Once upon a time I was proud to be an American. Now, at the age of 55, I find myself deeply embarrassed to call myself one. The values we once stood for as a country: honor, justice, democracy and freedom, those which I grew up with believing were the sacred hallmark of our great nation, now gag in my throat. Where has it all gone wrong?
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." -- Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda (1933-1945)
Times, though, had changed. Teens with short hair, once eager to fight enemies, now had long hair and protested the war. Musical prophets of the time had intuited a missing integrity to the sound of the bell of freedom and more importantly were calling rebelliously for love and peace, the other way. Young people had united to question conformity, the establishment and most importantly the motives of the guiding political institutions which seemed to be (and still are) in the financial back-pockets of major corporations.
"When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state." -- Euripides, Orestes
Something sounded wrong with the bell of freedom. Mass communication had educated the populous with more of a global view. The hippies understood and could articulate the interplay of economics, free trade and the influence of natural resources as pawns of power in the game board of domination and control over strategic resources like oil, gas and precious metals like: chromium, titanium and platinum. Few would ever avail themselves to know that without such strategic metals, of which the continent of North America and U.S. soil yielded little, was it possible for a technologically advanced country to make intercontinental ballistic missiles, jet aircraft engines and/or sophisticated bombs. In the face of this new knowledge, the Hippies courageously stood as heretics, choosing to protest against what they knew to be patriotic hypocrisy and the dawning of fascism.
"Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." -- Thomas Jefferson
Those behind the scenes and who pulled at the strings of worldwide power, knew that people like John F. Kennedy and others had big mouths and needed to be silenced. JFK was assassinated shortly after his famed speech at the press club about the military industrial complex (which echoed Eisenhower's concerns) and further forewarned of the secret societies who manipulated world events for profit. Soon thereafter, with the visionary leadership of JFK, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm-X now out of the way, our government, to whom as people we had entrusted our very freedom, would now forcibly compel its nation's young men to participate and sacrifice their lives to a war later to be proved completely unjustified. The collective spirit of love, hope and life lived for greater purpose was now successfully broken. History still stares us in the face, waiting for us to recognize the lessons it, and the repetition of our mistakes, are attempting to teach us. Will we choose another way?
"In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People." -- Eugene Victor Debs, Voices of a People's History of the United States
Once we had known, with clear conviction, the difference between right and wrong. As a people we were taught to protect the weak, right the wronged and fight for freedom. Now however, the moral compass of our heart had been turned, and with this, our minds rebuffed into submission. Values of goodness, which once defined our great nation, were now being defined by powers, we were told, were more wise than ourselves. They knew better and had our best interests at heart. They would protect us from what we were told to fear and what was beyond our capability to understand. We willingly allowed ourselves to be guided into a cauldron of water which was quickly being brought to a boil by flames of fears and fascism.
"For PEOPLE to rule themselves in a REPUBLIC , they must have virtue; for a TYRANT to rule in a TYRANNY, he must use FEAR."-- William J. Federer
The world, we were now told is a dangerous place, filled with bad people who were in large part, non-Christian. As such, they did not value life as we did nor did they hold to the moral high-bar of our more righteous religious beliefs. As our big brother, the government told us "We will protect you from these bad people." Our collective consciousness became torturously conflicted by the delusional pull between our heart's sense of truth and a gut intuition that felt an untrustworthiness about the comforting voice of our Government. We were unconsciously being lead to a reasoned insanity, that of a belief that our fellow brothers and sisters, who believed and worshiped differently than us, were boogie men and the terrorist, who meant us harm. (Part 2 of 3)