We need to ask ourselves one essential question. Are we really living in a Democracy that is deserving of that noble title?
When machines are devised by corporations and used by our government that can be purposefully hacked without a trace to alter the Democratic process, are we living in a true Democracy? The Diebold Corporation doesn’t make mistakes like that by accident. Let us not forget that they are the ones who make the ATM machines that you get your pocket money out of. Can you imagine?
When your President begins a campaign of torture against his enemies, is he living by the principles set forth by our Founding Fathers? You can sugar coat this one as much as you like, but the Vietnamese torturing our soldiers in Vietnam was wrong - even in war. Just like it was wrong for our government to authorize and implement these evil tactics in our subsequent pseudo-wars.
When your Defense Department ignores the rule of law created to keep it in check and begins spying on its own citizens (including Quakers), have we not stepped out of Democracy and into a dangerous and frightening Orwellian world? We have entered a world in which Big Brother can justify its acts by framing rhetoric that encourages fear in the hearts of its citizens. Is that Democracy?
When the words corruption, corporation and government become so intermingled in their modern definitions that it’s hard to see a much of a difference between them, are we living in a true Democracy? From the giant money laundering mechanism we call Iraq, to the bribes, payoffs and dirty tricks going on in Washington, this a system that no longer works to benefit the people. It is a system that squeezes Americans for every drop of trust and pride they have, until we the people are left empty - bitter shells of what we once were.
I refuse to be one of those people that shouts out a bunch of complaints without offering an alternative. The alternative is simple. If you have drunk driver that puts his car in a ditch, you call in a professional tow truck driver to pull it out. You don’t throw the drunk his keys and watch as he spins his tires while cursing and sputtering about. Unless you are just doing it for the comedy value, that approach doesn’t make much sense.
We the people need to start demanding the same freedoms we profess to be injecting into other counties - at their own peril and loss of life. We must stand up and demand a return to true Democracy. We need to construct a better Democracy that limits terms to all members of Congress and punishes them dearly for moving against the people’s best interests. They work for us damn it! They are not our masters - we are the masters of our own nation!
The first step in this process must be educating the ones who are blind to the fact that our nation has devolved into a Banana Republic where power is exchanged for currency at the highest levels. We must teach those blinded by imagined dreams of self interest that we have become a nation of fear, rhetoric and lies where Freedom and Democracy no longer matter except as words used to stir the emotional longing for ideals we once had.
We must wake up and tell those around us that we are not fighting a war against terror, but a war against the very freedoms and truths we hold dear. And we must take the keys away from the sputtering drunk, who has driven us into the ditch of deceit, coercion and propaganda we now find ourselves in. It is your responsibility as an American to help save us from the dark times that will come should we fail.
You must act in the simplest of ways or the grandest of ways to bring compassion and truth back to a mighty nation that has lost its way in the darkness. Every day, you must act for progress in this noble, American cause.
Or God help us all.