Friday, January 4, 2008
Georg Washington Meets George Bush
Have you ever read the chapter of Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" titled the Grand Inquisitor?
Jesus Christ comes back to earth at the time of the Spanish Inquisition and He is sentenced to death and jailed in a dungeon for impersonating the living God and fomenting radical ideas. The night before He is to be burned at the stake, the Gran Inquisitor visits Him in His cell.
The Inquisitor recognizes that He is in fact Christ, and apologizes, but says that things have changed, that the people cannot hear such ideas of freedom, that is dangerous to the church and so for the good of the world, Christ will have to be put to death again.
If Washington or Jefferson were to visit us today, I am afraid that the same thing would happen. I am afraid that after getting over the shock of modernity that Washington would look at the size of government, the 1000 page tomes of Federal law, the endless list of taxes, the military bases all over the world, the thousands of bureaucrats and lobbyists, the information that the government collects about every one of us and he would begin to preach freedom. He would exort us to throw off our blinders and our shackles and walk free once more as free men and women do. I think that he would be seen to be a novelty at first, but people might begin to listen to his message. Some would begin to question every bit of indoctrination fed to them. And then Washington would have to be eliminated, just like the Gran Inquisitor sentenced Christ to die en el auto de fé, Washington would have to be sent to Guantánamo to be silenced.
So General Washington is being held in handcuffs chained to leg restraints in some featureless CIA basement in Virginia, where he recieves a visit from the President and the vice President.
Dubya looks at the great founder of our nation, bent double and dressed in an orange jump suit suit with his hands chained to his feet. Dubya looks surprised and a bit guilty, he looks around, but only finds Dick Cheney there. Dubya smiles a little to Cheney, the old man doesn't look very intimidating now. He doesn't look so big and dignified doubled over like that in the garish orange suit. Now with a hint of scorn in his voice, Dubya directs himself to General Washington:
“Well – see uh - thangs are a lil difernt now, an uh, Ah mean they're difernt from whan you was here before, you know, uh we uh now we gotta pertect the worl from dangerous people. Terrorishts. An uh we're shtrengthening democrashy now, an uh that means that the people gotta uh they gotta reshpect authority, an uh thats me. So uh Ah know you’re a great man, but for the good of our country and our freedoms we’re gonna have to make the hard deshishion”
George Washington stares silently into Dubya's face and Dubya looks up at Dick Cheney with doubt in his eye. Dick gives a little nod of the head and directs his cold glare at President Washington. "He's a very dangerous man Mr. President and he knows too much to ever be released. I'm afraid Guantánamo is too risky, we'd better render him over to the Syrians, they'll know what to do". Cheney's snear reassures Dubya and they leave the room without another word.
George Washington looks at his feet and asks God quietly: "why did You send me back here? I have failed and our great dream is become hell on earth"
I wake up sweating in my bed, heart throbbing and a tear sliding down my cheek. What happened? Thank God its but a dream, or is it? Have I been given a responsibility from beyond?
The morning finds me knocking on an unknown door in my town - "Good morning ma'am, my name is Chris and I would like to talk to you for a minute about recovering our freedom by voting for Dr. Ron Paul....."