FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The American Dream Drives a Tank Down Pennsylvania Ave.

Photograph Source: Udo Keppler – Public Domain

Andrew Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and James C. Calhoun are flying fighter planes over the Union’s celebration of itself this Fourth of July. Jeremiah Jackson and General Custer are going after the Indians they didn’t kill before. PT Barnum and the Amway company are celebrating that sucker born every minute with a huckster, cheat and liar named Donald Trump. He’s a man with more power than all the money in the world can buy and his kids want to rent you a room in the family-owned hotel. The American dream is tearing up your neighborhood, taking over your television, installing viruses on your cellphone and promising you the moon. At least thirty-five million Americans are lining up on Main Street or sitting on their asses in some kind of air-conditioned comfort ready to be screwed in the name of freedom. Lee freaking Greenwood is shouting dime store patriotism from every speaker in America’s hometown and even Uncle Sam wonders why God should bless the USA. What god would bless this unholy mess? What god would want to claim it as its own? Perhaps a dark lord from the depths of the eighth circle of hell? Lust, greed and gluttony define this American life. Its celebrated “freedoms” seem to revolve around guaranteeing these behaviors. Its current president has enshrined them in its house of whiteness. There is no shame.

Frat boys, yahoos from Mayberry towns, and rich men filled with hate and puffed up with empty egos push their agenda of white is right even though its wrong. The only stripes that really matter in the flag flown from Iwo Jima to Baghdad are the white ones. Black, brown and red-toned people have known this since the day they opened their eyes. The white-skinned folks who aren’t celebrating this basic fact want to think it isn’t so. Yet every time the line is drawn and they must choose where to stand, most of them white folks choose the side with the people wearing sheets and swinging axes like Lester Maddox. Old times there they aren’t forgotten. Way down upon the Swannee river and all that. Look away, Dixieland. The legacy of the slavers informs this country more than any other legacy around. Let me tell you, it’s great being white on Independence Day. A Klan member told me this so many years ago before my buddy told him to fuck off. Have a Budweiser and God bless the USA. Hell, have a bunch of Budweisers. And a shot of bourbon too.

Corporate America makes a killing. Corporate America is a killer. From the ICE raids in your hometown to the SEAL raids in Afghanistan and beyond using all the latest equipment manufactured and sold by everyone from Amazon to Apple, Wayfair to Lockheed, Raytheon to General Dynamics, corporate America kills and goes home to thousand-dollar bottles of Scotch and meals prepared by undocumented immigrants. Corporate America is America. Wall Street is controlled by small men with big egos and appetites for destruction. It is populated by smaller men and women willing to work for such men. Morality is defined by the ability to make a profit. Sociopathy is the name of the game. Human life is just a small part of their equation. Holocausts and genocide are how they do business. If I had a rocket launcher….

What to the slave is the Fourth of July? Slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass asked so many decades ago. “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me.” Today, that sunlight remains a faint light to the humans in the concentration camps set up by the immigration police, to the descendants of those enslaved in this country, to the indigenous peoples whose lands continue to be stolen and to the poor. What to them is the Fourth of July? A reminder that this country is not for them; a reminder that this country only wants their blood, their sweat, their money and, in times of war, their children. Freedom, my ass.

Tanks driving up Pennsylvania Avenue is not the definition of freedom. Overpriced death planes doing tricks in the sky above the Reflecting Pool is not justice for all. Donald Trump talking trash on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is not the Gettysburg Address. However, it is this nation’s bottom line, its ugly truth. Its history of genocide and greed, war and lynching, slavery and racism. The trumpists have exposed what really makes this country unique—its unadulterated greed, its arrogant lies and brutal treatment of those in the way of its greedy pursuit of gold. The trumpists have also exposed the myth of a liberal opposition—an opposition defined by Pelosis, Clintons and Schumers who know their interests lie with the trumpists and their legions of hate much more than with their pledges to justice for all.

America, go fuck yourself with your fireworks.

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail