Once upon a time we lived in a pre- 9/11 world where American idealism called to "Bring me your poor, tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Once we lived in a world of political checks and balances that limited the accrual of power into the hands of any one elite. Once we lived in a land where the media investigated corruption, where police had limited means to threaten the community, where the military was constrained by congressional oversight, where citizens had rights to privacy and property.
Once we lived in a land that actually passed laws to empower the poor and to honor the voting rights of its citizens. The world was by no means perfect but it had potential. It moved one step forward and a half step back, but progress was being made. Improvements were possible and one could visualize a better tomorrow.
But then the towers of the World Trade Center fell, and the world as we knew it vanished. Democracy with its ideals of freedom for all, ideals of commonwealth, constitutional law and the sovereign right of citizen-led government became ashes in the wind.
Today, in post-9/11 America, we are increasingly locked into a corporate feudalism that has shattered the middle class, swept away the working class and crushed the poor. It is crusading across the globe in a war of us against all.
Count them if you don't believe me. We're at war with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. We have troops, mostly Special Operations and CIA, but also mercenaries (i.e. unsupervised by Congress) in 120 countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Jordan and almost all the "-stan" countries in Central Asia. We're in Africa, in Southeast Asia, Central and South America. Like God, we're everywhere!
But that's not all. Around the nation, we are increasingly militarizing the police. Our local police are now equipped with SWAT teams that are basically military units trained to see "We the People" as enemy combatants. Police have arsenals of weapons; some cities have tanks, armed helicopters and grenade launchers, even aircraft. Huge prison yards, once called concentration camps, are all the rage these days, and what were once prisons are now torture chambers. This is America today.
But that's not all. This manufactured debt crisis is simply a propaganda ploy to mask the austerity measures being launched against the once proud but now docile and defeated American people. The elites have completed their revolt against the emergence of the democracy movements of the 1960s. The fall of the World Trade Center defeated American idealism. American history is over; the sooner we recognize this new reality, the sooner we ourselves can revolt against the elites and win back our dignity. But we won't see it in our lifetime. All we can do is plant seeds for the futures of someone else's grandkids.