Americans are taught to believe in Mickey Mouse, Disneyland and by extension, that America is the happiest place on earth. We’re Americans; we’re the best. We rescued Europe twice, and even included those snobby French people. We should have let the Nazis occupy them a little longer, that would have taught them a lesson.
Our history is spotless. There’s no need to doubt our righteousness. We took land from inferior savages and in exchange we gave them whiskey and Jesus. Mexico attacked us, so we took Texas as punishment. I think they wanted us to have it – the Mexicans knew even then that people there were loco. We freed Cuba then let organized crime have it. We occupied the Philippines because Teddy Roosevelt said “our little brown brothers” couldn’t govern themselves. We deposed countless tyrants and communists in countless countries, most to this day that still do not understand the good we’ve done for them and still harbor ill will towards us. Ingrates.
During World War II God blessed us with developing the biggest bomb known to science before anyone else – and by some accounts Hitler was only about three months away from his own. God also granted us the power to use weapons of mass destruction. Only a country like ours, with obvious good intentions, is justified in using them, even on cities with non-combatants and no military targets ,because vengeance is ours, sayeth the president. If God is for us, who can be against us?
After World War II, America was off and running on the fast track to good times and world domination. And after the demise of the Godless Soviet Union, America was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But instead of advocating peace and benevolence, those in control of America opted for naked aggression and total dominance abroad and, since 9/11, at home too.
Naked aggression doesn’t work, however. The British Empire found that out. Their lesson, of course, came at the hands of unpatriotic dissidents that hated the unfair policies of their country so much that they declared independence from it. Insolent bastards. Lucky for them they’re dead today or none of them would be able to fly anywhere or they’d all be in Gitmo where they belong. Where do people like them get off thinking they can criticize political leaders or their government? I wonder where the quote is of the guy who said to Jefferson, “Be silent, sir, and adhere to the King’s demands, lest ye be judged a traitorous scoundrel!” That would have obviously been uttered by an earlier incarnation of Rush Limbaugh, minus the OxyContin and Viagra.
Fortunately for those in power, Americans are no longer revolutionary. Americans are patriots. They wave the flag when told to. They believe, whatever they’re told, because not believing equals treason.
Most Americans have lost the true meaning of Freedom, because they have so easily accepted the illusion, repeated ad nauseam, that we are unquestioningly Free.
Because unpatriotic American corporations have taken over our democracy. Independent and impartial journalism has been replaced by people charged with forming public opinion to benefit the corporations and the small group of people that own them all. We are stuck with an educational system that purposely lacks substance and leads students away from independent critical thinking. Subjects such as history, foreign languages and cultural studies are discouraged except for Americanized versions of history and cursory introductions to foreign languages and cultures that focus on their obvious inferiorities. And let’s not even mention depressing philosophical subjects – like ethics: booorrrring!
To simplify things even further for Americans, our two-party politics has melded into two sides of one party controlled by the same obscene wealth that controls everything else we see, hear, smell, taste and touch. And what a spectacular show they put on for the peons in pretending to be two distinct parties, both with values, ethics and morals, that claim to represent the working class and vehemently oppose each other as part of a functioning democratic process! Put that together with the great American science of propaganda that not only won every war in American history, up until Vietnam, but expertly succeeds in distracting the public from delving too deeply into issues that may take unnecessary time away from their various part-time jobs or shopping. Wrap it all up in a flag and tie it with a big red, white & blue bow and you have a system that HBO couldn’t create with a team of writers that included Orwell, Huxley, Twain and Shakespeare.
The fact is America has run out of time. There is very little hope left for our nation. It’s all too depressing. I’ll admit that I’m saturated by national and world affairs. It’s so wearing on me that I’m even getting tired of trying to inform people, enlighten them, inspire them or make them laugh. I’ve almost stopped trying to make them angry or push their buttons so that they wake up, even if it’s just to argue with me, because open discussion and debate are cornerstones of Democracy. If I could I’d smoke pot, but that’s not allowed either. Just say No to drugs! No problem getting anti-depressants prescribed by a doctor and supplied by great American pharmaceutical companies though, except I have no healthcare and can’t afford them and my VA retirement benefits don’t kick in until I reach age sixty. But the good news is that I hear the VA is handing out anti-depressants like M&Ms. If the U.S. still exists when I’m sixty I can probably get Prozac by the truckload. And price is no object – thanks tax payers.
Until then I’m kind of stuck, just like the rest of America’s critical thinkers. I feel defeated. I mourn the death of my country. However, I still feel compelled to write. I’m not really sure why. At this point I think it’s more for therapy and as a way to prevent my own spontaneous combustion. But maybe someday Fox will replace bad news about the war in Iran or some violation of law by President McCain with a strange story of the charred remains found of a guy sitting at a laptop. For the record, my last request is that Steve Doocy break that story on Fox News' Morons in the Morning – “See what happens kids, when you write anti-American things on your laptop! Uh-huh, spontaaaaneous combuuuustion!”
Just for the hell of it let me ask this: If our government was a car that had been in a bad accident and was hit on all sides, how would we treat it? Do we take it apart and replace almost every piece or do we total it and replace it with a new one? We keep going back and forth from Democrats to Republicans and replacing smashed fenders with smashed fenders that were banged out and repainted. Let’s just total the damn thing already and get a new car!
Instead we keep replacing fenders, and we do it willingly – because that’s what we were taught.
I caught part of an old movie on cable some time ago in a hotel (I canceled my cable and satellite years ago). I never got the name of it. The tyrant in the film, who I think was Basil Rathbone, was stopped by the hero from doing something nefarious to the people. He then ridiculed the hero about what would happen next, knowing that the system would go on, and Rathbone’s great line was, “…shepherds change, but sheep remain sheep.”
When a president can deny habeas corpus and due process to citizens; violate the Constitution; start illegal wars; commit war crimes; avoid impeachment for just causes; assume dictatorial powers and issue signing statements of the types and in the numbers that this sitting president has, with impunity and without inciting protests, much less riots, in every major American city – the game is over, my fellow former Americans. And what’s worse is the bastards know that those of us that study history and know the issues, know that the game is over too. That’s why they let people like Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon or Michael Moore speak out. We are free to say almost anything. We’re just not able to do anything about changing things or solving problems. Besides that, the right-wing spin machine will discredit their words anyway, as well as the words of anyone critical of the power structure. And allowing some people, especially famous ones, to say things, in a defined and controlled manner, plays into the game and perpetuates the fallacy that we have a free and open society. Let Penn get a following of people committed to action and see what happens to him.