Monday, September 14, 2009

SALAZAR TO OBAMA : TANKS AND RHETORIC CAN STAMP OUT RIGHT-WING REVOLTS


MEMORANDUM

TO :
President Barack H. Obama

FROM : Kenneth Salazar (D-CO), Secretary of the Interior

RE : “Big Government Protests” in Washington, D.C. and Proposed Response

As you no doubt saw, throngs of angry people marched through Washington last week. They came from all over the country to denounce the Administration for “expanding government,” “raising taxes,” “dishonoring the military,” “destroying marriage,” “chastising banks,” “championing fairness” and “providing health care to all Americans.” Thankfully, our allies in the Press downplayed these disturbances. When they did cover the marches, they called them “insignificant,” “misguided” and pointed out various grammatical and syntactical errors on the protesters’ placards.

Yet our control over the media cannot conceal the fact that many Americans do not want our reforms. Our approval ratings are in decline. Protests such as this will continue to erupt out as we push health care reform and mortgage relief through Congress. The more help we give the American people, the more we can count on Republican protesters to march against socialism. And in the future, these revolts will not be so peaceful. After all, these are not environmentalists or gay rights advocates. These are guys from Nebraska who have known how to assemble a rifle blindfolded since before Kindergarten. Put simply, we must draft contingency plans for containing dissent against economic relief efforts. Whenever we try to help Americans get through the depression, we outrage millions.

This memo is intended to outline a plan for dealing with right-wing revolts. I understand that you always adopt a conciliatory—even cerebral—approach to dealing with dissent. I applaud your trust in reason and rational debate. But I must point out that there is no point reasoning with those who think that any action undertaken by a Democratic Congress amounts to “communism.” There is no point reasoning with people who are prepared to shoot you for daring to “expand government.” You may think this is mere error, and that your law school-style rhetoric will correct it with deft logic. You may think it is dignified to simply ignore this foolishness. Yet rhetoric is insufficient to neutralize the danger. And it is even more dangerous to sit idly by, dignified or not.

When dealing with right-wing protesters, we must speak to irrationality in a language it respects: Force. As Secretary of the Interior, it is my duty to ensure domestic tranquility and to preserve this Administration’s commitment to reform. We are not Sarah Palin; we do not think in absolutes. Nonetheless, our opposition does think in absolutes. Unless we fight fire with fire, they will infect the whole country with irrationality, rendering reform impossible.

To stop irrational disturbances, we must be prepared to show our strength. I advise against appealing to “unity” and “the national good” in order to defuse Republican outcry against reform. Rather, I advise a more aggressive approach. If the protesters think we’re advancing socialism, let us deal with them socialist-style. History provides several examples. When protesters rose up against the Chinese government in 1989, China did not grovel. It did not try to explain itself to the protesters. It did not address their concerns with respect, understanding or dignity. No, it sent in tanks and drove over anyone who still held a placard. Similarly, when the Czechs rose up against the Soviet Union in 1968, the Russians did not condescend to “explaining” why the protesters were wrong. They merely sent in tanks and arrested anyone who complained.

True, we are not a totalitarian government. But the lesson remains: When dealing with protesters, the best way to solve the problem is with tanks. If protesters think that every government initiative is “socialism” or “big government,” let us show them how big our government really is. Tanks are big, too. They can squash people too ignorant to see that we are not advocating socialism. If these protesters are unwilling to listen to our explanations about health care reform and mortgage relief, then let us reason with them with tanks.

I sincerely hope that we do not have to resort to these measures. I am confident that Americans will see that our reforms will not outlaw private employment, nor will they make it impossible for people with private health insurance to see doctors. I trust the American people. But recent disturbances do not bode well. From town hall meetings to the march in Washington last week, dissent is becoming ever more strident. Protesters say that we plan to outlaw money and create a Federal Wealth Redistribution Board that gives white taxpayers’ money to black mothers with at least seven children and two felony convictions. They say that we plan to commute all black criminals’ sentences and appoint them to high positions in the Federal government. They say we plan to force Burger King to give any American a free Whopper® if he asks for one. They even say that we plan to close down all retail stores and replace them with “government handout shops,” in which every American must wait in line for every single consumer commodity.

