an interpretation of Socialism, then the pastor in church who commonly calls his sheep all “brothers and sisters”, obviously invoking equality, might be called a communist as well – that is, God forbid, the consecutive comparative of the spell “Socialism.”

Ironically, some 50 years ago, in that very same Socialism I lived through, once a teacher, not exactly convinced of the subject himself, asked his little students what it might look like in Communism. A girl raised her arm, stepped outside the bench and replied with an upright posture: “In Communism they are all brothers and sisters.”

By now we should know what propaganda is. If not – ask your dictionary.

John Adams, the Roosevelt’s – all Socialists?

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2020 by Uwe Bahr

Those Americans obsessed with the term “Socialism” and inclined to exploit it propaganda-like for the upcoming election should first of all consult the history books or simply a dictionary to get things straight in their head. Having spent nearly 30 years in the pseudo-Socialism of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), I have experienced history first-hand. Socialism in its definition places the means of production not in private hands, but in the hand of the state. This much is certain: No economy can effectively function under such condition.

I cannot even notice the slightest sign of such development in the United States. Instead, I see a largely absent system of government-controlled provisions which could protect the little man from being squeezed out like a lemon. If you do not know what I am talking about, go – for example – and work for America’s largest retailer and try to make it from paycheck to paycheck while caring for a family. If folks there do get additional “handouts” from the government, it originates from the ordinary taxpayer and not from those shoveling Billions into their greedy gorge. In conjunction with that, think about the unjust distribution of the enormous wealth in the United States. Think about the unscrupulous profiteering of Health Care Insurance companies at the expense and health of the common people.

If any corrective measures to curb the very big money would be judged “Socialism”, then your country in its history has produced outstanding Americans who could easily have qualified as “Socialists” – one of them long before the term was even coined.

He was John Adams, second President and the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who never owned a slave. Adams was already concerned about “the few versus the many” in the young American Republic. In other words: Despite the absence of a nobility like it existed in Europe, he feared that sooner or later the country’s wealth would be concentrated in the hands of few people and institutions to the disadvantage of the working majority.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, 26th President and a Republican, openly sided with the Unions when coal miners in Pennsylvania took their issues to the street. Try to say the word “Union” nowadays in a break room belonging to that sacred retailer mentioned further above. They will talk to you in private.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt rescued millions of Americans from the despair of the Great Depression by creating Public Works programs. He initiated Social Security, encouraged the formation of labor unions and committed himself to the revival of more equal liberty in his country.

Three great men in American history: Did they leave a smack of Socialism in the history books just because they took a stand for the general welfare?

Sure, America today finds itself in different times with different problems. But to really save the country from further decline, a new type of President combining the attitudes of the three great Presidents would have to emerge. A President with a sense of mission.

I do not see it happen anytime soon. Instead, clueless windbags on the political right parrot dull paroles about Socialism and other brainwashing nuisance, thereby polarizing and dividing the United States of America even further.

Unparalleled

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2020 by Uwe Bahr

If it was not for my American wife, I would not be in this country anymore and long back in Germany. There have been inconsistencies going on everywhere lately, but the United States are presently salient with a good deal of people revealing ominous disturbances toward a sound human mind. A public disease seems widespread in this society like another virus on its own.

In 1989/90, when we sent the self-declared peoples’ government of the GDR (East Germany) packing, I considered these apologists of Socialism the most primitive sort of people I was ever governed under and was certain that I will never see any attempts of that magnitude from a government again to play their own populace for a sucker. Obviously, I was misled here by my own presumptions.

What I am seeing today in the country of my current residence is not only shocking, but nothing more than a largely effective process of national dulling disguised as patriotism. I can’t help myself to express it in a more polite and harmless way. The adherents of Donald J. Trump – in my judgement – suffer from pathetic brainwashing including the influence of conspiracy theories, leading inevitably to a disturbed mind. Never in my life have I seen anything even close to this.

And it makes feelings even worse when noting that white Evangelicals rank among Trump’s most reliable bases. Is this what Christian morality is about? The hypocrites, who tell themselves and others you HAVE to believe in God, should be ashamed for the rest of their life.