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The Nation I no Longer Recognize 

"USA is the slice of a continent. USA is a group of holding companies, some aggregations of trade unions, a set of laws bound in calf, a radio network, a chain of moving picture theatres, a column of stock quotations rubbed out and written in by a Western Union boy on a blackboard, a public library full of old newspapers and dog-eared history books with protests scrawled on the margins in pencil.  USA is the world's greatest river-valley fringed with mountains and hills. USA is a set of bigmouthed officials with too many bank accounts.  USA is a lot of men buried in their uniforms in Arlington cemetery. USA is the letters at the end of an address when you are away from home."

John Dos Passos, excerpt from USA, A Trilogy (1930)


I woke on November third to the realization that this country which I have called home for most of my life, has metamorphosed into a monstrosity.  Call me naive if you must, but I shared a belief, no not a belief, an expected sense of reality that this nation was evolving, progressing into a place worthy of its ideals.  I no longer think this--I can't, no one can, not after witnessing the events that have been transpiring on the political landscape since Bush was first elected (and I do use the term in a vague sense of description, for want of a more accurate symbol--perhaps coup d'etat, yes that's it).

While some investigative journalists like Greg Palast, as well as citizens groups have been amassing undeniable proof that the presidential election was seriously flawed; (votes disappeared, mysterious votes were cast although registered voters in those counties were far less numerous, polling places shunned poor and minority voters, lists were used to disenfranchise legitimate voters, and GOP operatives were allowed inside polling places to 'challenge' voters); all this crap leaves a very bad odor in the air--it reeks of fraud.  And what about John Kerry, who walses back home with his tail between his legs ?  What ever happened to, "every vote will be counted ?"

Its not just the election that has me in shock, its the stupidity of so many people who swallow 'hook, line and sinker' the baloney that you hear on TV, and in most of the mainstream media: 'people voted for Bush because he represents morality, values;'  'people voted for Bush because they want to support our troops;'  what malarkey !

Bush peddled lies to America for four years; he spent an enormous surplus, cut taxes for the super rich, increased taxes for the middle class, cut social programs, cut money for education, sent thousands of young men and women to fight and die in a war that we have no business fighting, avoids speaking to minority disadvantaged groups, cuts programs and support to veterans and their families, has undermined laws to protect the environment, undermined laws to protect the health of citizens and the elderly, seeks to reverse a woman's right to have an abortion, wants to build hundreds of nuclear reactors in the coming years, wants to make social security a thing of the past, took away overtime pay from millions of Americans, has been the only President to lose jobs overseas and wants to send more American jobs overseas, wants to let in thousands of temporary laborers from Mexico to compete for American jobs, treats science as a political game to be molded to his desires--how much more does one have to describe before you see the light America ?

As I write this, I cannot help but think of the thousands who have died in Iraq, a nation depicted before the invasion, as one predominantly made up of women and childrenA nation which was essentially disarmed during the UN inspections leading up to the 2003 invasion.  Although most of the media are not writing about it, the recent siege of Fallujah can only be characterized as a criminal exploit reminiscent of nazi perversions committed on mankind during the second world war; unarmed civilians shot and bombed; wounded enemy soldiers executed; medical facilities bombed, doctors shot at and arrested, no one is safe from American bullets not even pregnant women and children. 

Meanwhile back in America, Republican politicians reverse ethics laws, making it possible for criminals to hold leadership positions in Congress.  As idiot political analysts frame the 'mood of the country' as one concerned with morality, it becomes known that pharmaceutical companies peddle drugs hazardous to consumers, and the FDA knew all along, not for weeks or months but for years !  Had enough, or you want more ?  How about the trash jock-- Howard Stern, who gets $500 million dollars to spew his hate and venom over satellite radio for the next five years ?  Talk about a morals gap, where's the FTC ?  Probably still busy trying to come up with ways to let the media moguls control more radio, TV and newspapers--forget morals this country is about money, and greed, and that's it. 

The hopes and dreams of many Americans have been dying slowly for a long time; they died a little when JFK fell, a little more when his brother Robert was taken from us, when Martin Luther King also was slain, and even when Malcolm X was killed.  The Vietnam War and the lies of the Nixon years had an impact on all of us too-- we began to see for the first time that lies were prevalent in government.  Lies that continued in Reaganomics with that filter down malarkey that David Stockman peddled and the media embellished.  Lies, lies-- when a President tells the American people that Monica Lewinsky is lying, only to be shown later on, that this affirmation too is a lie

Friends we have indeed entered into a new century, one that abounds with double talk and the 'newspeak' of 'clear skies initiatives.'  A time when morals have as much in common with politics; as Ray Bradbury's firemen  (Fahrenheit 451) have as their task saving lives and property.  I wonder how much this war on terrorism is what it seems to be, and consider instead what it is not.  I see Afghanistan become a haven for drug traffic while the president tells us what a marvel of democracy Afghanistan is becoming, and am reminded of the Iran-Contra fiasco that proved America was involved in trafficking drugs in Central America.  What morals ? Forget the morals doubletalk, as American politicians spout the morals baloney, banks go bankrupt, pension plans go broke, while corporate executives rake in millions of dollars a year, while over 20 percent of children in America are poor, while Bush connives to turn over Social Security coffers to Wall Street greed, while the minimum wage continues to stagnate.  What morals ? This country has become a cauldron of lies, crooks and greed, and that my fellow Americans is the gospel of the 21st century !

V.S. / Editor


Posted  November  20, 2004

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