An Essay by Member William:
Sometimes, when I was a boy, I would read something in a book which just seemed so vivid and meaningful, that I would always remember it.
One particular image which made a strong impression on me, came from “The Land of Oz,” which was the sequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” and every bit as good. There was a bad witch named Mombi, and she was fighting against the heroic figures: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and others. She threw up what looked like a wall of fire which terrified the Scarecrow and made him want to flee. But someone in the group had the intuitive sense that the wall of fire was an illusion, that he could walk right through it and not be burned. It took an immense effort of will for him to do it, but he did; and he was not harmed; and the heroic effort could proceed.
Then when I was a few years older, I read “The Valley of Fear” by Arthur Conan Doyle. I vividly remember a scene when the protagonist, a Pinkerton agent, was trying to infiltrate the group called the Scowrers, which was Doyle’s version of the Molly Maguires (Doyle was pretty much a Tory, so he made the Pinkerton agent the hero here). The Scowrers tested the man, who was trying to be admitted into their secret society. They had him close his eyes. Something very sharp was put next to both of his eyes, and he was told to walk forward. Of course fearing that he would be blinded, he still did so; and as he did, the sharp points melted away, and he had passed the test.
What always impressed me with these two scenes was that the protagonist had to trust to his or her sense of things, that the supposed danger was not real, but completely illusory. That the courage was in sensing that, and going forward even if it seemed most dangerous. In fact, the more dangerous it seemed, the more was the need to take the risk, because the illusion was all that the other side had. In the case of Mombi the witch, she did not actually have the power to destroy the heroes, she could only try to terrify them into giving up their efforts.
Now we will leave the world of fiction, and look at something of today: the increasingly desperate and pervasive efforts of Republicans and the media to scare people into voting against Hillary Clinton. Their goal is to somehow make this into the nature of a horror story, where Hillary is described and conveyed in such unnatural and unsettling terms, that maybe they can frighten the voters into being afraid to vote for her. It sounds weird and even insane, but that is what they are doing. This kind of thing did work, most horrifyingly, in Nazi Germany, where Goebbels’ “Big Lie” was repeated over and over again,, until it became reality to vast numbers of Germans.
What really brought home to me how this was now taking on the nature of one of those fiction stories I had read, were two things: An article in “HIllary Men,” about the virtually rabid attacks on Hillary from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, which are clearly orchestrated by the management of MSNBC. Apparently (I won’t watch it) they become more vicious by the day. And then there is this new nonsense story about Hillary, or “the Clintons” being the ones who originated the “birther” attacks on Barack Obama. Of course Hillary had zero to do with it, though the darling of much of the media, Donald Trump, carried on with it for years, as did much of the far right wing.. Further, Obama appointed Hillary Secretary of State, which is probably the second most important position in any administration. It is literally an insane suggestion, except to people who are highly suggestible, or who are being primed to hate and fear HIllary Clinton so much that they will believe anything.
So what is next? Hillary bombed Pearl Harbor? She sunk the Lusitania? She cleverly started the Great Fire of London? She is a witch, who travels through time, and is responsible for all the bad things that have happened over the centuries? Well, it wasn’t that long ago that people believed in witches; and burned women whom they thought were witches, and burned men they accused of being sorcerers. I am not sure how far the human race has progressed since then. Hopefully, most reasonable people will not believe idiocy like “Hillary started the ‘birther’ movement.” But hey, the media has all the air time, so they have endless opportunity to make up things and then go on to other ones if the first ones do not work.
Clearly, the corporate funded right wing is desperately afraid of Hillary Clinton. They cannot afford to have her win, and somehow transfer some of their trillions to the hands of working people; or to try to stop them from depredating the environment; or to give more power to women or the disenfranchised. So they have to try to frighten the voters so much that they are terrified of what will happen if she is elected. Push that lever for Hillary, and they will apparently be cast into the fiery pits of perdition.
Of course, it is all a complete illusion. Hillary would be an excellent president; and she is very accessible and warm, and would always be concerned about the voices of the people. But scaring people has proven effective many times in history. Rest assured that assuming Hillary is nominated, the Republicans will do everything possible to make it look as if the voter should choose their “nice” candidate; a friendly man who will smile at them (while he takes their money), and whom you might want to have a hamburger with, over Hillary, the archdemon,, who will despoil the land, create famines and wildfires, and laugh as she ascends to power. “Do not pull that lever, do not!!” ‘Do not walk into the fire, Scarecrow, or you will burned to ashes!!”
It is all illusion, all an evil magician’s trick to frighten people into giving the corporate powers what they most want, which is all the money, all the power, all the control of the terrified populace. I do hope that enough people are rational and brave enough to just see through this complete illusion; and realize that if they are trying to frighten you to this extent, then pretty clearly, Hillary is the best candidate in a half-century, the one who would slay the evil magicians. Never forget that the person the corporate powers most hated, and most tried to demonize, in the last hundred years, was Franklin D. Roosevelt. I am ashamed as a human being to note that bankers were literally dancing in the streets when his death was announced. So realize all this, American voters, and be brave; just walk right through the illusory wall of fire, or the phantasmagoric daggers being waved in front of you to try to get you not to do the right thing, the thing that will save you, but to instead be frightened into doing the very thing that the evil forces want you to do.