June 28, 2006
PSEUDO PATRIOTISM: AMERICAN STYLE
On this coming Fourth of July, we will attempt to celebrate the birth of Democracy and independence of our country. A number of Americans will commemorate this occasion by escaping from their cities for a four day weekend of fun and frivolity. The degree of patriotism that most people will exhibit will consist of nothing more than chugging down a cold Budweiser, eating too many Ball Park frank hotdogs and adjusting their yellow “Support our Troops” ribbon on the back of their SUV’s. How many Americans will stop for a moment and really even contemplate what this day actually means?
At times like these, my heart almost skips a beat when I think of the outstanding patriotic output that our country men and women profess. Maybe they are right. Maybe there is not much to be proud or even care about as a people, or as a country? We choose to view America based on greed rather than beliefs from the heart. We choose to eat our own in the name of capitalism (greed) and we do it very well with our corrupted politicians and corporate America’s blessing. Our appetite is immense!
In my childhood, I recall Fourth of July parades filled with ex military personnel and marching bands. We were celebrating the birth of our great country. I used to feel so proud. We don’t seem to want to watch parades anymore. We don’t have time for such community foolishness but we still like fireworks because men just like to blow up things to smithereens. Yes ladies, it is a guy thing! It has been said that testosterone and greed are the root of all evil.
Why do Americans not feel as proud and patriotic in 2006 as they did in 1960? Is it possible that we are that disconnected from each other and our government and that we have become apathetic? As a country do we exhibit the idea of shared sacrifice? Do we feel entitled enough to have poorer Americans take up most of the work load so that the wealthy can sit back, relax and count other peoples money?
Back in 1960 we were still a great country with tremendous promise for the future. We had just elected a new president who inspired us and challenged us “ask what you can do for your country.” Forty years later and after the trauma of 9/11, George Bush inspired American to pull together by asking them to “go out and shop.” Excuse me, but the only response to that type of presidential inspiration is, WTF? No he did not advocate that we as a nation make it a national priority to wean ourselves from foreign oil and develop a national energy policy that would involve alternative energy sources. Mr. Bush asked us to sacrifice exactly nothing! The America way of life is non negotiable. Remember, the voting electorate needed to be placated and pacified for the 2004 election. Oh that’s right; our senior citizens were also propositioned and medicated with the worlds most expensive drugs (Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit). Your children and grand children will pay dearly for this drug induced financial rip off.
As a country we are pulling apart from each other. We are being torn apart by design; divide and conquer. We as Americans are no longer concerned about “us” as a single group of people (Americans) or do we even care about the direction of our country. We are more like immigrants that first came to this country from “old Europe” and settled into like neighborhoods. They were afraid because they were amongst different people. Eventually they spread out and we almost started to become true Americans. After all, wasn’t America supposed be a melting pot where we welcomed other groups of people to immigrate and “melt” into the land we called America?
Today, we are more divided as a country since anytime since the Civil War. We no longer care what is best for this country or its people. Are you proud of how our country has evolved during the last six years? Do you really feel patriotic or is this just an automatic feeling that is conjured up from past glory and nostalgic feeling?
Do you feel patriotic when our middle class and their jobs have been outsourced around the world? We have been told that our jobs and pensions are now expendable because of the global economy. Why do we have to drag Americans down towards third world wages? Can’t we pull up poorer economies up to our standards? Do we have to lower our standards just so corporate America can rape us for increased profits?
Do you feel patriotic when your president lies to you about imaginary threats of weapons of mass destruction and then invades a sovereign country that has the second largest reserve of oil in the world; coincidence?
Do you feel patriotic that over 2,500 American men and women have died in Iraq for reasons that were based on lies and deception?
Do you feel patriotic that we are an occupying force in Iraq and that Bush intends this mess to be left for the next president? We have been in Korea for 50 years; do you think we will leave Iraq in your lifetime until there is less than one barrel of oil left in the ground?
Do you feel proud that over 37,000 Iraqi’s have died to date and on average over 1,000 Iraqi’s a month are murdered in Iraq? Yes, freedom is on the march. Corporate freedom is what is really on the march. I didn’t realize freedom could cause so much suffering and death; sounds just like religion. Religion is on the march. Do you think God would really want soldiers to kill on your behalf for oil? Will God and the Iraqi’s ever forgive us for our complicity?
Do you feel patriotic that we are the cause of an emerging civil war in Iraq that threatens the fragile peace in the Middle East? Do you have any idea of how many more thousands of Iraq’s will die in the next year? Do you even care? If not, why has you heart grown so cold in relation to humanity?
Do you feel patriotic when we kill innocent civilians and advocate torture through Bush’s signing statement? Where was John McCain to comment on these signing statements about torture; MIA?
Do you feel patriotic when your elected politicians bring up wedge issues only to divide this country even further?
Do you feel patriotic when you hate and discriminate against your fellow America because you are susceptible to fear or ignorance?
Do you feel patriotic when your phone calls and computers are being wire tapped by your government?
Do you feel patriotic when you willing to relinquish our civil rights which have been fought and paid for in American blood? What would our founding fathers think if they could see all of you cowering with such fear and remaining silent?
Do you feel patriotic when your First Amendment Rights are trying to be eradicated and the thought that you may be arrested for protesting against your government’s actions? Can you say Fascism?
Do you feel patriotic that you voted for Bush not once but twice, along with a republican Senate, a republican House and a republican Supreme Court? Is this what Thomas Jefferson had in mind with the concept of checks and balances?
I fear for the country that I once knew. I no longer recognize the country that we have become. I am afraid for all of us and it may already be too late! Why do you still sleep?
Happy Fourth of July