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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 10/31/13

Picturing a New Age of Enlightenment and Reason; the Dramatic Transformation of America

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Message Michael Payne


America, once a shooting star that streaked across this planet in a dazzling display of brilliance, is now on the verge of flaming out. Its world renowned energy, vitality and drive for excellence are no longer visible. This is a nation that badly needs to reenergize itself as it struggles to find its way into the 21st Century, weighed down by mounting problems.

But all is not lost and there is hope because just below the surface of this country's faltering foundations there still remains a smoldering fire of creativity and innovative thinking; one that could be reignited and provide the impetus that this nation needs to enter into its own version of the Age of Enlightenment, that great movement which took place in Europe during the late 17th and 18th centuries. Thomas Paine called it the Age of Reason.

However, in the case of America, I'm not speaking of a cultural and intellectual movement but, rather, a societal and political movement that would, in effect, dramatically transform this nation from its current state of lethargy into one of positive, constructive endeavors that would put it back on a path to excellence; an Age of Enlightenment and Reason.

Let's try to believe that such a rebirth of spirit and creativity might just happen. And should that somehow become a reality, then here is the new Enlightened America that we will see:

It will be a nation that has replaced its extensive military empire, with some 175,000 troops deployed in 150 countries across the world, with a much leaner, but still very effective system of Special Forces and high tech resources located in certain strategic areas of the world; utilizing strike forces to quickly react to critical situations at a moment's notice.

New leaders in the Congress and the White House now realize that an agenda of perpetual war is a path leading to eventual bankruptcy and are steering America in a new direction. Massive standing armies and military invasions and occupations will be a thing of the past. This is a new America that will engage in military conflicts only if there is an urgent, imminent danger to the safety of this nation and its people, and only when such action is totally justifiable; and there are no other alternatives.

The launching of deadly drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other nations has been drastically scaled back and this military tactic will only used in the most critical, totally justifiable situations. The lives of many hundreds of innocent civilians in countries that are not engaged in a direct war with America will be saved.

American foreign policy is in the midst of undergoing significant changes; unbridled military hubris is out and diplomacy and cooperation with other nations to resolve conflicts and confrontations is in; this country will now have a Department of "Defense" that accurately reflects that label and the doctrine of "Speak softly and carry a big stick" will once again be the order of the day.

Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been transferred from the Department of Defense and other associated security agencies to funding the rebuilding of this nation's crumbling infrastructure and its deteriorating education system, as well as to a myriad of other critically important domestic needs.

The NSA spying agency has been drastically reduced and put under the tight oversight of the U.S. Congress; it will, from now on, be in the business of monitoring only the communications and movements of potential terrorists, both foreign and domestic, in cases where concrete evidence points to an imminent danger. The practice of intercepting the daily communications of the citizens of America has been brought to an abrupt end. The Homeland Security Department has been dismantled and, with it, the creation of a national police state in no longer being pursued.

Instead of the continued escalation of oil drilling, destructive fracking to extract natural gas, and the building of more and more toxic oil pipelines such as the Keystone XL, there is now a new Department of National Energy Development, a government/business entity with the responsibility to develop new sources of energy. The previous annual $4 billion in subsidies and incentives given to the nation's giant, highly profitable petroleum corporations has become a part of the funding for new energy development.

America is once again becoming the leader of the world in the development of these new energy sources, primarily the powerful, infinite solar power. The age of dependence on petroleum is destined to slowly but surely end, together with the associated regional wars and confrontations involving nations competing for future supplies of oil.

The Tea Party and its parent company, the GOP, as a result of refusing to adjust and relate to the demographic changes in which minority populations are rapidly becoming a growing force in national elections, have become small fringe political parties with the remainder of their supporters located primarily in the states of the South. Two new national political powers, the Independent/Progressive Party and the Green Party now have emerged as strong challengers to the embedded power of the Democratic Party.

Corporate America is now totally barred from any involvement in the U.S. government; corporate campaign contributions and lobbyists have been banned and play no role in governmental affairs or in U.S. elections. New legislation is in effect that strictly limits their role in America to the functions involved with national commerce. America has, once again, become a government of, by and for the people of America.

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