The Power of Power
Of all the abstract notions that motivate human beings to behave as they do, power, it seems, is the most compelling. Truth and beauty, fame and wealth — they’re nice. But power (and the mad pursuit of it) makes people betray the basic tenets of decency that allegedly govern our interactions. Power is like a bilge pump that pushes the most noxious secretions from the bottom of our soul to the surface, where they infect all who come into contact.
Throughout history human beings have seen lives altered (and lost) at the hands of “madmen” who became intoxicated with the elixir of influence. This is not a recent phenomenon. But events of the past week remind us again that when crazy people get a hold of some power, they’re mortified to let go — so much so that they will do things that the great superegos of Church and The Law have taught them are wrong. The miscreants are immune to these civilizing influences because they are themselves the chief representatives of Church and Law.
Cardinal John Mahony, who would like very much to retain control of all the Catholics in Los Angeles, lied to investigators about (yet more) pedophilia in his diocese. He said that videotape the Church had found in the bedroom of one of their naughty priests contained footage of fully clothed teenaged boys engaging in non-sexual conduct. The newspapers — controlled, like all the rest of the media, by manipulative Jews — now report that a letter has turned up in which Cardinal Mahony admits to then Cardinal and now Pope Ratzinger that said videotape actually contains imagery of the priest in question and several partially nude boys performing overtly sexual acts.
Why would a solemn man of the cloth — Mahony, I mean — go to extraordinary lengths to protect the child molesters running rampant under his watch? Give me a P. Give me an O…
The Church can (and will) spin this latest episode of institutional rottenness in whatever way seems most plausible and useful. But only the most gullible observers (and devout Catholics would seem to be good candidates) will believe that Mahony had the best interest of his parishioners at heart. No, he was looking out for his own (presumably virgin) ass.
America’s continued folly in Iraq is the responsibility of a few super powerful men: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove. Their usually reliable modus operandi — act, spin, lie, and spin some more when the last tactic didn’t take — is finally beginning to fail, except, of course, among the kind of people who really do believe the Jews control the media. Only brave truth-tellers like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly can be trusted to depict the world as it really is. Mission accomplished, indeed!
This trio of power-mad mendicants will stop at almost nothing — save for declaring martial law — to bully America into conducting itself as they see fit. The Bush presidency will go on record as the greatest usurper of executive power in the history of the office, closer to a divine monarchy than a branch of government. Bush’s reliance on Presidential exemptions from Congressional law — nearly triple that of any other President in the history of our republic — have put him beyond the scope of any corrective action the citizenry or their impotent representatives might imagine, and his cronies’ use of a compliant media to assassinate the character of any who would question them are hallmarks of a cabal drunk on power.
The latest outrage, which, I predict, will outrage no one except the one percent or so of Americans who are more interested in the law than “American Idol,” also came to light this past week. Despite several layers of “deniability,” the news reports indicate that the summary termination — firing — of several United States Attorneys, including those in California and Michigan, were the result of not toeing the party line, that party being the Republican Party. Jurists who demonstrated an unseemly interest in investigating Republican political corruption were relieved of their jobs. The official reason was “poor performance,” and one can understand just how poor the terminated prosecutors looked in the eyes of Bush and company.
We who are victimized by the underhanded conduct of the powerful are quick to excuse their capers. Sure, Mahony and Bush and Rove do bad things, but they’re not, we assure ourselves, “bad people.” They’re just doing what comes naturally to a human being within sniffing distance of control. Wouldn’t we do the same?
The uninitiated among us say “no.” But it’s that child-like naivete that keeps regular folks on the sidelines of the power game, content to be a spectator instead of a player.
We will never be intoxicated by an ability to hurt, manipulate, and dictate to others with less strength. Perhaps it’s a blessing that some of us never become drunk on power, not once, not ever.