Dispatches from the Suburbs of Hell

Heaven is for the obedient. Hell is for the wrathful. What of the ones in between? We wind up in the Suburbs. Our sin is individuality. Our punishment is boredom. But at least we're in good company.

Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Call to Arms

On this day, 231 years ago, a group of very intelligent men reached a number of conclusions. They concluded that Man is an intelligent creature, both capable and deserving of mastery of his own fate. They concluded that personal freedom was a right Man is born with, and that the purpose of government is to safeguard that freedom. They furher concluded that, when a government can no longer serve the best interests of the people, then the people have the right to get a new one. Thus, came the American Revolution, and born out of its fires was the United States of America. In its day it was a rare thing, and a bold experiment: a country based on an IDEA. An idea that Man is born with rights, rights that no monarch can give or take, and that governent must defend those rights.

Over two centuries have passed since that day. America has seen struggles, both foreign and domestic, and has gone from a simple thought exercise to a world power. The virtues of equality and personal liberty, virtues upon which the nation was founded, are now beacons of light throughout the world. The notion that EVERYONE is equal is considered the cornerstone of international law. The report of that Shot Heard 'Round The World still echoes. The legacy of the American Revolution - the notion that the people have the right to rebel against an oppressive ruler, and can even WIN - is alive and well.

But, irony of ironies, the land that gave birth to this idea is in danger of losing it. One of the most openly corrupt Presidential administrations in recent memory has dealt the last straw to its credibility, commuting the sentence of a convicted traitor. Over the course of the last seven years, the Bush administration has started a devastating foreign conflict that it seems incapable of concluding satisfactorially, has dismantled social programs that preserve the economic stability of working Americans, and has successfully split the country in two. With an agenda fueled by big business and religious fundamentalists, the administration has appealed to the basest instincts of its constituency, and has turned an old fashioned conservative base into a ravening mob of reactionaries. The administration has capitalized on a largely-imaginary cultural conflict within America, convincing half the country that the other half wants to destroy them. It has a created a culture where violent ignorance is a virtue, where anything new or different is wrong, and where the President is God.

And in this new climate, an important point often goes missing: freedom has been lost. This is the core tennet of democratic society: in a true republic, the citizens only lose their freedom if they GIVE IT UP FREELY. Republics throughout history almost always transform into empires at some point, and there are many reasons: sometimes a country becomes to large and unwieldy for a republic to effective govern. Sometimes a great disaster occurs, and the people demand a more efficient response. Sometimes a tyrant gets himself elected and slowly assumes more power under the populace's noses. America is on the verge of succumbing to this process. The form of Christian Fundamentalism that holds sway in the United States is one of total surrender: the idea of giving oneself to God fully. Surrendering responsibility for one's own life, and instead trusting completely in some higher power. This idea has been translated into government. Out of fear and ignorance, the people have surrendered control of their own electoral process. They have put their faith and trust in a group of businessmen and good-ole-boys, and look the other way when the government commits acts of heinous corruption, having no choice but to trust that what they're doing is for the best.

But there is a choice, even if the people can't see it. 231 years ago, the Founding Fathers of this nation saw they had a choice. They could either quietly endure the yolk of an empire, or they could rise up and oppose it. It was not an easy process, nor was it ever guaranteed to succeed. But it was RIGHT. And in the end, right prevailed.

Right MUST prevail again. On this day, most auspicious of all days, I call upon my fellow Americans. Rise up. Take action. Pull your heads out of the sand and see what's happening. Protest. Write your Congressman. Call for impeachment. Call for referendum. Do whatever you must, but get the message through. We must DEMAND an end to this bid for empire. We must DEMAND that our nation, our government, and our society hold itself to a higher standard. The United States was one a great hope. It was the land of reason, of liberty, and of opportunity. We CAN NOT allow the future of this nation to be shaped by religious fanatics and glad-handing opportunists. We CAN NOT forsake personal freedom for the illusion of safety. We CAN NOT allow ignorance and bigotry to become the values of this great nation. If we do allow all these things to occur, then we were never worthy of it in the beginning - and I will not believe that. Not yet.

There is a belief that America is blessed by God. And that belief has been abused. God blessed Man with reason, with free will, and with liberty. It is Man's duty to use these gifts to the best of his ability. God created Man so that Man might aspire to God, and America as it once was, devoted to liberty and freedom, was where Man could do so freely. THAT is why we say "God Bless America." America is where we use our brains and our hands to improve the quality of life of ourselves and our fellow man; that is why we are blessed. We must not lose that. We must not foresake that blessing.

The time is now. This time will never come again, and if we lose it, we will never get it back.

Rise again, Sons of Liberty. Your country needs you.


Post a Comment

<< Home