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America: Dead-Democracy Walking

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The apathy, silence and complacency of the 21st century American.

Part III of the "American Democracy in Crisis" series.


When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated we, as a nation, were suffering from some form of "moral confusion", he was partially right. America is confused, but not morally in the sense that the dubious Secretary of Defense was crowing about. America is confused about its purpose, its civil duty, its foundation and what living in a democracy is all about.

America, and therefore Americans, is confused in relation to what our responsibilities are as stewards of our own government. While every leading poll indicates a deep resentment and distrust towards the current administration, for the most part, Americans have stood mute. Most proclaim to be too busy to notice or appear too self-absorbed in their own isolated cocoon at the dawn of the 21st Century. A bumper sticker from Seven-Eleven for 99 cents, which was made in China, and charged on a credit card, "ought to do the trick", most say. A nod of approval to the few, brave, patriotic souls who actually do take action to bring about change are given a trite rousing of "keep up the good work" as the populous passes by on the way to Wal-Mart.

Our confusion as a society is merely an enhanced model of complacency, apathy and downright lethargy that has lead to a culture of complicity. While parading around our newly found patriotism stuck on the back bumper somewhere, a debt-ridden, natural resource-wasting, self-indulgent population has been suckered into a pre-occupation with adulation of material possessions at the expense of our own decorum and civic obligations. Civic silence always leads to consent and consent without opposition is a prologue to oppression leaving someone else to cast your vote and therefore, your fate!

While polemic pundits on Fox News banter away awash in propaganda, forcing an uninformed public to chose either "the red pill or the blue pill", no one is noticing how deep the rabbit hole really does go. Average, "everyday Alice" is neither wondering or in wonderland. Alice, between American Idol and soccer practice is merely, deluded. Our "Alice", like most of us, has bought the freedom for comfort and convenience idea that has been sold to us by the political hacks in Washington.

Like Stepford Wives, we have been programmed to sell our national birthrights for supposed safety while handing over liberty as payment to a nefarious government, which fails to represent anyone but big business and its profits. Congress continually trots out fringe, wedge issues, such as abortion and gay marriage amendments to the Constitution, while eschewing any real governance of our country. Genuine, meaningful legislation has been replaced by rampant pay-for-play politics, nauseating cronyism, perverse corruption and a legislative body that votes and marches in-line with the most unpopular President in American history.

The middle class is disappearing faster than acres of wetland in the rain forest, our government has moved from a democracy to an autocracy, heading towards dictatorship, and America ostensibly is "alright with it all." Ambiguous authorizations of our military to wage wars against distance nations bridled by reasons that morphed at a moment's notice, along with toxic bills that revoke habeas corpus and permit torture on the President's whim are just "another day at the office" for people of the United States of America.

Through it all, we have become afraid of our own shadows, endorsed the subjugation and usurpation of basic, fundamental liberties in lieu of a security blanket that only masks a deeper national fracturing of our psyche. We, the American people, have enabled an abusive surrogate parent, in the form of a malicious government, to divide this nation in order to conquer it! We are prisoners of our own fear and it has come to this: "We the People" are on the brink of extinction, set for summary execution and are subject to be replaced by lords and masters, while the remaining few are relegated to mere serfs and vassals in a feudal system of American Kings.

In spite of our walk down the "green mile" as a nation, there is a diminutive, but growing hope that we will be granted an eleventh-hour stay of execution. Our death sentence may be commuted to life or even asylum granted by-proxy of a republican party that is enormously swollen with hubris and spilling over its embankment. The republican river of deceit and scandal has eroded its own banks through unrestrained control and given a weak opposition -- the democrats -- a chance to no longer look frail and ineffectual.

If America this November can set down the remote, crawl off the couch long-enough to vote some adversary back into the system, she just might have a fighting chance. If not, lady-liberty will continue to be abused by a misogynistic, spousal government and may have her torch extinguished forever. It has come to this America and now it's up to you to decide if we make history or become history as a nation!
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Frank J. Ranelli is an independent scholar, skeptic and critic, author and essayist. His erudite and iconoclastic style of provocative writing has been extensively published in a variety of news outlets and across (more...)
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