It’s been four years since our lives and our world changes irrevocably from being innocently naive about our personal safety on these shores to a world of paranoia, distrust, and burdonsome procedures fashioned to emulate a sense of security. This year, in the wake of Katrina, the reflections have been somewhat muted, but the echo is the same — the federal government screwing up and squandering an opportunity to unite the people of this country and of the world.
But it is strange to me that only four years later, we’ve totally forgotten the terror of those fallen high-rise buildings. The feeling that the world was collapsing in front of us. That perhaps, we weren’t going to make it out of this one alive. It was the day my eldest son crawled for the first time, and I remember looking at him and wondering where he’d be tomorrow. Hey, and what ever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Didn’t some cowboy president promise us that he’d track him down, find him and capture/kill him? So… Where is he? Instead, we got a long protracted war and the capture of Saddam, a dictator of a broken country with no direct threat to the united states, which ironically has killed more Americans after it’s overthrow than at any time before, and now stands as a haven for terrorists and will most likely become a religious theocracy in the power vacuum left in Saddam’s wake.
Does anyone remember how we used to laugh and shake our heads in disbelief at that crazy Dubayah, as he hid on his ranch from his job, and bungled public speech after public speech, that is before the towers fell. And does anyone remember how he was virtually transformed overnight by that event into the single-minded powerhouse that he is today? Well, I suspect he’s still that same guy, but wearing different clothing and with more effective speech writers.
Since that day, we’ve seen 4 years of insanity and obstinant rule, of a refusal to rationally debate and examine facts. We’ve seen the destruction of our voting apparatus and the resulting disenfranchisement of the entire voting constituency of the USA. We’ve seen a major bungle of a natural disaster, which was marked not only by infrastructure failing due to budget cuts several years in a row, in order to fund a war in Iraq, but also a lack of personnel in the national guard, who signed up for their jobs in order to exactly respond to this type of emergency. We’ve seen the breakdown of society and mismanagement of events on the ground which has caused police resignations and suicides, and which has cost thousands of people their lives.
I’m hearing a lot from my liberal friends how they are ashamed of being American right now, and I have to say not only does that hurt me to hear, but it is something I strongly disagree with. I am seeing my fellow Americans open their homes and checkbooks across the country to help those in dire straights. I’ve seen a grass-roots response which completely blows me away, and outstrips anything the feds can put together. I’m ashamed of the royal family right now, with their complete lack of perspective. Barbara Bush in her latest public faux-pas sounded just like the out-of-touch Marie Antoinette who in answer to the question of what the poor will eat that are starving in the streets of Paris — ‘let them eat cake’, in her similarly crazy comment that those who are suffering tragedy from the poorest parts of New Orleans are receiving so much aid and support from those who are good enough to help out that the event is actually WORKING FOR THEM. Unbelievable. But… remember, WE THE PEOPLE are the manifest inheritors of the USA, of its constitution and its institutions. It is we that stand tall and proud and are helping those in need, not the feds. We the people are the compassionate ones, and the ones with the real resources and power to get things done. That is, except vote in a truly representative government.
But before I get started on the serious woes we face with our lack of consistent and verifiable voting practices, let me just focus again on the positive — We The People of the United States of America are great and proud, and we have the resources and the will to do good in this world. We have done it across the oceans in other countries, and we’re doing it today, for our own. Don’t let those bastards in charge get you down, and don’t let them claim credit for this, when the credit belongs in total to the average folk in our country opening their hearts, their homes and their wallets to complete strangers, just because it’s the right thing to do.
I am proud to be an American.