As we move forward into ’08 I feel big changes ahead both personally and as a country. In many ways it feels like things are coming to a head politically not just because it’s an election year, but certainly propelled by it. People, our democracy and the planet are under pressure from many different angles.
Economically the middle class is fading away. We are moving toward extreme capitalism where government no longer protects “us” but serves big business. Reagan’s lie that “Government is the problem” has taken hold and hoodwinked conservatives into believing it’s their job to dismantle it. Bush continues the plan by hollowing out each department to uselessness, replacing each agency head with incompetent cronies. He then turns to his corporate controlled big media to spread his propaganda…”see? Government doesn’t work.” Meanwhile, Katrina’s victims wait for their lives to be rebuilt while they watch Casinos, hotels and starbucks reclaim and replace the homes where they once lived. Across the world Tsunami devastated fishing villages and war devasted Iraqis watch the same. The poor, the “brown people” are pushed aside as the Corporations move in.
The upper class is hiding away. We’ve traded peace for security. Instead of finding bridges between people we’ve turned to walls. Security companies and private mercenary armies see business as booming. (no pun intended) Around our boarders and our subdivisions our world is becoming gated communities inside “green zones” with occupants protected while those on the outside are left to fend for themselves. Wars, natural disasters, global warming…whatever disaster strikes the occupants of these fortresses intend to pay private companies for protection and safety. With the top 1% owning more than the bottom 90% combined I can see where they believe they will be able to. Have you seen the underground bunker the heirs to the Walmart fortune have built for themselves?
Bill Moyer’s said “Democracy works best when we reclaim it for ourselves.” Go check out his article in the Nation magazine: For America’s Sake.
To turn it all around is not impossible but it’s going to take all of us doing something. What is passed on to the next generation is in our hands right now. Whatever we decide is what they will have to live in. (or try to)
If you don’t know what you can do start by reading a book. (I have a really good list on my blog in the library section) Join an organization and offer to help answer phones or help mailing their out literature. Donate some money to a cause or a candidate fighting for change. Talk to people about the issues. Support free speech and progressive media outlets. Get on the internet and connect with others working to save the planet and this country.
When you make out that new year’s list of resolutions this year, don’t think just about how you are going to improve yourself. What are you going to do to make this world and this country better? What are you going to do to inform yourself or your friends and family about the truth? Are you going to stop allowing torture, out of control capitalism, wars for oil and natural resources, destruction of the environment and neglect of workers and citizens across the globe? Are you going to ignore it all and allow it to continue being done in your name?
JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” You can get involved. America really needs you to be engaged right now. We can change this course we’re on together. Make ’08 your wake up year. America needs your help. The polar bears need your help. The Iraq people need your help. The people of New Orleans need your help. The homeless veteran on the sidewalk needs your help. The gay person without a support network needs your help. The sick need your help. The hungry people need your help. The ocean needs your help. The young people need your help. Turn off the TV. Go do something about it. Anything.
Happy New Year!
Peace & Love,