By Peter Bauer
“The Towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Times, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.”
~Hunter S. Thompson
September 12, 2001~
In his final book 'Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century', Thompson delivers a poignant assessment of the political climate of the United States of America. His observations are cutting and confrontational, pushing past the dominant political paradigm. Thompson was painfully accurate at the turn of the century, and it would be interesting to hear his perspective of America’s current condition had he not committed suicide in 2005.
Thompson argues that although the 20th century will be remembered as the American Century, the appointment of George W. Bush as President ushered in what will fatefully be remembered as the Post-American Century. For Thompson, the Post-American Century did not begin with on 9/11, but rather on November 7th 2000 when “the generals and cops and right-wing Jesus-freaks seized control of the White house, the U.S. Treasury, and our Law Enforcement machinery.”
Kingdom of Fear chronicles Thompson’s rise in literary influence, beginning with his noted early works Hells Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. These achievements afforded Thompson the fame and influence to run for Sheriff in the “Battle for Aspen” in 1970. His campaign promised the legalization of all drugs on a recreational basis, tearing up parking lots and sidewalks for more grassy areas, and shaving his head bald so he could refer to his “high and tight” ex-Military incumbent opponent as "My long-haired opponent."
Thompson challenged the Establishment head-on in his “Battle for Aspen,” and would have succeeded, and had it not been for a last minute Democrat/Republican compromise. (We’ll tell our people to vote for your guy if you tell your people to vote for our guy. I hate your guts, but I’d rather deal with you than this Counter Culture dope fiend).
In 1990 Thompson’s home was raided after he was accused of assaulting a woman in his home and allegedly using drugs. This case caused national attention as Thompson turned his legal predicament into a 4th Amendment issue (Unreasonable Search and Seizure) with the slogan “Beware- Today: the Doctor. Tomorrow: You.
Throughout his career, Thompson pursued the death of the American Dream, and Kingdom of Fear puts the realities of the Post-American Century into perspective. He forces the reader to confront the harsh realities the Bush/Cheney Regime for what it has come to represent: “A foul human monument to corruption and depravity on a scale that dwarfs any other public official in American history.”
Thompson is a literary giant who deserves to be remembered as one who captured the Death of the American Dream more candidly and profoundly than any of his peers. He embodies the true spirit of Patriotism.
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