What's wrong with us?
Actually I'm just plain old, but I have lived through some interesting political upheavals.
The Province of Quebec, Canada was in my youth little more than a theocracy, ruled by the Catholic Church. So total was its influence on everyday life that it was not uncommon to have a man's paycheck delivered to the parish priest first. This was only one of the abuses that were in common practice here fifty years ago.
This influence was broken during the so called 'Quiet Revolution' when a group of committed people decided to knock down this rotten edifice that from the outside looked impregnable if only from inertia.
They succeeded. Now Quebec has one of the most lively secular cultures in North America.
The United States has not traveled so far down this road that the majority of you no longer remember what you once were, what you once believed, that a fire cannot be lit that will burn away this tissue of lies that cover you.
It's perhaps not my place to lecture you on how you should run your nation; however in OUR dark time it was the light that was shining from the South that gave us hope and showed us what was possible.
Don't let it go out.
I know few people who think the US is headed in a good direction. Although we might all disagree on certain points, the flagrant disregard for the law (both US and international) the current administration has shown, its reckless spending, its absurd tax cuts, the preposterous war on drugs, the tragic rejection of equality for all our citizens, the suspension of habeas corpus, the ridiculous expansion of executive power, and the general mangling of the constitution (over the past century) all need to be fixed.
None of it ever will be changed with a complacent population. Voting is not enough anymore, and don’t even pretend like online petitions or angry blog entries (like this one) mean anything. I don’t honestly know what will make a difference. But I know that something needs to be done.
I used to read an author named Daniel Quinn. He raised similar concerns in people, although on a larger scale (dealing with human civilization as a whole rather than one particular country). I don’t subscribe to his theories as much now, but he was often asked by concerned people, “You’ve made me aware of these problems, but what can I do to fix them?” His answer was simply, “Raise the consciousnesses of others as yours was raised.” If you agree with me and Robert and everyone else who thinks that the US is headed down a bad path, and you want to help, then raise consciousnesses. Make people aware of the problems. The more people who want change, the easier it will be to enact.
Maybe I’m overreacting. Perhaps the people of every age feel their country falling away from what they consider its principles to be, feel it getting worse. Maybe my concerns and those of the people who think like me are unfounded. But as Robert said, at one point we were a “light shining from the South”, and I’m pretty damn sure that the light is fading, if it’s not already out.
I wish I had a strong conclusion, I wish I had a way to end this. But I don’t, and I can’t. It doesn’t end here.