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We Can’t Let "It" Happen Here

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What is beyond the looking glass?

"And certainly the glass was beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist. In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room."

Over a year ago, the comfort of my world severely diminished as I took my journey through the looking glass and discerned the ugly truths about the nation of my birth, the United States of America. "Logic and proportion" certainly seemed to have "fallen softly dead" when I discovered that much of what I had learned about my country as a child had been a lie. My world was turned upside down. Now I passionately pursue my goal to share my awakening with many others so they too feel inspired to struggle to preserve the excellent qualities of America and to eradicate the rotting decay.

Virtually each day I sift through a wealth of information I glean from books, the Internet, and sometimes the mainstream media. I also read (and respond to) many of the hundreds of emails I receive. Supporters of my writing email me with thanks and observations. More neutral parties send me information or viewpoints I had not considered and point out factual or logical flaws in my essays. Antagonists and critics hammer me with ad hominem attacks, invitations to leave the country, and even death threats. I offer my thanks to each person who writes me. I welcome support for obvious reasons, additional information expands the limits of my knowledge, and attacks inspire me to pursue social justice with a renewed intensity.

As my base of knowledge and volume of communication with people on political matters have increased, I have become increasingly certain of an unpopular conclusion. Certainly it could be much worse in America in some respects, but if one drills a bit beneath the surface, the putrid stench of corruption and inhumanity is almost unbearable. The United States of America is governed by an aristocracy with globally imperialistic ambitions that is preparing to sweep away the remaining vestiges of our Constitutional republic. My viewpoint is based on a wide array of eclectic sources. While many derive comfort from labeling themselves and following the herd, I align myself with neither conservatives nor liberals, Democrats nor Republicans. I pledge allegiance to no party, flag, or government. My loyalty is to my Higher Power, my family, my friends, my fellow human beings, and to myself.

US democracy: the best government "The Moneyed" can buy

America's apologists can deny the reality to their dying breath, but the truth is that the United States of America as a democracy, a republic, or a free society is a fraud. While our nation was founded on high principles, even our founders fell far short of the standards they set for themselves. Many owned slaves, despite the fact that they may have had misgivings about it. Some, like Alexander Hamilton, desired an overt aristocracy because they did not trust the "people" to govern themselves. Virtually all of our founders were wealthy, white land-owners. Throughout its history, this nation has failed to deliver on the promises of its Constitution. Even Lincoln, one of the finer men to serve in the Oval Office, did not end slavery out of moral considerations. The Civil War and political pressures led him to pursue the abolition of that abhorrent institution.

In spite of the Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery, Black Americans have continued to face tremendous oppression, abuse, and racism throughout America's history. The feeble response of the federal government to the crisis in New Orleans (a predominately Black city) and Bill Bennett's recent repugnant remarks provide poignant evidence that bigotry and racism are deeply ingrained into American government and society. As it continues to pour $5 billion per month into an illegal occupation in Iraq, the federal government plans to cut entitlement programs to pay for the reconstruction of the city of New Orleans. This will render a significant blow to the impoverished victims of Katrina and to many other poor Americans, regardless of their race.

Despite intense opposition by the wealthy elitists who dominated America's government, throughout much of the Twentieth Century groups and movements fought to utilize the mechanisms available through our Constitution to advance the cause of social justice. The Women's Suffrage Movement, the Wobblies, the Socialists, the ACLU, the Civil Rights Movement, and many others employed non-violent means to gain unprecedented rights for women, the working class, Black Americans, children, the poor, and other minorities. Many paid for their "crime" of standing up to the ruling elites through loss of their careers and reputations, prison time, beatings, deportation, and even assasination. Thanks to these brave individuals, the soulless worshippers of money were curtailed in their oppression of the people, at least for a time.

Stop! You have gone FAR enough"

Richard Nixon was a felon, but the Watergate scandal was rather insignificant when one considers that his presidency marked the advent of a new "Gilded Age". Starting with the Nixon era, Social Darwinism began to recapture the hearts and minds of many Americans. While fancying themselves to be part of a pluralistic society resting on the pillars of freedom, equality, justice, and democracy, many denizens of the United States have willingly enabled their government to become one of the most avaricious, corrupt, and covertly repressive entities in history. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have worked feverishly to advance the "noble causes" of the enrichment of corporate America, the expansion of the American Empire, the steady erosion of the populist gains made during the Twentieth Century, and the substantial increase in the wealth chasm between the rich and the poor. When we see Ronald Reagan's face enshrined on the $50 bill, we will know that the tyranny of the wealthy elite has reached a milestone in convincing average Americans of the "righteousness" of their cause. Few worked harder than Reagan to advance their agenda and to bring the social justice movement to a screeching halt.

Who needs the Constitution?

Consider the circumstances of Jose Padilla, a US citizen arrested on US soil. He has been imprisoned by the US government without charges or a trial for 3 years and 153 days. Violating principles which originated with the Magna Charta, and which are clearly embedded in our Constitution, the federal government has denied Padilla due process under the law. In our Constitutional republic, civilian authority is meant to supersede military authority, yet Padilla remains in military custody. While Padilla's plight remains abstract to many Americans because it is not happening to them or someone they know, the Padilla situation demonstrates our government's newly self-endowed power to declare any US citizen an enemy combatant (or "terrorist") and hold them without a trial. Do we toss the Constitution in the trash, recycle it to help save a tree, or keep it as a relic of the past to remind the ruling elite just how bad it can get for them?

Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay serve as further harbingers of the collapse of the Constitutional republic in the United States. Once deemed unimaginable, torture inflicted by the "shining beacon of truth and justice" has been exposed to the light of day. While the Bush administration "cleanses its sins" by punishing the enlisted soldiers who were carrying out their orders to inflict prisoner abuse, it has promoted Alberto Gonzalez, the architect of the US torture policies, to the position of chief law enforcement officer in the United States. How ironic (and frightening) can it get?

Justice, one of the lofty ideals which the United States supposedly exemplifies, is non-existent for those at Guantanamo Bay accused of "terror". If those in US custody committed crimes or perpetrated attacks against the United States, I favor punishing them to the extent of the law. However, in denying them due process, we have become the very tyrants our government professes to oppose. Try them or release them.

"Patriots" champion the "nobility cause" for the aristocracy

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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