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We Want Our Country Back

by GORDON SOLBERG

Like millions of other Americans, I have become deeply concerned by the direction our country has taken in recent years. Once the global beacon of freedom, America has become a belligerent, warmongering, incipient police state. The Second American Revolution is just about over. It took more than 50 years — since the end of World War 2 — for this transformation of our country to take place, and I suppose it’s been worth it for the minority who are reaping the benefits.

For the rest of us, here’s what our country now looks like (and this is only a partial list):

A country where our former Constitutional protections now depend on the whim of the regime in power.

A country where all the “systems” are in deep trouble: the health care system, the educational system, the legal system, the grotesque prison system… it’s amazing any of them work at all.

An economy that is on the verge of collapse. When you combine recession, vastly increased military spending, record budget deficits, record consumer debt, and yet more tax breaks for the wealthy, we can count on a major economic crisis before long. But this might be the only way to awaken Americans from their complacent slumber.

Then there’s the breakdown of civility — lack of civic involvement (both participation and voting), corrupt government run by lobbyists, criminal CEOs who remain unpunished, hate radio/TV. Our country has become contaminated with the viruses of hatred and corruption. The concept of the common good has been overwhelmed by corporate and government propaganda.

And then of course there’s the environment. Americans insist on destroying the only life support system we will ever have. We don’t realize how fragile the web of life really is. Consider: if we shrank the Earth to the size of an orange (3″), the atmosphere would be only 1/10 of a millimeter thick! That’s less than 4/1000 of an inch. It’s this thin film of air that allows us to exist in the first place, and yet we now have an administration that is not only eliminating clean air standards, but is methodically dismantling our entire environmental infrastructure.

The polar caps are melting before our eyes. The rainforests are being cut down at the rate of one acre per second. If present trends continue, we are guaranteed a devastated planet, and Mother Nature will be punching the reset button on the whole human experiment.

This country is now controlled by an administration which seems to change any situation — be it Iraq, the economy, the environment, you name it — into a worst-case scenario. There seems to be an apocalyptic mindset at work here. Or you could call it madness.

The coming annihilation blitzkrieg massacre against Iraq can hardly be called “war” in any traditional sense. On a good day I hope that somehow the American people will come to their senses, despite their constant diet of war TV.

On a bad day I’m convinced that we have already passed the point of no return, and that the American Empire can only ratchet in one direction — towards more decadence and destruction.

But then I remember the example of Mother Theresa, who, even though she lacked the power to change the overall situation, did the right thing anyway. She never gave up; she worked every day to make the world a better place. Her example can inspire and empower us.

In the words of Martin Luther King, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”

We have reached a cusp point in history. Earth really is in the balance. You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. What we need now is nothing less than a Third American Revolution. A peaceful revolution to be sure, but a revolution nonetheless. We want our country back. The forces of the status quo have a death grip on this nation, and turning things around will be the most difficult thing we have ever done. But for those of us who believe that America should once again stand for peace, freedom, and democracy, do we really have any choice?

GORDON SOLBERG is a beekeeper who lives near Radium Springs, NM. He can be contacted at earth@zianet.com. Website: www.zianet.com/earth

 

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