So this is Amerika
I wrote this commentary in 2007, during the throes of the Bush Administration. It is, unfortunately, as appropriate today as it was 4 years ago.
We the People are in serious trouble if we can't get beyond our media-manufactured differences and take our country back.
In 1987 the mini-series Amerika aired on ABC amid much hype and controversy and then died a quick death. In 1995 there was a limited release on VHS. While the premise of the mini-series was to show the United States 10 years after a take-over by the Soviets, the story is hauntingly familiar to the America [Amerika] we are living in now.
For the most part, apathetic Americans let the coup progress with no resistance, resulting in an occupied America.
Nobody wanted to risk anything for anybody else. Everybody was afraid they were going to lose what they had. They knew it was bad. They were just afraid it'd get worse. That's all they lived for - for things not to get worse.1
The country was under direct control of the "Kremlin." Factories were dismantled and shipped to the Soviet Union -- leaving 40%+ of the population unemployed; history was rewritten -- Lincoln's picture now appearing beside Lenin.
Freedom of Speech -- gone. Freedom of Assembly -- gone. Resistance movement -- imprisoned. And the country being divided into three distinct region-countries -- Pacifica, Heartland and New England.
With the Bush Administration's brutal rape of the Constitution, our freedoms are in jeopardy today. The movement of jobs to the global marketplace is resulting in a rising tide of unemployment, Americans are disheartened.
In 1838, a young Abraham Lincoln spoke these prophetic words:
"From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia . . . could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide."2
He did not foresee America falling to a foreign invader. "No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author [...]"
Are we authoring our own destruction right now? Have we come so far from the intents of our founding fathers that we have forgotten what it was they fought for?
In todays America would we elect an Abraham Lincoln? Unlikely. Our political offices go to the highest bidder, especially the "crown-jewel" of American politics -- the presidency. Instead of electing representatives of the people, we elect politicians. These politicians with their "power vested in me" attitude are destroying the basic fundamentals of our representative government.
"We the people" was not just a platitude ... it was a statement of hope, a statement of purpose. 185 years later, in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said:
> Let the word go forth form this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.
To those people in huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves [...] If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.3
We are that "new generation," and the torch we have been holding is flickering, ready to go out. Where is the hope and the purpose of America? That brightly burning torch that was passed to us only 46 years ago?
Party politics have not only divided us into Red and Blue, we have been divided into "patriot" and "non-patriot," "Christian" and "heathen." We are no longer Americans, with a common bond -- a common purpose, we are just a disjointed collection of people living in fear -- fear of losing our jobs -- fear of neighbors, both next door and across our borders -- fear of "terrorists" -- gangs -- drug addicts. Fear has moved in to replace the emptiness left when hope and purpose were taken hostage.
2Lincoln's Collected Works, ed. Roy Basler, Rutgers U.P., 1953-55
3Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy, pg. vii-viii
Reposted from the Archives