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The Yellow Brick Road

Posted by Rick · February 7th, 2005 · No Comments

In the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, little Dorothy becomes stranded in the land of munchkins, witches, flying monkeys and, of course, the “Wizard” for whom the film is named.

Unable to obtain help from “the little people” — the munchkins — and still putting her faith in magic, she follows the advice of “the good witch,” Glenda, and takes off down the Yellow Brick Road seeking salvation from the Wizard.

What nobody knows, until that nagging little dog, Toto, pulls back the curtain, is that the Wizard of Oz isn’t a real wizard. He can’t actually fix anything. The fearsome and all-knowing Oz is nothing more than a magnificent and compelling image, manipulated by wires, pulleys and levers pulled by the fairly smart, but less than impressive to the eyes, Man Behind the Curtain.

This might seem to be the obvious place to talk about The Emporer’s New Hump, or the fact that the Man Behind the President is the unassuming Karl Rove — protégé of convicted Watergate conspirator Donald Segretti, fairly smart, but less than impressive to the eyes.

But that’s not where I’m going.

I’m not even going to talk about the similarities Bush bears to the blowhard image of The Great Oz, whose all-powerful visage was, in the end, nothing but a show designed to keep everyone in fear so the Man Behind the Curtain could maintain a position of power. For one thing, while folks used to laugh about the fact that Clinton supposedly never inhaled, one thing that differentiates Bush from the fire-breathing Wizard is that Bush never exhaled.

So I’m not going there, either.

You might expect me to talk about the Winged Monkeys, now known to us as Bush’s Minions, feverishly flying around the land spreading monkey poo and Talking Points as they go, ripping the straw out of anyone who dares to oppose them.

Not interested.

Nor will I talk here about the Guardians in their tall fancy hats who, before falling under the evil spell of the Wicked Witch of the West (her hateful face, unsurprisingly, the same envious green color as the Wizard’s), might once have used their swords and spears in defense of Truth.

No, this blog entry isn’t about paid journalists.

Today, I’m just thinking about that trek down the Yellow Brick Road. I’m thinking of how it’s important to keep from crying as I watch what’s happening to America. I don’t, after all, want to rust into immobility; it’s important to keep blogging, keep prodding, keep urging others to awaken and shake off the spell. So instead of crying, I’m wondering why all it takes is one slap from folks like Tom DeLay to turn our congressional representatives into cowardly lions. I’m worried at the number of citizens who appear to have only straw for brains and therefore have given up even trying to think for themselves.

And I’m hoping that before it’s too late we’ll realize that we’ve had it in ourselves all along to truly debate — no need to silence dissent without a hearing — and think for ourselves; that we do, in fact, have a heart; and that there’s no need to play the cowardly lion, but that the Land of the Brave can re-embrace its Constitution, do away with the winged monkeys and once again be Free to seriously discuss the issues.

But before that can happen, we need to remember: The idea of the All-Powerful Wizard is a Lie. He can’t fix anything. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Just as, in the end, the governance of Oz fell to the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow — citizens who previously felt incapable and impotent — so, too, we must realize in the end that only we, the People, can do what’s right for America. Our representatives are meant to represent us, not lord it over us. The United States was deliberately set up as a self-governing nation, a democratic republic; not a corporate oligarchy.

It’s time to pull back the curtain of secrecy that surrounds the Bush Administration. It’s time to reveal the Man Behind the Curtain. It’s time to start pulling the levers ourselves.

Get involved. Write your congressional representatives. Tell them how you feel about what’s happening. Build the kind of America you want to live in.

Categories: Social Issues


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