Now I feel like I’m the oddball as I look around at a world I recognize less and less.
Ours is a country that was built on dissent. Questioning our government goes back to our very founding, but the kind of vitriol and madness that passes for debate today is something I find truly frightening.
I remember the race riots and the
protests of the sixties. I lived through the shame that was Watergate and with it the resignation of a president, but through it all people still worked together to try to find compromise and move the nation forward. We believed in “One nation under God…” We knew that was our strength. Vietnam
These days there are powerful entities working hard to assure that compromise is obstructed and that we, as a nation, are kept as divided as possible. Divide and conquer. You’d think we’d recognize the tactic by now. You’d think we’d look at who is profiting by the strife and realize how we’ve been duped.
After 9/11, we were controlled by fear. There was even a little color meter on our TV screens to tell us just how afraid we were supposed to be. We were so easily distracted by worries of attacks from outsiders that we failed to see the attacks coming from those within our own nation who had been slowly chipping away at a middle class that had been the backbone of our country.
We didn’t pay attention when regulations on financial markets long in place to protect consumers were systematically dismantled. Wall Street was allowed to become nothing less than a casino right around the same time that people were being most encouraged to invest their life savings in its coffers. In 1983, fifty corporations owned most of our media. Twenty years later that number was reduced to only ten – ten international conglomerates who use their ownership of the air waves to try to make sure we only hear what they want us to hear and what they most want us to hear right now is how any form of government regulation is bad.
Make people fearful for their very livelihoods and you control their hearts and minds. People who are scared will believe that up is down and black is white, especially if they’re told so over and over again by the same corporate interests who caused them to be stripped of their livelihoods to begin with.
We’re tricked into voting against our own best interests over and over again, because who has time to search out the truth when we’re struggling to just keep a roof over the our heads and that of our families.
And we’re angry. We’re so angry. And so we respond to angry voices – voices from people who claim to be just plain folks – just like us. But they’re not. They rake in millions from books and appearances and TV and radio shows, and the more they succeed in whipping up the masses against any possibility of civil discourse and reason, the stronger their corporate masters become.
And none of this – none of it – has been by accident.
In the movie “Invaders From Mars,” a young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings and tries to warn the world of what’s happening.
But, of course, that's just a silly movie...