We are presently in a state of political and moral decline. Our decline is not only continuing. It is accelerating. According to a recent study quoted in OpEdNews, "the share of wealth among our richest 1% increased to 32% from 23% over the same period." In 2012 we were ranked higher among the countries of the world in "corruption" than in "democracy." In large part due to our declining democracy and governmental honesty, we are becoming less moral and less free. In a recent survey, a country's democracy and governmental honesty were found to be the two factors most closely associated with its quality of life.  They are also two factors that do not thrive in a nation governed by a few very wealthy people.
Our economic decline is illustrated by the ever-widening gap between our rich and our poor. One indication of our moral decline is our use of torture. The United Nations Committee against Torture issued a report in November of 2014 assessing the performance of the 156 countries whose governments have ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee found the US in violation of this treaty.
Our political decline affects all aspects of our lives. For example, we are unable (or unwilling) to choose peaceful foreign policies. Our out-of-control government supported Somoza in Nicaragua in 1979 and the 2014 "coup" government in Ukraine. Nicaragua is still suffering. The US is now helping finance an invasion of eastern Ukraine by the coup (now "elected") Kiev government. Russia is evidently helping with the defense.
Nicaragua in the 1980s
Our decline comes into focus when we compare our reaction to events in Nicaragua during the 1980s to our present reaction to analogous events in Ukraine today. In 1979, the people of Nicaragua overthrew their US-supported dictator, Somoza. In 1984 they elected a president from the revolutionary party (the Sandinistas). The US organized a counter-revolutionary army (the Contras) and fought (by proxy) a 10-year war in the Nicaraguan countryside against the Sandinista government. Our government justified this war on the grounds that the Sandinistas, by accepting Russian aid, were making Communism a threat to our hemisphere. The mainstream media accepted the US position, supported the Contras and referred to them as "freedom fighters."
During the 1980s an estimated 40,000 Americans, in small groups sponsored by churches, peace organizations and unions, traveled to Nicaragua to see for themselves whether the mainstream media's version of events was accurate. These peace groups traveled about Nicaragua talking to its inhabitants and to combatants from both sides. Upon their return to the US, they were instrumental (in February of 1987) in persuading Congress to stop funding the Contras.
Ukraine in the 20 teens
In 2014, a US-funded coup in Ukraine deposed the elected president. Crimea held a referendum and voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Crimea succeeded in rejoining Russia, but the coup government, supported by the US, moved militarily to prevent eastern Ukraine from following suit. Our mainstream media supports the official version of this conflict. They refer to the coup government as "Ukraine" and the war as provoked by Russia. Our alternative media take a different view of the matter. They report that "Ukraine" now consists of a coup government created by the US. In effect, they describe a "proxy" war being supplied by the US and Russia and being fought by ethnic Russian Ukrainians defending their homeland east of the Dnieper River against other Ukrainians serving in the Kiev-controlled Ukrainian military.
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