Who says it can’t happen here?
.—”I want you to stand, raise your right hands,” and recite “the Bush Pledge,” said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: “I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States.”
The entire audience stands and pledges its allegiance to bush’s re-election. They swear an oath. Is anyone watching? This is truly symptomatic of the personality cult, and I’ve never heard of such a thing in America before.
This disturbing article comes to me via a disturbing post from Billmon, who has resurrected himself, at least for the day. He ends the post on a particularly ominous note.
And now we have local GOP Gauleiters in Florida soliciting oaths of allegiance not to the flag, not to the country, not to the constitution, but to the person of the leader — albeit still an elected one, at least for now.
One people, one country, one leader …
One step following another.
The truly sinister thing — and the reason why that Slate story made the hair stand up on the back of my neck — is that even as these people move, like sleepwalkers, towards a distinctly American version of the cult of the leader, most of them honestly appear to have no idea what they’re doing, or creating. I’m not even sure the Rovians themselves entirely understand the atavistic instincts they’ve awakened in Bush’s most loyal followers. But the current is running now, fast and strong. And we’re all heading for the rapids.
Time to change boats before the bushists force us liberals to attend struggle sessions and re-education camps.