Monday, August 28, 2006

POLITICS - Country Formerly Known as America

"The Country Formerly Known as America" by Nance Greggs, Democratic Underground

It’s hard to even imagine it now, but legend has it that it was once the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. It stretched from sea to shining sea, and offered vistas of purple mountains’ majesty above fruited plains and amber waves of grain. It was once thought of as so undeniably good, its undisputed crown was the pride of brotherhood.

In the early days of its demise, which few saw as inevitable at the time, the will of its people was thwarted by the very technology that had once harkened the advent of increased communication amongst its own citizens and, in turn, between the people of the world.

The die was cast. The rich were immediately rewarded for their foresight in contributing to the right people at the right time, as well as their innate ability to build their personal fortunes on the backs of their fellow citizens without pang of conscience. The corporations stood in line, palms upturned and fingers outstretched, ready to grab their piece of the pie, even if watching others go hungry was part of the deal.

The hard-working middle-class busied themselves with looking the other way, naively secure in the knowledge that their climb to the top of the income-bracket ladder was well within their reach, and to hell with those who would be left behind.

And then one day the unthinkable happened. The threat, the people were told, was now a reality. A never-ending war was launched based on a myriad of premises too flimsy to be remembered, and those in positions of political power were quick to join the sky-is-falling chorus without ever bothering to look up to see if that were so.

Imagined boogey-men became the excuse to rescind the very foundation of law the nation was founded upon, as well as the tool to silence those who asked the obvious questions that had no reasonable answers. In the aftermath, while the country’s treasury was looted and the youngest and brightest of its citizens were sent to die, unprotected in battle, the very fabric of this once-proud nation began to unravel like the cheaply constructed flags it mindlessly waved.

The insanity set in early, as happens in such circumstances. Formerly respected elected leaders engaged in the kinds of debates once relegated to schoolyards, their childish prattle drowning out the seriousness of the situation: an economy that was ripe for collapse, a form of government that was about to fail, and a president who had usurped the powers they were meant to keep in check.

The broadcast airwaves were filled with lunatics. Some concocted implausible stories and, passionate and wild-eyed, screamed them as fact. Others droned on like lobotomy survivors, mouthing words in measured tones that lacked any semblance of thought; no questions asked, no explanations required.

In one of its final years of existence, the great nation lost one of its key cities, a place of historic and cultural value that had once been a source of pride. It was swept away by a combination of natural disaster and national indifference, and slipped beneath the waters without a whimper from those who could have saved it with little effort.

Few in power noticed, but it was truly the beginning of the end. While unwinnable wars on the other side of the world were reported, with equal importance, alongside wars on Christmas at the mall, while the discussion of questionable election results was overtaken by 24-hour coverage of runaway brides and missing co-eds, the once-powerful nation slipped into madness.

...there's more.

Only one opinion, but with the ring of truth. And it is our (the American voter) fault, we believed the lies or were too busy with our lives to pay attention while America was sold out by those in power.

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