When I was a child and my pappy was in his cups, he’d raise his head from the bar, fix me with his one good eye and say, “Son, When the tough get going, the going gets tough,” and then he would pass out again.
It was sound advice, even if he never followed it, advice you would do well to follow now that your economic house of cards is collapsing around you. As with any crisis, the first and only consideration is covering your ass. You have spent seven years building your legacy and you certainly don’t want to see it trashed simply because our Corporatists have taken advantage of the economic freedom they’ve won to shoot themselves in their collective foot.
It was inevitable. A free economy is a Kamikaze economy. As it pitches earthward it never fails to enrich the grand strategists who engineered its fall. So, what the fuck, the deed is done and now all you need do is to keep the proles from open revolt.
What is called for is some diversionary strategies that will deflect attention away from the gradual impoverishment of America’s middle and working classes. No matter how bad the crisis, it is crucial that capital continue its upward movement away from the masses and towards our elite. The primary vehicle for this upward leeching is our elephantine defense establishment. It is this that must be protected at all cost. The danger is that some damn fool will ask why we are spending all this money on useless military hardware when the country is broke, and what in the hell are we doing wasting all that money just so we can lose a war in Iraq.
Sex has always been a great diversionary tool. This idea of a sexual revolution in the sixties is a myth because America remains a puritanical nation even thought more of her children are getting laid at a younger age. Our Puritanism is reflected in our puritanical porn. I have always contended that if you want to encourage abstinence in our youth, you should force them to watch eight straight hours of porn. That would cure them.
Karl made brilliant use of sex in the 2004 election by rallying the base over the specter of gay marriage. This brought out your base and, with a little help from black boxes, gave you a second term. However, I have my doubts about a repeat performance. In 2004, the country still maintained its fantasy of prosperity as the proles sank even further into debt so they could believe they were living the good life even as they dropped down the economic ladder.
This illusion no longer holds, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore sex. A thin line separates sexual passion from political passion, so the more repressed the proles are, the greater is society’s stability. But, I don’t think sex is enough to divert the proles from their increasingly empty stomachs.
After sex, the most effective diversionary tactic is war. But there is a caveat to this. For war to divert the masses, it must be total war. This is the problem with Iraq and it was the problem with Vietnam. Both were pussy wars fought for limited, imperial objectives. War only diverts when it is a totalistic struggle between life and death.
So, it might be time to ramp things up a bit and find an excuse to take out the entire Muslim world. Your rightwing hate mongers have been preparing the way with their screeds against brown skins and Islam. The short answer to your problem is to manufacture a provocation, bomb the shit out of Iraq, and then broaden the conflict to engulf the entire Middle East. Declare total mobilization as Christianity finally gets the balls to finish the job it started with the Crusades. A total war against Islam would surely spark a Christian revival that would give you the bigoted energy that would guarantee at least decades of war as we spread Christianity to the oil fields of Arabia.
Of course, those who were not of the one, true faith and those who actually paid attention to Jesus’ teachings would have to be dealt with. Fortunately, the camps have already been constructed, so I don’t see that as being a particular problem.
Imperial wars are for wimps. It takes a man to fight a total war. Whip up some war fever, and our economic meltdown will be relegated to the business pages which nobody bothers reading anyway. Best of all, history would remember you as the Joshua who brought down the walls of Jericho by blowing a lot of hot air.