Listen: we don't have to agree about everything.
We don't even have to agree about most things.
We don't have to love each other. We don't even have to like each other. And we certainly don't need to think alike or dress alike or worship alike or vote alike or love alike. But if this experiment in freedom is to succeedand there are some days the outlook is decidedly grimthen we've got to find some way of relating to one another that is not toxic or partisan or hateful.
America has been a warring nationa military empire intent on occupation and conquestfor so long that perhaps we, the citizens of this warring nation, have forgotten what it means to live in peace, with the world and one another.
We'd better get back to the fundamentals of what it means to be human beings who can get along if we want to have any hope of restoring some semblance of sanity, civility and decency to what is progressively being turned into a foul-mouthed, hot-headed free-for-all bar fight by politicians for whom this is all one big, elaborate game designed to increase their powers and fatten their bank accounts.
The powers-that-be want us to forget these basic lessons in how to get along. They want us to fume and rage and be so consumed with fighting the so-called enemies in our midst that we never notice the prison walls closing in around us.
Don't be distracted.
No matter what happens in the next presidential election, no matter how many ways the powers-that-be attempt to sow division and distrust among the populace, no matter how many shouting commentators perpetuate the belief that there is only one "right" view and one "wrong" view in politics, the only "us vs. them" that will matter is whether "we the people" care enough to stand united in our commitment to the principles on which this nation was founded: freedom, justice, and equality for all.
The rest is just noise intended to distract us from the fact that life in America has become a gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, misery-drenched, demoralizing existence, and it's the government that is responsible.
Even so, here's why I'm not giving up on the American dream of freedom, anddespite all the reasons to the contrarywhy you shouldn't either: because this is still our country.
I'm outraged at what has been done to our freedoms and our country. You should be, too.
We have been subjected to crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.
We've been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.
We've had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.
We've been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered "Constitution-free zones."
We've seen the police transformed from community peacekeepers to point guards for the militarized corporate state.