He's heading to the back room where he buys and sells freedom.
They don't wear the ghostly white robes and hoods, those back room boys, that's too obvious. That's just for show. Something to distract "we the people" with fear and anger.
Nope, nothing obvious. They are legitimate business men who pay minimum wage and don't provide much health or any other kind of benefits.
And they don't want the government telling them that maybe they should allow their employees enough to live a good life...not the good life by any stretch of the imagination but at least a good life.
"But we're creating jobs," they say with leering jack-o-lantern smiles carved on their empty faces.
After all, corporations are people too...the very richest of people.
The puppet master's puppets look just like them, dressed in suits and ties, carrying leather briefcases and college degrees. We like to think of them as elected officials.
The back room boys like to think of them as, "ours."
We think we're free because we can buy anything we want in hundreds of colors in 12 different sizes custom or standard mini or maxi maple glaze or hot peppercorn with or without loaded or plain.
We think we're free because we can buy anything we want whether we can afford it or not.
We think we're free as we close the curtains of the voting booth and fill in all those tiny circles only to reverently, carefully feed our hopes into the shredding machines on our way out...
...or we pull the shiny levers not realizing they all plug directly into that back room...
...where he buys and sells our freedom.
Will we think we are free when we have to pull out our identity cards?
Purchased for a small "processing fee"?
Or will we just be grateful that we can still afford shiny cars that allow us to drive somewhere to stand in line to pay for a card that gives us the illusion that we are still participants in the political process?
Will we just be glad that we can afford a "free" pass at all...not like those citizens who will have to choose between food or the "right" to vote?
Will we just be glad that we have ours, like the Sneetches with "stars upon thars" as we enter to vote with machines that have been unplugged.
We think we're free because we can buy pretty things that drag us down like Marley's chains leaving us lost and howling in Scrooge's decrepit mansion.
The tatters of democracy are deteriorating like the rotting bed hangings that the rabid body-snatchers squabble over as the bony finger of Christmas future points toward a tombstone rising out of the fog.
If we creep as near as we dare, what name will we see written on that bleak headstone?
It won't he his...
He's heading to the back room...
...where he's buying and selling our freedom.
[Inspired by a WBUR broadcast and a New Yorker article entitled "State for Sale" by Jane Mayer. Below are the links to the article and to the broadcast. The man featured has a very thorough strategy for taking control of NC state politics in order to push his own conservative agenda. It's a scary Halloween read.]