Book Review: The Myth America Pageant
The Myth America Pageant is the first book from new author Robert Wickes, who shows he understands what the politicos do not, which is how to fix the mess in which we in America find ourselves.
WHERE IS THE AMERICA I WAS TOLD EXISTED WHEN I WAS A CHILD?
In a world filled with political punditry and self-appointed authorities on all manner of subjects; it is refreshing to read a book written by an Ordinary Joe that tells the bold truth concerning the way in which the American system really works. ‘The Myth America Pageant’ is the first-ever book written by Robert Wickes, who is a self-described ‘Ordinary Joe.’ Subtitled ‘How Government & Politics REALLY Affect the Ordinary Joe,’ it is a look into the rabbit hole of the Federal government, and how patently unfair it is to those of us who comprise the so-called Middle Class, a population that is quickly falling into bankruptcy.
The first thing the reader needs to know about this book and the man who wrote it, is that Mr. Wickes has clearly done his homework in preparing to write the book. What makes this writer wonder, however, is that if an Ordinary Joe can identify and provide solutions to the multitude of problems that currently plague our nation, then why cannot our so-called elected officials see what is going on?
Unless things are this way by design …
In describing ‘The Real Political Spectrum,’ Wickes demystifies the right vs. left paradigm, which he clearly states is there “to obscure what is really going on.” When we get to the heart of the matter, there is no appreciable difference between the democrats who are described as being from the left-wing and are known as liberals, and the right wing republicans who are described as being from the right-wing and are known as conservatives. Once we get to this certain level of power and influence, there is no difference whatsoever. The interested reader can consult their Senate and House member’s voting record for verification of this.
On pages 34-39, Wickes lists the ‘Ten Simple Steps To Socialize A Nation,’ which was written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848. Better known as the Communist Manifesto, would the reader care to guess how many of these ten ‘planks’ have been implemented into American government and society? Most people might have an impulse to answer that none of them have been implemented, but as a point of fact, it is a sad truth that ALL TEN of them have been implemented in our so-called free and democratic society.
Wickes asks a question that I had often wondered about; “Why would someone spend sometimes millions of dollars to get a job that may pay a paltry $150,000 a year?” Wickes then describes the various bonuses and perks that these people get when they are elected, and it seems that the very day after they are elected to the U.S. Congress, these elected officials begin running for re-election! These elected officials who have learned how to milk the system for their share of lobbyist money are the ones who end up with an entire career in Washington, DC. John Conyers, for one example, has spent more than forty years in Washington, DC representing Michigan’s 14th District!
The Roman historian Tacitus (55-130 A.D.) had the following to say about the number of laws put forth by a government:
“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
Wickes goes on to state that the Ten Commandments contain only 86 words; the Declaration of Independence contains only 1,322 words; and, the U.S. Constitution is just over 7,500 words. However, the Federal Register of new rulings, regulations, and proposals publishes an average of 200 pages, each and every day Congress is in session! While the relatively short Ten Commandments has been a great moral compass of ethical behavior that has been in use for hundreds and hundreds of years, the American legal system is a maze of oft-times silly and obscure laws, such as those that are pointed out from time to time as examples of an over-bearing government.
To wit, in Washington, DC; there are TEN practicing attorneys for each word of the U.S. Constitution!
And, as Wickes points out, the Federal Internal Revenue Income Tax Code is now more than 2.8 million words in length, and the tax code regulations add another 6 million words, for a total of 8.8 million words. This is 25,000 pages total!
There are now more than 80,000 registered lobbyists in Washington, DC – twice the number as there were only 25 years ago! Whose message do YOU believe is being heard by our elected officials, ours, or the message of the lobbyists, who are sitting at lunches and large banquet dinners with the elected officials? Wickes delves into this aspect of Myth America – and the results and answer to this question is frightening in its’ implications. Americans are losing a war they don’t even know they are fighting, with an ever-widening chasm between US and THEM as the only resultant outcome.
Wickes employs some imaginative examples to illustrate large numbers. In describing the true value of eight trillion dollars, he asks the reader to imagine that they are making the national household average income of $41,000 per year. At this rate, it would take 25 years just to make one million dollars. To earn a trillion dollars, it would take twenty-five million years, and to earn eight trillion (which is the total of the current budget deficit at the end of 2005), it would take two-hundred million years to accumulate an amount that the government added to the debt in just the past two years alone!
Wickes tackles what he describes as “the raging second amendment debate.” For those who are unaware of to what the second amendment refers, it is “the right to bear arms” amendment of the Constitution. According to NRA statistics up to the end of 2003 show that there are 200 million privately owned firearms in this country; with 65-70 million of them handguns. While Wickes states that it would be virtually impossible to get this many defensive weapons out of the hands of gun owners, the gun control movement has already taken care of this little problem. A couple of years back, I went into a nationwide sporting goods store, and asked the manager if I could purchase any gun in his store without having to provide my name and address information.
He began, “You have to give us multiple forms of identification,” he said.
And, so there it was. The answer of how I was going to have to eventually turn in the weapon I could have purchased on that day. The national registry of gun owners lists the name, address, and serial numbers of all guns owned and held by that person. And, when (not if) the time comes, all the government will need to do is go on a house-to-house sweep, collecting all rifles, handguns, and ammunition from the folks who live there. Think that it could never happen? Well, let me remind you that the very first thing the police in New Orleans did after hurricane Katrina was collect the rifles and handguns as the result of a house-to-house sweep, which occurred BEFORE any food or supplies was sent into the devastated area! Now, whether New Orleans was a sort of a ‘test-case’ I do not know for sure. But, it was well documented by Hollywood film director Spike Lee, in his four-hour documentary ‘When The Levees Broke.’
Perhaps the best aspect of the Myth America Pageant book, was the fact that it was written by an ‘Ordinary Joe.’ I, for one, am sick and tired of the Rush Limbaugh’s and the Ann Coulter’s of the world – self-appointed authorities on all things political. While these gas-bags rarely (if ever) get beyond the talking-point marching orders they receive from those who are truly pulling their strings.
This fresh approach should see more people taking these subjects more seriously.
But, does this book offer anything with regards to a solution of how do we fix the mess, in which we currently find ourselves? Absolutely! Part Two of the book, which can be found on pgs. 239-305, enumerates such solutions. Wickes begins by presenting a successful formula for problem solving. Without a protocol which to follow, proper and meaningful solutions can never be implemented. But, do not fear, as Wickes provides the solution; and it is one that everyone can understand.
Now, the reader of this review will have to wait until they get their own copy of the book to learn what this solution consists of, let me say that it is a very reasonable set of suggestions, which everyone can understand and lobby for. The current system has not worked for many generations, quite possibly by design, and now is the time for a new kind of patriot hero to arrive upon the scene.
This book is an important work by a new name on the scene. I found it to be as entertaining as it was educational, as Wickes writing style flows with its’ own sense of humor in the way he explains the books many subjects. This makes the books so-called undeniable truths easier to digest. I have no trouble whatsoever giving this book a grade of a B+ and I recommend that everyone looking for answers to the dilemmas that we currently face, pick up a copy of Robert Wickes’ book ‘The Myth America Pageant.’
Buffalo, New York
December 23, 2006
© 2006 Kentroversy Papers
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
The following sources were used in the creation of this Kentroversy Paper . . .
Myth America Books website
When The Levees Broke - Spike Lee (director)
Myth America Books
Myth America Pageant