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THE HOUDINI PROTOCOL
TO ELECT GEORGE W. BUSH
Contributing Editor - June, 2004
George Bush has not been packaged; he has Ė in fact - been invented
Iím really trying to understand it. How in the world can almost half the voting public still believe that George W. Bush belongs in the White House? How in the world can any American, other than the most closed minded member of the extreme right, believe that the man who has taken us into the jaws of hell deserves another term of office? How in the world, indeedÖ..
Somewhere in the American psyche there has to be receptor cell that absorbs and processes effective propaganda. Iím reminded of the toothpaste that sells across the nation because it promises that whiter teeth can lead to everlasting love. Itís not that Americans are unintelligent or naÔve, itís just that weíre so extraordinarily hopeful. Iím truly convinced that the people of this country want to believe that good things can happen, because that makes life far more livable. And that, in a strange way, may explain how in the world tens of millions of people have been taken in by Karl Rove.
Harry Houdini was the best. He could make people believe what they knew was not so, and swear to it. He was the grand master of illusion that defied oneís senses and betrayed oneís reason. Luckily, Houdini was a performer and an entertainer. Had he been a political strategist, he might have had a serious competitor in Karl Rove.
The presidency is often packaged for public consumption. Standard operating procedure puts the candidateís best foot forward and disguises or hides his flaws. But George Bush has not been packaged; he has Ė in fact - been invented. It is Roveís ability to create a man who does not exist that sets him apart as the master magician. It is his uncanny skill at selling voters an imaginary product that has to be exposed. It is vital that the American voter be startled back into reality and realizes what in the world has happened.
GEORGE BUSH THE LEADER was born on September 11th, 2001. With the help of a staff of really good speech writers, the bumbling, poorly spoken American president was transformed almost overnight. What Americans saw and heard was a very ordinary man reading extraordinary words written for him in response to a tragic attack on the nation. What they believed they saw was a strong leader who knew what was going on, and who knew what he was doing. He did not. No matter, - the image was planted.
GEORGE BUSH THE STRONG MAN was sculpted bit by bit as the Karl Rove terror trap was set to ensnare the nation. Cleverly phrased speeches delivered by the President and his cadre of sycophants convinced the public that an attack in Afghanistan would eliminate the Al Qaeda threat against the US and the world. It did not. No matter, - the image was taking root.
GEORGE BUSH THE STATESMAN emerged when the man who had referred to Africa as a country was placed before the Congress and the United Nations to promote the neocon dream of global domination. It became more and more difficult for many Americans to detect the deception. No matter that most of the international world saw through the straw man, - the image was taking on a life of its own.
GEORGE BUSH THE SELF-RELIANT was a distortion of George Bush the defiant. To hell with the UN, with world opinion, and with diplomacy, - George Bush would go it alone. He would assemble a meaningless coalition of minor nations in need of postwar contracts. He would create the illusion that other nations were contributing significant numbers of troops and a fair amount of financial support to his war. No matter that the people marched throughout the world in opposition to his policy, and that he had no clue as to where he was going Ė the image was flexing muscles.
GEORGE BUSH THE LIBERATOR lied to the people. He then lied and lied and lied some more. But with Houdini skill, the illusion became the reality, and the lies became the truth, invasion became liberation, and a horrific war became a noble endeavor. The rationale for war was changed over and over, as the lies were revealed and denied. The war to save America from imminent annihilation by Saddam Hussein became a war to liberate the Iraqi people. No matter that thousands died, and that there was no reason to kill and be killed Ė the image actually began to believe in itself.
GEORGE BUSH THE WARRIOR believing he was GI Joe, was dressed in a flak suit and flown onto an aircraft carrier one lovely day in May. The message was loud and clear, thanks to the Karl Rove banner department: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! George Bush had been molded from the AWOL National Guardsmen he was into a stalwart war president. No matter that the bloodshed and chaos were just beginning and that no exit plan had been made, - the image would look so very good in campaign ads to come.
GEORGE BUSH THE BELIEVER was given God as his co-pilot. He was presented to the deeply pious as the messenger of his God, and to the less pious as the savior of the downtrodden. George Bush was molded into a president who cared about education without funding it, and who cared about seniors whom he scammed with a bogus drug bill. Never mind that George Bush was champion of the wealthy and protector of corporations, - the image would embrace the working class and pretend to care.
GEORGE BUSH THE STRAIGHT-SHOOTER was the best trick of all. Karl Rove, hand in hand with the media, did wonders with the lies, the illegalities and the secrets of the real George Bush and company. The man who will not be held accountable for any of his misdeeds and mistakes and misrepresentations has been miraculously transformed into an honest, above board and trustworthy leader. No matter that so many questions remain about the secret energy meetings, about 9/11, about the lies that led to war, about the Plame affair, about getting our troops home, and about the prisoner abuse scandal, - the image has become frighteningly solidified and has taken on flesh and bone.
Of late, there have been a few telltale cracks in the George Bush image. The damage is not serious enough to reveal the Houdini Protocol of Karl Rove, nor does it seriously expose the illusion that still passes for the President of the United States of America. Still, one has to believe that the fabric of fantasy may have worn a bit thin and might not last into November. Could be, could not.
The final curtain will come down on Election Day, 2004. There is enough time for the master to repair what has frayed and complete the illusory effects so that the people will believe what they see. But there also time for the people to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to see for themselves what is real and what is not. The glorified image of George Bush has been craftily molded, but the best of illusions is in the end, still trickery
Recently, Condoleezza Rice suggested that George W. Bush will be remembered in history in the same light as Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Now, thatís pushing it for sure, - but those who have invented this president are priming American voters to actually believe that. Sadly there are those who will.
Hopefully there are far many more who will refuse be stage-managed and manipulated. Hopefully, there are far many more who will wonder how in the world they, or anyone else, ever believed the image in the first place.