"The View From Wheeling: A Twelve-Toed Analysis"
by Fred Reed
"I’m trying to figure out politics. It’s slow going. I’m just a holler hopper out of West Virginia, and I guess I puzzle easy. Maybe you can help me.
I reckon America is pretty much a dictatorship now. It’s because one man, just one, does anything he wants to other countries and to us and everything else. I mean, he starts trade wars, to make everything cost more, which I don’t remember anybody voting for. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, though. He sends troops to Africa without telling anybody if he feels like it, which he mostly does. I guess somebody somewhere must want our troops in Africa, but I don’t know anybody who does.
Then he puts sanctions on all the countries he’s heard of, which probably isn’t many, but maybe has a map to find new ones. You know, like Nambia. He obeys Israel like it was his mother, and wants a war with Eye-ran so he’ll get campaign money in New York, and wants a fight with places like China, and Russia too.
Now that’s smart. I bet you wake up at night and think, Dear God, please let us have a war with China, so we can all melt into chicken fat or at least Walmart won’t have anything to sell. Think how much money people would save.
Me, I reckon he’s crazier than a bag of monkeys and, like they say in Alabama, ain’t got the sense God give a crabapple. Maybe that’s just me, though. The big question is do we get turned into pork rinds in a nuclear fry-up, or just starve in a trade war? We don’t know. I don’t guess it’s our business.
On one of those nature shows on TV I saw something about about the endangered Giant Yellow Crested Cockatoon and how it makes nests in cities. I don’t know why I thought of that.
It’s a funny dictatorship, though if you think about dictatorships. It’s a crafty one, not too ugly from inside, until the fry-up anyway, sort of like a movie about that guy Orwell if Disney did it. It seems like we’ve got freedom but no power. That’s really slick. Any mosquito will tell you it’s better to suck blood from something that doesn’t notice you’re doing it.
At the baptist church down the road, the preacher, he’s the Reverend McBilly Osfeiser, he says the End Times are about here. What he said was, “Verily I say unto ye, brethren and sistern, the Last Tribulation is upon us, for in Revelation chapter 8, verses 3-5, saith the Lord, “From the deeps of Sheol a creature shall arise, with the head of a carrot and the body of a man, and he shall smite the nations of the earth, even unto the Stromatolites and Erythrocytes, and none shall remain unsmited, and they shall smite him back, and the world shall end.”
Well, I think that’s what he said. Anyway, he might of said it.
But we were talking about our dictatorship. I was going to say, then there’s Congress, that’s neutered like somebody’s pet dog and only cares about itself. That’s just how Congress is. It’s hard to tell what it’s for anymore.
A lot of people in it don’t seem right in the head. There's this woman named Elizabeth Warren who thinks she's an Indian. Well, I think I’m a French Poodle. There’s as much evidence. I don’t know whether she wears feathers or anything, maybe a belt with scalps on it. Then there’s Nancy Pelosi, who can’t make her eyes point in the same direction at once. And there’s Maxine Waters, who sticks her tongue out at people like she want to catch flies. I figure with people like that, there ought to be room for a French Poodle. I could have a dog bowl for bribes and bark every little bit for authenticity.
Part of our newfangled dictatorship is the telescreen, television I meant to say, and the newspapers, that never talk about anything they don’t want you to think about. Well, what they do is every few weeks, probably on Saturday night when everybody is out drinking beer and not watching, they put in about a sentence and a half about one of Washington’s wars, with no pictures of dead kids spread around like marmalade on buttered toast. That way they can say they’re covering the wars. They know people don’t remember anything they hear just once if there’s no pictures. But if you tell them twelve thousand times that Russia is poisoning orphans in Utah, they’ll believe it, even if Utah doesn’t have any orphans, and they have to truck a few in so they can look poisoned. Then everybody’ll want a war with Russia. Then you can get more money from them to build aircraft carriers. Some German guy figured it out.
The government doesn’t want people to think too much. It might give them brain cancer. So once in a while they have elections like mixed martial arts or a really good bar fight, fun to watch but don’t mean anything. One rascal wins and people whoop and holler but afterward it’s hard to tell which rascal won because there wasn’t enough difference between them to shine light through. Anyway, they always do what the power and money wants.
In Mexico, the rascals give people a hamburger to vote for them. It’s a better system. I mean, a hamburger is better than nothing, which is what Americans get out of elections.
The reason Washington has to blow up the world is China. If what I hear is true, China is just full of people. I mean, they’re just all over the place. That would be all right, if they left it at that. But it turns out those squinty-eyed scoundrels are smart, too, and mostly engineers, There’s more of them than of almost any kind of people except may in India, and they study pretty much all day.
That might be all right too if they left well enough alone, but they don’t. They make stuff and sell it, and make money and the people that used to be pea-turkey poor have food and flat screens and China is getting rich. Washington doesn’t like that because it can’t figure out how to make money because it’s buying aircraft carriers and so it just prints money instead of having a real economy. It’s called counterfeiting and it seems like the rest of the world is catching on to it. So that’s why we got to have a war while Washington might still win, but most likely we’ll broil like beetles in a bug-zapper. So when it happens you’ll know why, but you’ll have to think fast.