As a flower child of the sixties (ok, out and out hippy tree hugger) I had the words America, love it or leave it tossed at me more times than I could count. Most of my generation did. This was the right wing mantra invoking blind patriotism and lemming like belief that anything our country did was right and proper and if you disagreed, you were a traitor and didn’t deserve to be an American. The irony, of course, is that probably more than any other generation in American history, mine was brought up by the “Greatest Generation” on pure idealism of what America was supposed to stand for (truth, justice and the American way!) and I maintain to this day the counter culture was a direct result of actually expecting America to live up to that promise in the face of an illegal war (Vietnam) the broken promises of racial equality and the rebirth of the Womans Movement after the betrayal of women’s rights established thirty years prior.
But for all that somethings were still unthinkable until George W. We didn’t overtly claim the right to pre-emptive war, torture was an unthinkable act (done only in the most secret fashion) and personal information was personal. The sex lives of politicians was considered off limits to the national discourse, other than in the deep south, the justice system was basically honest if often frustrating, Americans wanted to be fair even if it took honest educating for them to get there. We wanted to be decent people that tried to live up to the American ideals I was taught as a child and if you didn’t, you were too damned embarrassed to be open about it because the rest of us strove for that basic decency and sense of fair play.
At this stage of my life it’s hard for me not to see the current masterminds behind the extreme right as nothing short of pure, unadulterated evil. I never believed I live to see torture debated as policy in my country in my lifetime, but it still is in some circles. As a lifelong Pagan, I understood how flexible freedom of religion could be but never dreamed one of the big three Abrahamic faiths would have their own religious freedom debated in the national discourse, but it is right now. I never thought I’d see Richard Nixon as one of the best of the Repugnican breed instead of one of the worst. And after Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, I never thought I’d see open racism, sexism and out and out bigotry expressed in Amerika without shame ever again.
We sold our infrastructure and national resources to the highest bidder, dismantled the industrial base that saved us several times. We don’t produce much of anything beyond a trades/craft level anymore but instead sell each other “services”. After eight years of outright lying, warmonging, betrayal of everything the country was supposed to stand for and finally, after aiding and abetting the wholesale rape pillage and plundering of everything America had by the Bush administration… After open and unashamed violation of every decent principle of international law and overt, unabashed war crimes along with the dismantling of the Bill of Rights…..there was no justice, no day of reckoning, no restoration of basic civil liberties and personal privacy when the country turned collectively to the Democrats and gave them the House, the Senate and the Presidency all at once. “Change we could believe in” became more of the same, just less overt. I now know that short of a revolution, America is finished, stands for nothing, is basically trying it’s damnest to be yet another third world country, which it already is in terms of such important issues as civil liberties and basic rights to health care. Obama’s “victories” are nothing more than what the Right proposed in the past instead of real change.
And I want to love America so I finally want the Tea Party idiots, the Rush Limburgers, the Fox “News” Networks, the Newt Gingriches and the Dick you Chaneys to be seen as the national traitors they actually are. They stand absolutely against everything I was taught as a child was good and decent about America…..and they clearly don’t love America so it is time they did what they told my generation to do, leave it, right freakin’ now or be held to the same standards they threatened people like myself with our entire lives.
You speak out and personally attack a wartime President, that is treason by the Constitution. You break international law in the form of the Geneva Convention, that is a war crime, both carry the death penalty. You swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign or DOMESTIC and then attempt to pass laws and policies in direct opposition to it, you are immediately removed from public office and held accountable.
And while we are at it, my generation gave us Earth Day and the realities of ecological interdependence so why is it so damn hard to figure out when you have example after example in your face, including the worst ecological disaster in human history that you dismantle the corporate criminals who did it and stop allowing further destruction? A damn third grader can tell you what is right here.
America has become a land of the lawless, perhaps the only response left is to ignore it’s laws and do what is right to the Right. What else is left when the President and party of Hope leaves you hopeless? But the thing that leaves me truly hopeless is that the “progressives” lack the intestinal fortitude to actually act. How did it come to this?