How can rhetoric correct these misconceptions? How can we possibly set the record straight with people who believe these things? You can orate until you are blue in the face with disgruntled Republicans. But if they believe that you plan to abolish the Supreme Court and create a new Court composed solely of illegal aliens, what can you say to change their minds? They will call you a liar or worse. Then they will say that you plan to make every Friday “National People’s Worker Day” and force all white children to sing “The Internationale” before saluting the flag in the morning. You might think these are imaginary fears. As Secretary of the Interior, however, I have information proving that protesters believe all these things. They even think you plan to create an African Assistance Fund that will transfer all the profits of the Fortune 500 to the Zambian National Treasury. To top it off, there is a substantial number who believe that you are neither an American citizen nor even an earthling; rather, they think you were born on the dark side of the moon. Put simply, you cannot trust your oratory or your knowledge as a constitutional scholar to prevail over people who believe these things.

Mr. President, you must trust tanks. If you wish to contain ever-growing Republican dissent against your vision for a more just America, you cannot depend on principle alone. You cannot depend upon reason or compassion. You cannot depend on goodwill or brotherly love. Republican protesters will label any effort to help the poor “socialism,” and they will call you a “moon-born, un-American communist dictator who wants to steal service sector jobs and give them to illiterate Mexican peasants.” You must be prepared to force these dissenters into line. If they think you want to “take away their freedom to contract,” tell them: “No I don’t,” but back it up with tanks. There’s nothing quite like tanks to reinforce your arguments. In a word, you’re not in Harvard Law School moot court anymore. You’re dealing with Republicans who bear arms. Logical arguments are all well and good. But logical arguments supported by tanks and artillery are even better.

Please consult with me as you plan your response to ever-growing Republican dissent. Discord is rising quickly. The more you talk about compassion, care and equality, the more resistance you will face. The more you talk about fairness, justice and peace, the more violence you will provoke. The more help you offer those crushed by economic disparity, the more unrest you will engender. There are strong forces arrayed against you, Mr. President. They are boiling over. They fight you now with words and recriminations. They are prepared to say anything about you, even that you were born on the moon. It is just a matter of time before their words transform into action. Today they march and call you Stalin. Tomorrow they will not be so civil. Only tanks will save you.

I am a practical man. Successful Presidents combine vision and theory with practical knowledge. Let me help you. As Secretary of the Interior, I know how to make crops grow and how to save pine trees. These are practical skills. I know nature. And I know how to deal with dangerous animals in the wild. Just as you must show force against a rabid grizzly bear, so too must you show force against rabid Republican protesters who call mortgage relief “communist big government tyranny.” When faced with a raging bull, you do not give a power point lecture about social justice or wealth inequality. Rather, you get a gun and shoot it before it kills you. These are practical skills. This is survival.

Do not give another inch, Mr. President. Enforce your vision with arguments and tanks, not just arguments. I know you do not wish to condescend to this, but this is the only practical way to avert disaster. You must defend yourself. If you continue to simply ignore those who label everything you do “socialism” and “big government,” you risk open revolt. To prevent this, simply use tanks when you must. I am certain that you will change at least a few peoples’ minds with tanks. In short, you have an opportunity to turn dissent into support. Tell the protesters: “No I am NOT obliterating the free market…and if you don’t believe me, here’s a tank in your face to prove it.” Or: “No I am NOT going to take away your private doctor…and if you don’t believe me, here’s another tank in your face.” This is not repression. This is merely “tank-assisted reasoning.” If protesters will not listen to reason alone, throw in some tanks to make your point.

There is no time to delay. You must no longer sit by while protesters make outlandish claims about your plans for America. I know you think it is dignified not to respond to these arguments. But you must start fighting back. As soon as the Republicans assemble to protest again, send in the tanks first, then make a speech about fairness and equality.

Do what is necessary. Reason with tanks. In short, Mr. President, sometimes you need to be a little irrational yourself if you want to triumph over irrationality.

1 comment:

Miss Anne said...

fucking fantastic. I....this is awesome.

Tanks are the answer.