Talk Radio, Part 2: The Rape of Conscience

by LJ Frank

On the road………

The human conscience has been raped……… here in America and globally. Populism, oligarchism, authoritarianism and fascism are never final or even temporary solutions.

There was a saying in Europe ages ago that suggested there were three sorts of men: those that worked, those that fought and those that prayed.  It feels at times like it’s close to the truth, no matter where one lives in the world. Today conscience is experiencing a global onslaught by the Far Right – the authoritarians, populists, fascists, oligarchs. The question is how does one respond to the rapist of conscience?

History is never settled. There will always be dissent. And dissent can be healthy to an individual and a country or it can produce irreparable harm. Talk radio is deluged with rapists of conscience. Suffering exists……… the question is one of evil. 

Capitalism, for reason, is a dark force rather than one of light. A number of colonial leaders knew and understood. People without property naturally appreciated the lines of demarcation between the haves and have nots. How much can we consume before becoming obese in body and mind with the downstream effect of supporting the rich person’s bank account?  How may discount look alike celebrity fashions must we wear before realizing it’s all make-believe. How many footsteps do we follow before taking measure of our own?

Today, listening to talk radio one must ask – where did our conscience flee to? Was the 45th President just a symptom that came to fruition over years of injustices, loopholes and rooted in capitalism and its merging with religious fervor? Where are the drippings from the rich’s asses to fertilize the soil, one rare small farm owner called in to ask the radio host.

The crack lines in the foundation of democracy were evident in the 1980s. if not earlier.  Much earlier. Conscience versus avarice……… the wrath of the 1930s. Money was made off the misery of others.

Even within the dilettante cultures of the 80s………weren’t we still great back then? When did we become un-great?

Isn’t the human race an exceptional species on an exceptional planet spinning in an arm of a galaxy, one among two trillion observable galaxies?  If we had transparent skin and could see each other’s inner mechanisms, what prejudices would we invent and conjure in our brains and for what purpose?

We live in a world of damaged democracies. The United States is experiencing a raped conscience, a damaged conscience. If one listens carefully to talk radio and the background chatter of the Federalists, a reading of Project 25 and evangelicals of the Far Right we hear the voices of the rapists. 

It’s easy to assault a democracy when representative and gerrymander is forefront and merged with an extraordinarily biased Supreme Court, thanks to that gerrymandered districting. Representative democracy began precariously via property owners (oligarchal roots) being the only ones allowed to vote. Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin and others understood that…….  Especially, the two Thomas’s.

From geographical coast to coast linkages, talk radio fills the air waves with its version of truth and reality. Political and geographical boundaries merge. Alternative truth is the raping of conscience.

Visiting countryside villages, scattered cities, listening to farmers, store clerks, realtors, and other skilled professionals……living in the South for over 20 years and the stories people tell themselves ……the dialects, pieces of conversations……… the feelings of betrayal, grievance, real and manufactured, emotion near the skin surface, but evidence of the human condition is open ended. Back in the day gets tiresome and burdensome……… beliefs of a past that never existed, while manipulation of what actually was……… revisionist history is being revised again……… the humaneness, the reality, the evidence?

The Far Right coupled with partially blind religious zeal has resulted in a furthering of the rape of the conscience. If you don’t trust your friends, family and neighbors or people with whom do you do business, will there be a juncture in which you no longer trust yourself?

Which expert will you give authority over you and your actions?

The people I listen to are well meaning, what do they read and perceive……. they are surviving within their own situation. Day to day, hour to hour……… financial planning is done with what……… yeah, what bank account?  What Earth do you live on? The Wall Streeters / investors are by majority, millionaires……… they aren’t the average person on the street. 

No matter what talk radio station I listened to across the American landscape there is an envy, an anger, a sense of grievance and frivolous notions of greatness, a wariness of evidence, the seeking of false heroes………emotions dance and sing, but who is the conductor?

A red bearded pickup truck driver at a gas station nodded to me, while we pumped gas into our respective vehicles, – He said, I wish the automotive and truck engineers would program their computers to design these engines so guys like us could substitute piss for gasoline. We could just drink gallons of water and piss into the gas tank or pour our piss in from a container……… electric is transitional……… piss would save me a ton of money. What kind of business are you in?

I write.

I sell life insurance. Thinking of running for political office.

You have the right vehicle for the political life.

Thanks.

You’re welcome.

It was a short agreeable conversation. I then drove over to a coffee shop and as I walked in, I overheard a distinguished looking man in a business suit tell the woman standing next to him – a conscience doesn’t pay the bills.

Attributes of conscience are embedded in each cell of our body. When conscience is raped through physical and emotional trauma, disinformation, lies, avarice, self-delusion and ego, then dignity, human worth, civility, and civilization suffer. How resilient is the human conscience? How does the conscience adapt?