The American Civil War almost ripped this country in two — for what? Slavery. The right to own other people as property and buy and sell them on the open market. The right to force black people to do back breaking work for 20 or more hours a day, so a white family could do — what? Run for congress?
And the Joseph McCarthy era was as close to hell as I think our democracy has ever come. People of every walk of life were blacklisted and cheated out of the prime of their lives by McCarthy and his self-righteous ego-narcissism. “Are you now or have you ever been…” is a question so evil that we all feel it to the bone, nearly 60 years later.
Maybe we need a jolt that comes from despots and devils like the Koch Brothers every now and then to make us appreciate what we’ve got. Or what we had. Though I hope and pray constantly that we haven’t woken up on our way to the stocks and gallows.
Maybe it takes something as radically wicked as the corrupt Chief Justice John Roberts (but politically unimpeachable — because the Constitution says so) and his corrupt Supreme Court’s rulings that money is speech, and corporations are people to make us recognize the fragility of real rights — and real wrongs. Citizens United was no fluke. It was the canary in the coalmine.
We’ve never yet been subject to “disappearing people” — being secreted away in the night with black bags over their heads.
Unless you count some of the Occupation raids where the press is cordoned off and kept from photographing/reporting police actions. And raids where police hide or tape over their badge numbers and names. And unarmed civilians are beaten, fired upon with rubber bullets and other “non lethal rounds” (ask Scott Johnson about those!) pepper sprayed, and hand-cuffed with those zip-ties that do permanent nerve damage to the hands if tightened too much.
Between the unlawful arrest and “raid” practices of the police (including the destruction of personal property) the abridgement of the freedom of the press, free speech, and now, thanks to our bought-and-paid-for-congress, the corrupt Roberts Supreme Court, and sell-out President Obama — the end of due process –>
The once great United States of America which offered a beacon of hope for democracy, and an open door that said “Give us your tired, your poor… hearts yearning to be free…” Now says,
PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS
Instead of leading other nations to democracy and freedom — we just joined the rank and file. And though they do it with some recognition that nobody is going to like what comes after America, they all say,
“Now you’re just like us.”