|Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries|
|Written by Keith Johnson|
|Tuesday, 23 November 2010 08:57|
Page 1 of 2
“Live every day as if it were your last ... and then some day you’ll be right.” – H.H. “Breaker” Morant
History is not likely to speak well of today’s Americans. While the people of nations around the globe stand up to their oppressors, Americans sit idly by as their government runs roughshod over their life, liberty, and property.
As we speak, large-scale protests and mass demonstrations continue in more than a dozen countries as citizens strike back against injustice, criminality, and brutal austerity measures imposed by their corrupt governments.
In the UK, more than 50,000 students recently took to the streets to protest a spike in tuition costs.
In Greece, workers clashed with police outside the Finance Ministry over frozen pensions and cuts in their salaries.
In Germany, tens of thousands demonstrated to protest government policies and social inequities in advance of Merkel’s Democrat party’s national meeting.
In early October, thousands of Icelanders stormed their parliament with renewed anger over the deepening financial crisis, and against those responsible for it. Many of their politicians were forced to flee out the back door, where they were pelted with eggs, flour, and tomatoes.
In France, transportation and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill throughout vast portions of the country, as angry citizens railed against their government for increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62.
These events get little attention here in the United States. When the press does cover it, they portray the demonstrators as greedy layabouts who have become dependent on government handouts. In reality, people of these countries know full well that they are being made to do without in order to enrich powerful central banks that conspired with corrupt politicians to loot their economies. The people have had enough, and they’re letting their governments know it.
If only we had the same spirit. When will the American people recognize the full-frontal assault being perpetrated against them? When will they realize that, they too, are being made to do with less, so that their corrupt politicians can fulfill the unlawful arrangements they have made with the very same central banks and financial institutions that are bringing down nations around the globe?
Right now, millions of Americans have lost (or are losing) their homes to foreclosure as a result of the same kind of collusion between politicians and the banking cartels.
In 2008, the banking elite threatened to shut down the U.S. economy unless corrupt politicians in Washington, D.C., forced through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Though more than 90 percent of the American public voiced opposition to the bill, their words fell on deaf ears. To add insult to injury, the passage of TARP was actually celebrated by members of Congress, who stood at the podium with broad smiles and giggled as they signed the hellish legislation.
Billions of taxpayer dollars went to the bankers to rescue them from foolish investments in mortgage-backed securities. The TARP funds were supposed to be used to clear the bank’s books and free up lending to the American people. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the bankers tightened lending even more and used their newfound wealth to pay debts, acquire other banks, pay huge bonuses to their employees, and engage in more irresponsible investment activities.
To their credit, the American people found the gumption to confront those politicians in town-hall meetings across the nation. But the media – being the obedient lapdogs to the federal government that they are – quickly pounced upon these unhappy citizens, labeling them as dangerous upstarts who were working outside the parameters of civil and polite discourse that the government deems manageable. Raising your voice was equated with violence, hoisting signs was considered racist, and gatherings were announced as potential staging grounds for domestic terrorism.
How absurd that the mainstream media would think it could even be possible to kowtow the American people into compliance – especially when you measure these relatively mild examples of public opposition against the large-scale strikes and civil unrest we are witnessing in other countries.
But, ironically, many Americans did take the bait that the mainstream media was dishing out and decided to temper their speech after all. This was facilitated by Judas goats such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who corralled the people like livestock into GOP-controlled rallies that advanced the Republican agenda and insured them an easy victory in the midterm elections.
Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” summoned thousands of disgruntled Americans to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Days before, he pleaded with his audience to abandon their signs and silly clothes because it was making them easy targets of ridicule by the “progressive” Left. The people complied – and when they attended the function, they were treated to a ceremony of military worship and religious devotion to the state of Israel. It was a Hollywood production. It was organized and polite, and nobody raised their voice. People soon forgot about the imminent financial threats that were bearing down upon them. Instead, they embraced what every American should feel good about: a bloated defense budget and a toxic relationship with a country that has caused us nothing but trouble.
Shortly after the Beck event, the Left staged a demonstration of its own. Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” was a mockery of demonstrations – an anti-demonstration if you will.
The people who attended that function did so not to address the criminality of their government but to mock those who did. They came out en masse to parody the “Teabaggers,” fellow citizens enraged over Obama’s spending policies and mandatory health-care legislation.
Both events were completely partisan efforts, used to define the line between Democrat and Republican voters. Both events were used to quell dissent and stifle speech. Both were a success – but not for the American people. It was a success for the government, and a major testament to the power the mainstream media has over the American public.
Americans in large part have become nothing more than stupid, scared, spoiled-rotten slaves to their favorite TV programs, politicians, and electronic toys. Accusing them of such is just about the only thing that will make them angry. Americans still maintain that they are the freest, wealthiest, and most moral people on the face of the planet. But they are the only ones who think so. In a Newsweek article titled “Post-Anti-Americanism,” Howard Fineman writes: “When you read about America in European newspapers, what you are likely to find is a tone bordering on pity. The U.S. is depicted as a fraying empire of obesity, ignorance, debt, gridlock, stagnation, and mindless war. Sure, the iPad is cool, but it is evidence of what America was, not what it will be again. The stories are not angry, accusatory, or even ideological. It’s worse: They are condescendingly elegiac.”
I think most will agree that being pitied is far worse than being hated. Pity is leveled against those who are unwilling, or unable, to stand up for themselves. People of other nations pity us because they see in us what we are unable to see in ourselves: that we are weak.
But we weren’t always like this. In fact, just 20 years ago, we were far more resilient than we are today.