Nope. This is not the title of a new Hollywood blockbuster, planned for Thanksgiving release, starring Robert DeNiro and Danny DeVito. Sorry to get your hopes up.
No! Attention shoppers! It’s Double Dictator Green Stamp Day.
How silly of me to take so long to figure this out.
Now, we all know what makes a right and proper dictator. But in case your memory needs jogged, a dictator is the Big Kahuna at the top of the government refuse heap to whom one may not utter discouraging words like: "no." He’s the smarmy fellow who signs his name at the bottom, and doodles along edges, of all laws that he deigns not to veto… and then proceeds to ignore those very same laws himself. You know, that old chestnut: "executive privilege." Additionally, he’s immune from SWAT teams storming his office to haul him off in shackles.
Well folks, here in America we order our burgers "BIG," with a healthy side order of chicken fried bacon. Super Size Me. We like our McMansions with twelve fake gables and dual spiral staircases leading nowhere… even though none of us can afford the mortgage anymore. Even as the foundation crumbles, Americans spend, spend, spend! And we like our cars to guzzle gas while we go cruisin’ down the highway to Vegas! Yeah baby! I’m feelin’ lucky!
So when it comes to prostrating ourselves before a power mad Supreme Beloved Decider in this Fundemento-Facist Corporatocracy, why piddle around with only one dictator? This is America! Bigger and better is the American way. Two cars in the garage and two dictators in the White House!
Hey, that’s innovative! I don’t recall any functional double dictatorships from my history classes.
I can tell by the look in your eye… well the one I imagine… you are confused. Time for the Modern American civics lesson.
You see about two hundred years ago, the Founding Fathers had this notion of the separation of Church and State. All fine and dandy back then but in the 21st century, it’s like so… iRetro.
Well, the great minds and the cracked staff… er, crack staff… of the Republican Party have solved the dilemma for us. Using deficit spending, we can have two dictators for the price of four… or eight… or sixteen! The possibilities are endless.
The 47 million Americans without health coverage deal with cognitive dissonance by acting out via their Second Life avatar or by selecting Fergie or 50 Cent at the local Karaoke Bar. Unfortunately, our "elected officials" in the highest levels of government rarely have such healthy outlets. This deprivation can throw a monkey wrench in the works of their "mental disfunctioning."
OK, mix two parts of cognitive dissonance with one jigger of inflated American delusions (shaken, not stirred), and what have you got? Dictator Numero Uno! In the lead role of "El Presidente" we have our raving Bible thumping lunatic, George W. Bush. Pishaw, who am I foolin’? All y’all knew that.
Of late… like the past six-and-a-half years, Little Bush has been a bit confusing. What do you make of it when he talks tough but then trips over Bandini mountains of rhetoric? "There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once — shame on — shame on you. You fool me — you can’t get fooled again" Such eloquence does not a strong leader make.
What is he? A man, a bird, a platinum-plated brat playing "war president"? A runaway spend-a-holic? A dry drunk? A complete idiot? He’s all this and more! And nobody can tell him "no." The only difference between Bush and Paris Hilton is that she waited until she went to jail to find religion.
Is George a good Christian? Well… would Jesus lie to the world to start a war that, by now, has killed hundreds of thousands of people?
Whatever, George insists that he is on a mission from God. I simply can’t wait for Armageddon in the shape of not one but several mushroom clouds. Hallelujah! Won’t that be fun! "Lawdy Miss Scarlett! We’ all gwine to die!" Oh the Rapture! I get all tingly just thinking about it.
So! George is our Theological Dictator. It sure does help that he’s totally insane. I mean, sane dictators are so dull.
OK, that’s one Dictator, where’s Numero Dos?
Aha! He’s hiding out in the "fourth" branch of government? We all know what, or who that is. Why it’s our beloved VP "acting president" Dead-Eye Dick Cheney. He’s got the State locked down. No voices speaking to him while he sits on the commode praying everything comes out in a global fireball.
"Cheney thrives in darkness." You think he needs the soil of his native land to sleep? Hey, maybe when he wants to go to a "secure, undisclosed location," he just digs into that Transylvanian dirt stashed inside those man-sized Mosler safes at his office.
With a snarl that only a mother with cataracts could love, Cheney’s the neocon poster boy. It’s a simple agenda for him. Total nuclear annihilation of the Middle East: Then he can send in some lead-suited human sacrifices to pump out the oil. Possibly all that radioactive gasoline from the wasteland will improve gas mileage.
And you can’t tell Dick "no" either. That means Cheney is our Official State Dictator. Doesn’t that make you go all wobbly in the knees?
Just think, Church and State separated by two dictators! I’ll bet old Thomas Jefferson never expected that scuffed and tarred curve ball.
And you know what? I’m not worried about the future… stop laughing! Some of us will survive to buy snap-crackle and pop petrol at the Crystal Chapel of Enraptured Delusions, Bait Shop and Fillin’ Station. Put a prayer in your tank!
What’s more, dictators tend to have big egos. And big egos don’t know how to work and play well with others. See, I’m not sure everything is all lovey-dovey between Dubya and Dick. Sooner or later it’s gonna be, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly… without The Good, on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Oh boy oh boy, a swell shoot ‘em up! Can’t you just see Dubya screaming: "Onward Christian Soldiers!" while Dead-Eye chugs down a Lone Star beer and takes aim? Hey, maybe this Two Dictator Solution will work!
Elizabeth Gyllensvard contributed to and edited this story.
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.