The late Marvin Gaye once sang a beautiful and on-point song in the late 1960s asking us all to stop, take pause and look at what was going on around us.
We are now at a time very similar in tone socially, economically, and politically to those times, as well as the world from 1919-1939. People are attacking each other at rallies, we've got a John Birch-type movement fanning the flames of ignorance and hatred and getting away with it, and we have people so polarized from each other that fistfights are breaking out at the dinner table.
What the hell is going on?
Our country was founded on freedom with responsibility. We simply do NOT have the right to hate each other, however. I think the original signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of our Constitution are flipping in their graves as if on a Tilt-A-Whirl at what we are coming to. What we have now is NOT at all what they had in mind then.
When the forefathers sailed to this country, they fled religious persecution and intolerance, as well as the inability to be able to speak freely and run their own lives as they saw fit. They wanted to be able to have their own religions. They didn't want the King telling them that they couldn't be Puritan or Catholic. And they wanted CIVIL discourse in their new form of government, a Republic.
This form of government depended on manners in its rules and its policies, as well as the laws it would lay down for the people who trusted them and elected them to be there. Never before in the history of the world had any government represented its own people. This is what made the United States of America unique. It had town, it had state, and it had national levels of government. We WERE and ARE the BEST country in the world.
So why are we trying to blow it on people who just DON'T get it? We were founded on CIVILITY. The Constitution is there to keep us away from ourselves. There are those who would treat it as mere toilet paper. The Glenn Becks, the Sarah Palins, the Rush Limbaughs, the Sean Hannitys and the Jim DeMents of the world would like to see some of its very core elements torn down. They encourage civil disobedience and some, such as Rand Paul, encourage violence. Tea Partiers brought guns to health care hearings during the summer of 2009.
Americans need to look at themselves. We have had people call our current administration "fascist" and even "Hitlerian." There have been protests where some of our more distinguished African-American leaders have been even spat upon. Our President has been depicted with a Hitler moustache on billboards.
The current level of Tea Party violence actually reminds this author, an historian of the world from 1919-1948, of pre-WWII Nazi jackboot violence, which was indeed brutal. The Nazis started smearing everything from the previous era, and history no longer existed, except to be rewritten. As our friends on Fox News would have it, that would be the perfect world.
Let history be a warning to those who sit silently by this mid-term. We have to look at ourselves, America. We need to wake up. There will NOT be another chance. There is a dark mood in America right now, and we need to ask ourselves, "What's going on?"
We need to do it NOW, before we call ourselves AMERIKA.
- I am an activst and journalist. I call 'em the way I see 'em...from the facts, just the facts. I believe that life is to be experienced, with lessons to be learned; I believe in freedom with justice, and I believe that we are here to help each other, not to trample on each other.