November 22nd, 2022
Nearly 2 generations (60 years) have passed since the assassination of JFK shifted the nation from the possibilities of peace back to a continuation of the Cold War with Russia. It has been nearly 5 generations (150 years) since the Lincoln assassination chose a white supremacy future for this nation. Peace and reconciliation are fragile and difficult to build. These things are easily shattered by bullets, replacing the will of the people and democratic processes with a continuation of the status quo.
We pick up the pieces and try to fit them back together, but we only get a framework, empty of the idealism, the heart of what could have been a triumph of democracy. And once we make such events possible by obfuscation and misdirection, by lies and coverups, we further damage the very heart of the democratic processes and redefine leadership in a democracy as a mere projection of power, not all that different from any other nation, democratic or not, simply by following its "national interests", as defined by those in power.
It began with the cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. Next came the cover-up of the realities of the war in Viet Nam. We watched Nixon's subversive attempts to manipulate the democratic processes. And we watched as he was later pardoned by a hand-picked replacement.
We have seen the extension of CIA secret operations and the intervention in other governments and nations and the manipulation of information on the domestic and international level. We have seen the extension of surveillance and the Security State.
We have watched as business interests took over the democratic process as the Powell Memo instructed them to do. We watched as our progressive tax system that funded democracy was turned on its head, defunding social programs and civic projects leaving us with a crumbling infrastructure as the tax burden was shifted away from those with the wealth and now, to the middle class. The result has been stagnant wages for workers and soaring profits for those on top, leading to an obscene income inequality, not seen in this nation since the Gilded Age. We have watched government functions become privatized and sold off to provide profit streams for corporations. We have seen the transfer of more and more power and control to corporations and an economic elite.
War becomes both a political diversion and a profit source for corporate America. We have seen war and weapons become the heart of our national economy with our "forever wars" funded by more than 50% of our tax dollars every year. We see the destructiveness of a nation drowning in guns with the resulting gun violence.
We see a cult of the hero being built up around our soldiers, sent more to protect corporate profits than to defend or spread democracy. After their time in the military the nation forgets them with underfunded or non-existent programs, leaving them to fend for themselves or rely on an ever-expanding list of charities, asking the public to fund what the nation has refused to do since it would be "too expensive". All we do on the national level is to tell those who served that they are heroes, and we are thankful for their service. But they need and deserve more than lip service from the nation in order to mend their lives.
We have seen the voices of the workers being muffled and muted with the destruction of unions beginning with Reagan. We watched an election being stolen by a simple majority in the Supreme Court in the 2000 election. We watched as our civil rights were greatly diminished by the laws after 9/11. We watched our elections become more and more corrupted by the "dark money" allowed by the Supreme Court. We watched the debacle of the trillion-dollar wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. We watched the voting rights of the citizenry being restricted and manipulated away. We watched as financiers manipulated us into a crisis without any accountability or penalties for those financiers while ordinary people and the world suffered. We watched as the ordinary citizens were being left out of the political process until Trump took advantage of that reality and rose to leadership telling them what they so desperately had been waiting to hear; that they mattered.
But the ordinary people did not matter to him in his world of winners and losers. Instead, his leadership was the culmination of using the office of the presidency as a base to project his personal power throughout the nation and the world. And even when voted out of office, he refused to acknowledge defeat, spreading the Big Lie that the elections were simply a means of stealing power from him. We watched in shock and awe as the Capitol, the institution most clearly connected with democratic processes, was stormed under his instigation. He had even wanted to be personally leading the rebellion, only to be stopped by the Secret Service.
And even now, he seems not to be held accountable. It has been nearly two years since the January 6th events and it looks like it may not be resolved for another two years. All of our institutions seem to be very reluctant to hold anyone with wealth or power accountable for their actions. The law is only used to obfuscate and slow the process down. We all know what would happen to an average citizen under those circumstances; lord forbid that they be of another race or religion.
The result is that those who do not want change, have developed tools to prevent change. They have found ways to thwart the will of the people and the democratic processes. They have used propaganda, intimidation, manipulation, force and even violence to prevent change in an entrenched system that allows them to create a legal framework to prevent change, while they continue to consolidate their power and abuse and exploit the populace.
But under all of this, the people still exist in great numbers, and they see what an abomination this system has become under the control of those who want only to protect their power. It is unsustainable and the growing citizens' movements will unseat them from what they see as their unassailable position.
Change is the natural order of the universe, including our planet, and all of life. Those who would prevent change are thwarting a necessary natural process. Without change growth stops and things begin to wither and die. We must work diligently on the side of sustainable change and human development to allow the changes necessary to continue on this planet. We, the people, in the mid-term elections, returned us back to democracy from the brink of autocracy. Yet, we are still on the brink of the destructiveness of global warming.
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