Stop Me If You Have Heard This Before
Stop Me If You Have Heard This Before
By Robert Coutinho
Spoiler alert: you will obviously not be able to stop me before the end, since this is a written article. You will not be able to exclusively define about whom I am speaking.
• A country has a checkered past when it comes to military engagements.
• The country elects a mad-man, a populist who holds rallies where unrelated drivel is chanted.
• There was a severe economic downturn a few years before the man gains power.
• The mad-man did not get a consensus from the voting public—however, his Party refused to cooperate with any other party, so the government was (previously) blocked from doing nearly anything.
• The Party leaders knew that the mad-man was a bad guy, but, hey, they could control him. They need him in order to gain full power.
• The Leader villifies a heredetary group. The members of the group did not choose their status, nor can they change it. He also villifies a group one has to choose to join.
• The Leader proposes popular ideas to the masses, including universal health care, a large infrastructure project, making sure that the villified group does not get to participate in the job-creation—since “they” are the problem in the first place.
• The Leader wants to get rid of all of “them.” They are villains. They cause economic problems just by existing in “our” country. Throw all of “them” out.
• The Leader’s followers wear a distinctive article of clothing that is mostly red (appropriately somewhat the color of blood).
• The Leader urges his followers to rough up anyone trying to interfere with his rallies.
• The Leader identifies a Communist Country as a major threat to “our” economic survival.
• Anyone who disagrees with the Leader is labeled by a leftish description, which the party faithful understand to be a pejorative.
• The members of the country are really into showing their superiority. Thus, at the Olympic Games, they chant to urge on athletes from their country. Although other countries also do this, the members of the Leader’s country do it virtually to excess.
• The Leader seems to have an unnatural affection for the leader of a weaker country. That weaker country used to be hostile to “our” country, but that does not stop the Leader from doing everything in his power to cement relations with them. It seems odd because there are not really any economic or political world relations benefits to cultivating this friendship.
• Nobody listens to the warning cries because there is a world-body organization that is supposed to stop wars and aggression. All the cool countries belong—so it should be okay. The problem is that this organization has no authority to stop the country with the mad-man Leader.
• The Leader’s Party has a propaganda system that repeats what the party wants. Its paid shills seem to have no ethics regarding accuracy. This system is multi-media, that is to say, it comprises more than one system of distributing information. It uses the latest technology to its advantage. No one had any way of stopping the dissemination of false information, so those who notice the danger have little means of stopping it.
• Prominent scientists are ridiculed for Party purposes.
• Even though the Party uses the media, they label the media and the free press as enemies of the people.
• The Leader uses the power of the government to lock the “others” in concentration camps, prisons or other such places.
• The “Others” are labeled as having no legal rights in “our” country.
• The “Others” have their children taken away.
• The “Others” are subtlely (and at times no so subtlely) made out to be lesser beings.
• Some people related to the “Others” think that they can change the Party attitude from within. They like the capacity of the Party to get things done, so they throw their lot in with the Party and its toxic leader.
• Promissing to eliminate corruption, the Leader instead installs the most corrupt government in the history of “our” country.
• The Leader insists that “we” have such a strong military that we are practically immune from hostile takeover—but only if “we” keep our military extremely strong.
• The Leader keeps sending “our” troops into various hot spots (miltarily) for dubious reasons. It does, however, allow “our” troops to see how well their weapons work.
• “Our” industrial might is considered top-notch, however, there is a more populous country that either has or may take over the top spot in the future.
• The Leader lies. His word is absolutely worthless. He breaks promises—even those in writing—with reckless abandon. Even though this is the case, “our” economic might is so great that other world leaders feel compelled to make deals with The Leader anyways.
• The Leader considers himself to be the smartest person on the planet. He frequently dismisses suggestions from scientists, economists, politicians, businessmen, etc. This leads to chaos and suboptimal results.
• The Leader is supported by Christian denominations because he is against a boogey-man group. That boogey-man group is hostile to Christianity.
• The Leader insists that only he can protect “us” from calamities.
• The Leader never takes responsibility for failures and never shares praise for successes. Even still, many well-educated people fall under his spell and work with and for him. A fair number of those who do end up with destroyed reputations.
• The Leader tends to wear a distinctive article of clothing which is not abberant, but is also not all that commonly worn.
• The Leader has a distinctive hair style.
• The capacity of the government to spy on citizens has never been so thorough before. New technology makes privacy from such intrusions practically impossible.
• The Leader could have been stopped by a member of the Justice System. That person, however, does not stop the injustice from happening. This emboldens the Leader. He decides to use the Justice System for his own purposes from that point onward—and not really clandestinely either.
• The citizens of “our” country are mostly apathetic to politics and believe that it will not really change anything regardless of who is running the country. They are willing to allow The Leader to do so, as long as they can keep a reasonable standard of living. They allow the “others” to be persecuted because they are not part of any the chosen or heredetary groups singled out for persecution.
• “Our” country is made up of smaller poltical entities that are grouped into one stronger government.
• The Leader and the party propaganda machine make up crises so that The Leader can solve them. He proudly declares his solving of problems that never existed in the first place.
• The Party uses patriotism and founding-politican name-dropping to gain loyalty from its followers. It does not seem to matter that the founding politicians really have nothing in common with the current poltical system.
Robert Coutinho is a disabled pharmaceutical chemist living in Massachusetts. He has been learning about life, the universe, and everything since he was born in 1963. He has had little else to do since his disability began in 1997. He has written a fictional novel, Their Last Best Hope, which is currently available at Tate Publishing, internet venues, and bookstores.