It's 1776 All Over Again
On July 4, 1976, I joined well over a million other Americans on the grounds and at the base of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. It was the time of this nations Bicentennial. A massive gathering of Americans sharing a kinship, a celebration, and an appreciation for the magic that is America.
The country was just two years beyond the specter of Viet Nam, had just weathered Watergate’s ugliness and the political demise of an American President, and was suffering the new gasoline prices associated with leveraged oil imports. Yet still, a swell of patriotism was palpable nationwide. There was a sense of hope that better times were coming because of the fundamental soundness of the American system.
There were official Bicentennial coins, stamps, and even an official Bicentennial flag. A fleet of Tall Ships spent the fourth day in July anchored in New YorkHarbor. Even the Queen of England toured select American Cities. (Ouchie, that had to be a humbler for her. To lessen the pain, England’s wealth and influence was witnessed via her touring those select American cities on her official yacht.)
The Bicentennial was indeed a splendid event culminating in a national gathering that was second to none. Following the splendorous fireworks finale, I can still remember with precision the vast flood of people streaming from the grounds of the WashingtonMonumentback to their cars parked in the confines of WashingtonDC's downtown area. It was all very polite with people seeming to share a moment of mass courtesy. I remember the laser lights streaking out beyond the horizon and reaching into deep space while beaming from the top of our monumental obelisk to freedom, telling all of the universe that something very special was taking place on one particular land mass on this small orb hanging in the black of space.
I still appreciate the sense of community that was present as many hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered at our nation’s capital and behaved admirably. As per usual, when looking back, those were good days.
However, (it seems there is always a however) That was then, this is now. I now fear for this nation’s continuity, security, integrity, and democratic process. Never before has a democratic population been assaulted by malevolent forces on so many fronts from within and from outside of their borders. Never before has there been an era of relentless around the clock news and prolific disinformation. Never before have instantaneous communications been at the finger tips of every American, creating a massive population of micro-managers. Today is a time of overload, indulgence, and disconnect. It is the latter circumstance that concerns me most.
We disconnect as a population for many reasons. Some do so naturally, it is just their way of dealing with life no matter the quantity or content of the information that they acquire. Others disconnect because they become confused by the abundance of information, most of which conflicts with their fundamental understanding of what is right. And others do so out of contempt for a system that has provided the surrounds within which they may pursue such an abstract and ill conceived world view. But no matter why a person or population disconnects, the end result is a diminished and therefore vulnerable political and social process.
There are strong arguments supporting many controversial needs as to that need taking the number one spot on a national priority list. Health Care, Social Security, Defense, Nuclear Armageddon, Homeland “Security”, Immigration, Infrastructure, the list goes on….however, it may all become a moot point if we ignore democracy’s underpinnings. The foundation of democracy is under assault. Forces with malicious motivations are using suspect tactics to implement a strategy that will allow their capitalistic desire of the moment to win the hour, regardless of its impact on American Democracy.
Are you not just a little bit tired of the politics of fear? Tired of being lead around by the nose? Are you not just bone weary of wondering which constitutional precept will be negated next under the premise of providing personal safety? <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">When the President takes the oath of office, he is not promising to protect the population from terrorist attacks; he is promising to uphold the <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">United States<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal"> Constitution in its original form.
<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">However, on the premise of protecting the American citizenry, our present Chief Executive is undermining the foundational document that enables America’s magic. In the year 2007 we stand with democracy bound at her four corners, and her bonds are connected to four horses each ridden by men that are ready to spur their mounts to then effectively draw and quarter the American Democratic process. The horsemen are mercenary in origin and rely on the apathy of those to whom they are bound in order that their employers can feel arrogantly secure in ordering their gallop. Unless modern Americans want to be known as that group of men and women that became so self indulgent and disconnected as to allow American Democracies demise, then it is time to force the horsemen to dismount and encourage them to seek other employment.
Fear is the key ingredient in how government manipulates our population. Fear justifies the creation of a surveillance society. Fear justifies the suspension of habeas corpus. Fear justifies infringements on freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to due process. It is the surrender to fear that allows dubious men and women to manipulate our lives. It is the fear of losing security and creature comforts that hobbles us.
Yes, we have much to lose, which is a fundamental and pivotal difference between the American population of 1776 and 2007. In 1776 there was far more to gain, than to lose. Therefore, the hardships of revolution, while difficult during that moment in time were far easier to contemplate than in the world of today. However, an armed revolution is unthinkable in modern America. But a revolution is needed. Not a revolution that creates chaos, but one that promotes integrity and courage. A movement of common men and women, rising in numbers never before contemplated to accomplish an uncommon change never before attempted.
In the times of Revolutionary America the colonists had no idea that winning a war against England was impossible on paper. While waging the war against England they had little appreciation that they were losing at almost every point during the revolution. Had the colonies had the cable news networks providing them with continuous and relentless reports that provided astute evidence as to why at almost every turn winning the revolution was not possible, then modern sports fanatics would now be hyped up about the World Series of Cricket. But sometimes ignorance is not only bliss; it is power, because the colonists won!
In today’s world our underlying perception is that we are in a similar predicament as that of our founding predecessors. Our modern leadership has coalesced into families of political professionals that will just not go away. All too common names are vested in the system; Clinton, Kennedy, Bush; America has devolved into a monarchy without the robes, crowns, and four ton gold leafed chariot. (Unless you consider an armored Presidential limousine a chariot.) And if Constitutional law being undermined does not bother you do we even want to talk about rates of taxation?
The parallels between 1776 and today are obvious. The ice is thinning, and has been doing such for quite a while, and it has nothing to do with “global warming”. Most recently, democracies substrate has been hollowed out by the "Patriot” Act, The Military Commissions Act, and the almost sexual joining of companies like Deibold and governmental institutions such as the Elections Assistance Commission. Add to that the ever present specter of big money flat out purchasing political office, and lobbyists, Oy Vay the loggyists and political action committees....and and and .....