Dispatches From America's Class War
My guitar playing buddy, Johnson the man with two last names, lent me this book, for which I am highly indebted, I think, debt being one of the characteristics of the American "redneck" described by Joe Bageant. Bageant left his home, of Winchester Virginia 40 some years ago to join the navy, go to college and become a journalist. He returned lately and has written this book as a privileged outsider, observing the lives of his own friends and family.
In this book Bageant, let's call him Joe, explores hourly wage labor, or Americanserfdom, as he prefers to call it, predatory lending and life in a trailer park, the gun culture, Christian fundamentalism, and television as the arbiter of America's consciousness.
The chapters on fundamentalism are particularly chilling. Here's a few highlights quoted from a chapter entitled "The Covert Kingdom."
The United Nations is a tool of the Antichrist. America alone must spread the gospel around the world.
There is no need to worry about the environment because we are not going to need this earth much longer.
Israel is to be defended at all costs and even encouraged to expand because the Bible declares that Israel must rule all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates in order for the End Times prophecy to be fulfilled.
God will provide a Christian leader to shepherd the American flock as they become his chosen people to extend the gospel world wide and rid the earth of evil.
Recognize any of that rhetoric? The fundamentalists infiltrating America's government have become more sophisticated in their rhetoric since James Watt but they are still working toward the same goals. Well, we get another chance to throw them out next November. Let's take it this time. The problem is that somehow we have to get Joe sixpack to go along.
Keep current with Joe Bageant at joebageant.com.