Friday, December 21, 2007

America the Beautiful and America the Terrible


I grew up in America the Beautiful, a country that was part idealization.

But it was a system that respected international law and order. It was a massive, mighty, many say "blessed," country that would never, under any conditions, stoop to invading a third-world country whose "soldiers" are often twelve-year-olds. And it would never have engaged in this nightmare of mass-murder of women and children for the evils of oil and greed.

I love America. But I do not always love or embrace her behavior under the tyranny of ignorant and greedy men. I do not respond with "shock and awe" to the slaughter and massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent women, children, and men in a single day. This is the evil twin of America the Beautiful; her name is America the Terrible.

In America the Terrible, it is a place where elections were fixed and dishonest. In both twenty hundred in Florida, and in twenty-oh-four in Ohio, hundreds of thousands of valid votes were disenfranchised-- mostly votes of native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino Americans. Huge boxes of their valid votes were simply thrown away.

Why? Because they did not want the government to be led by men who trashed personal rights and civil liberties. They were rejecting a government that practiced regular torture and mass-murder. They turned away from a government that spied on its own citizens, and took away civil rights and freedoms. In short, they insisted on a simple democracy, which the U.S. claimed to be exporting, while in reality, it was suppressing here at home.

The rulers of America the Terrible were the pygmy-puppets of corporate America. They stood by the greedy and destructive corporations while they ruined the environment, and defended their absolute greed even as they poisoned innocent citizens. And when opportunities arose to help people-- whether senior citizens, children, students, or the common person-- the leaders stood squarely opposed to programs that could assist. This was done not once, but over and over again. America the Terrible believed in war-- even in starting it, and in the defense of pollution; and "anything for a buck" was its guiding philosophy.

In America the Terrible, an unqualified man could, with the aid of his father, "buy" the highest position in the land, and end up in the White House even if the citizens did not want him there. He could buy his way to power by becoming a weak puppet of vast wealth, again, mostly corporate. He could then reverse laws that the wisest people had developed for decades. He could not only start a nightmarish war, but could threaten the beginning of another-- this time, nuclear. By simply ignoring the poor and supporting the rich, he could come dangerously close to eliminating the middle class-- the traditional strength of America the Beautiful. In sum, everything that could go wrong in America the Beautiful did go wrong in America the Terrible.

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