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December 27, 2012

America, a Nation Whose Directional Compass is Badly Damaged

By michael payne

What's a directional compass? It's that part of a nation that guides it in establishing specific objectives that will determine its future directions. Unfortunately, America's directional compass is badly damaged as evidenced by the fact that we have become a nation that seems to have lost its sense of purpose and meaning, and is drifting in many conflicting directions at the same time.


Compass by webmobilize.net

What's a directional compass? It's that part of a nation that guides it in establishing specific objectives that will determine its future directions. Unfortunately, America's directional compass is badly damaged as evidenced by the fact that we have become a nation that seems to have lost its sense of purpose and meaning, and is drifting in many conflicting directions at the same time.

This apparent loss of purpose and direction is evidenced by the fact that all serious attempts to take this country in new directions through the advancement of major developmental programs are being obstructed by those who reap massive profits by maintaining the status quo. What we now have is a situation in this country whereby short term, shallow thinking is preventing long term planning and development; and that's why we seem to be going around in circles, not advancing but regressing.

Wouldn't it be great to see a coalition of government and business initiate a massive program to develop new sources of energy that would make it the world leader? We have the resources, the skills and talent to do just that. That's a positive direction for the future that we should be actively pursuing but the massive energy companies and their captive servants in Congress, mainly Republicans but also some Democrats, will simply not let it happen. China and several European countries, with Germany in the lead, are making great strides in developing new energy sources. But America is completely failing to advantage of this opportunity that would lead to eventual energy independence.

It would also be so great to see those Americans who so strongly want to preserve their 2d Amendment rights to own guns get together with their very concerned fellow citizens who want to establish reasonable, sensible controls? This may seem like an insurmountable task but it's certainly not an impossible one. If they put their minds to it and think of what is best for the people of America, the two sides could sit down together and, collectively, come up with fair, reasonable and innovative ways by which this could be accomplished.

This societal violence is rapidly growing in scope across this country and seems to be deeply embedded in this culture. There is no need to go into the details of the many atrocities that have happened, from the slaughter of innocents in Columbine, to Virginia Tech, to Northern Illinois University, to Aurora, Colorado, to the murders of children in Newtown, CT, as well as many others. What we are seeing is a terrible moral dilemma of our own making.

As America's schools and colleges come under increasing attack and students' and others lives are snuffed out, the debate and angry disagreement over the need for effective gun controls goes on and on with no sensible, rational conclusion in sight. And, as the violence and atrocities multiply, we see the states of America passing "concealed carry" legislation that allows citizens to carry handguns as they go about their daily lives.

We are becoming the modern-day version of the Wild West except a thousand times more dangerous. What I find to be totally incomprehensible is the position taken by those misguided, shortsighted Americans who greatly fear a police state but who don't seem to comprehend that by their unceasing support of the rights of individuals to own any type of firearms, including assault weapons, they are largely responsible for creating it.

Violence in America is pervasive and self-perpetuating. And when you really think about it there are two facets of this violence that seem to be directly related. This is a condition that has been a part of America from its beginnings to our current times. We know that violence begets more violence and so we might conclude that this societal condition, over several centuries, has metastasized and has manifested itself in the proliferation of America's many wars and military conflicts.

Also of great import is the fact that the enormous cost of fueling the engines of America's wars has had a destructive, debilitating effect on America itself, as it has caused critical domestic programs to remain underfunded or never initiated. Just think about the deteriorating state of our educational system. If it were properly funded and administered to the degree that our military establishment is, it could, once again become world class.

We are going in the wrong direction and must reverse course. Why continue to let this violence wreak havoc in the world and in this society when we should be using our energy and resources for a greater good such as contributing to the establishment of a safer society and a more peaceful world? When was the last time you remember this government being involved in any kind of discussions and negotiations involving peace -- with any nations in the world?

Now as further evidence of an approaching police state emerges, we in America are about to see the introduction of remote controlled drones over our cities, towns and municipalities to monitor and control our actions and behavior. These are the same types of drones that have caused so much destruction in Afghanistan, Pakistan and several other nations. They will soon fill this nation's skies, largely because of the dangerous, highly volatile atmosphere that has been created by the facilitators of unlimited, uncontrolled weaponry in this society. While they may be, initially, unarmed and intended for surveillance purposes only, it's not difficult to imagine what could happen thereafter?

We might conclude that this nation will never be able to reconstruct its directional compass and take this country into new directions until it finds a way to restore its moral compass, that is, its people's ability to understand right versus wrong; that is, to be able to put integrity, ethics and moral principles above the temptations of greed, corruption and deceit. Right now, as is becoming more and more apparent, this nation's moral compass is badly in need of repair.  

The American clergy that should be alarmed at the depth of this moral collapse should be at the forefront of a movement to reach out to the people and turn them from the course into which they are heading. But where in the world are they when this society desperately needs their help?

If these leaders who are supposed to be the representatives of God, or a Higher Power, are not prepared or are not up to the task of teaching the people the difference between right and wrong and speaking out against atrocities or immoral actions, then just what is it that they think their real responsibilities are? Where are their voices, where is their counseling?

Instead of hearing the voices of the religious leaders of this country speaking out against moral abuses and atrocities, it seems like the only ones we hear are coming from those pseudo-religions and their demented leaders who show up and try to disrupt funerals or other tragic events where people in America are suffering because of the loss of loved ones. These are people who reside in the lower levels of morality who seem to thrive on and take pleasure from the tragedy and misery of others.

America is no longer advancing to new heights of achievement, it is in the process of regressing. What has happened to what we used to refer to as America's greatness? Yes, we have the most powerful military force in the world; sure, we are still the largest economy in the world but of what significance is that when our society, its people and, especially its children, are forced to remain in such a state of fear and apprehension?

This government looks the other way as the fanatical NRA and the weapons manufacturers continue to largely control this increasingly dangerous situation. The Republican Party has been instrumental in preventing a restoration of the Assault Weapons Ban for the past eight years; and it will, without a doubt, try to block any and all attempts to enact effective gun controls. The American people continue to be split into two directly opposed elements that have been totally incapable of reaching any reasonable compromise in solving this most critical problem. And so far our presidents have done no more than provide lip service to this problem, when they should have declared a national emergency a long time ago.

So is there any way that this violence, conflict and strife within this society can be brought under control? The main question is whether this nation, the government, the society and its people, collectively, possess the resolve and the conviction to restore the directional and moral compasses that it will take to turn this nation into a completely new direction?

Michael Payne

Submitters Bio:

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.