In this day and age of political correctness and mounting awareness of social responsibility there are many ways to push public opinion that still utilize the deep seated hatred and misunderstandings of an older age. They are masked behind new terms that carry as much guile and deception, outright prejudice and ignorance as the terms they replace. Frequently we hear such terms as “true Americans,” patriots or expert, being used to imply that the rest of us, or those who hold differing views or beliefs are less American, that we are less patriotic, or that we are just plain uninformed. I, for one, am disillusioned by the reliance on these tools for our oppression. The fact that there are few who understand the lies implied by an array of terms used to dehumanize the “enemy” may play well in the media, but by my reckoning, there is great harm done to the public discourse by them.
As surely as the bigoted statements that led to oppression of women and minorities dehumanized them, the current watchwords of the right are leading to harm to vast segments of the population that prefers to lead lives of compassion, understanding and abundance. I am as much a true American as anyone. The fact that we attacked several nations, or at least the people of several nations, has dealt a crushing blow to our status in the world. Instead of being the beacon of freedom and a shining example of democratic action, it seems we are becoming the reactionary fascists that we claimed to fight against. Generations of American fought for the opportunity to experience self determination and share the wealth of our own making around the globe. Now, it seems, we are bent on extracting as much as possible from wherever our influence can be felt and giving back as little as possible while making money off the backs of the oppressed people we find there.
In fact, our own oppression has been building to a crescendo over the past generation or so. Our educational system has been crippled, the financial system has run amok, rights that were fought and died for two centuries ago have been revoked and the corporate entities that specialize in exploitation of their workers prosper from ever greater amounts of corporate welfare. A whole new cadre of politicians have finely tuned their rhetoric to serve one purpose, eviscerating the body politic. Proud Americans, heroes and heroines are slighted daily by the media and made out to be kooky weirdos, reactionaries or “communists”, or “socialists”. The extreme lack of awareness about basic information has begun to erode our ability to see through the smoke and mirrors that the corporate dogs use to keep us working ever harder to achieve their interests.
Next time we hear what the twenty four hour news cycle has deemed important it would be refreshing if we would ask,”Who stands to gain from us hearing this?” When information is withheld, we should ask the same question, but about our ignorance. Frequently there are forces beyond our comprehension at work creating what we presume to be reality. The leaking tritium at over forty nuclear sites around the US warranted virtually no coverage, yet the birds killed by wind turbines can capture the headlines across the nation. To attempt to put a little perspective on the “risk” to birds from the renewable energy we call wind energy, it is true that (according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service) four hundred & forty thousand die each year from flying into wind turbines. Five million die from flying into communications towers. 72 million die from consuming, or being sprayed with pesticides.80 million die from vehicle collisions. 174 million die from collisions with power lines and over a billion are killed by cats. Certainly, there must be a compelling interest to let the cats off the hook at the expense of serious consideration of renewable energy.
Likewise, the news loves to popularize the myth that someday we will be able to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE standards) to thirty miles per gallon. Incremental change over a decade or two will surely save us ten to fifteen percent on our oil imports, right? Well, when the national speed limit of 55 MPH was instituted it reduced fuel use by fifteen percent in one day. Change is not slow to arrive if we put our minds to it. When we get the complete picture, we have no trouble seeing the truth behind the numbers, but when we try to make up our minds based on half truth, lies and innuendo, what kind of future can we expect? Remember when we all learned the divide and conquer theory? The power brokers are using that same technique today. By setting the dogs on any and all sub-groups that have good ideas for positive change and by setting each of us against one another, their hand is enriched while ours is made evermore desolate and marginalized.
please take the time to learn as much as possible about where your ideas are coming from. Try to research who stands to gain by both silence on important issues and spouting off about inane goings on. We need to focus on a specific direction. It needs to be away from the precipice. We stand hip deep in other people’s shit and without educating ourselves about what is actually going on, we can look forward to ever deeper piles being heaped on us. Greater authors than myself have pointed out that when life gives you lemons, it’s time to make lemonade. The best thing about all the crap we’ve been fed is that it makes really good compost!