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10 American Myths “Refutiated”*

The Myth: That the “liberal media” includes every media outlet other than FOX.

Moderate news organizations such as The New York Times, MSNBC and the Sunday morning news talk shows are all centrist. These media are controlled by large U.S. corporations. Multi-national corporations are not liberal, but rather thrive on conservative economic and social orders to control and maintain the status quo.

The Myth: That America’s two-party system is a highly developed representative form of government and a shining beacon of “democracy at work.”

The truth is that the U.S. Congress and the Presidency are controlled by the narrow interests of the elites, especially the big-business status quo. (The vast majority, the cottage workers and the under-classes, are decidedly under represented, if they are represented at all.)

The Myth: That America is a benevolent power; its policing actions around the globe are designed to perpetuate freedom and democracy.

Historically, power is wielded to control markets and resources and has a decidedly minor bearing on the internal social markers of foreign governments. In other words friendly, pro-American-business dictatorships around the globe are acceptable to U.S. interests. Unfriendly ones are not.

The Myth: That capitalism is a fair system of economic distribution which offers all the opportunity to get rich.

The truth is that most people would like to be rich, but very few actually achieve the dream, especially the hardest workers of the lower classes. Overwhelming evidence predicates that, with rare exceptions, if you are born poor in the U.S. you will die poor. Conversely, if you are born rich, you will likely remain rich the entirety of your life without working as hard as low-wage earners.

The Myth: That education is the key to escaping poverty.

While it is true that an education gives one a better opportunity for financial stability, it is no guarantee. America is brimming with a vast pool of over-educated, under-employed people who cannot find jobs because the jobs they are qualified to do are so scarce. This is true for every discipline from archivists to zoo keepers, with the possible exception of medical doctors. The insurance industry has a vested interest in keeping America staffed with competent medical professionals.

The Myth: That America will go to hell in a hand-basket if our borders are not closed to immigration.

The extremes of this belief disenfranchise everybody from Mexican laborers to Middle East refugees. (The refugees the U.S. helped create.)

The Myth: That justice is meted evenly across the vast social divisions in American society.

The truth is that the poor and people of color in American society disproportionally fill our jails, while whites and moneyed people most often escape punitive measures. Where sentences are meted, the poor and people of color are dealt with more harshly than moneyed and white lawbreakers. Justice is purchased in this country; if you are poor you cannot afford justice.

The Myth: That drugs laws effectively deal with America’s drug “problems.”

The so-called War on Drugs has been a dismal failure, and the continued prohibition of drugs perpetuates crime. Clearly there is but one solution: The State control and dissemination of drugs to addicts coupled with vigorous preventative measures.

The Myth: That celebrities and professional athletes should be role models for America’s impressionable youth.

Do you really want your children to be so boorish and self-centered—like Donald Trump?

The Myth: That the political landscape of the U.S. is drifting to socialism.

Ha! This can’t be true given the circumstances described above. However, the U.S. is edging toward fascism. Fascism in its purest form is the collaboration of a highly centralized, executive-oriented government and corporate influences designed to control the markets and social conditions of a nation.

*Thank you Sarah Palin, you are unforgettable.

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Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books in Portland, Oregon.  This story is excerpted from his memoir of growing up in Oregon, A Marvelous Paranoia.

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