Joel S. Hirschhorn
My anger has morphed into sadness, heartbreak actually. As the decade of zeros ends I see nothing but a tragic, historic and deadening American Disappointment, a terrible replacement for a once noble American Dream. The Great Recession was merely one symptom of the nation's slide into slime, a quicksand created by the two-party plutocracy.
Free of delusion I have come to this sad reality: Once upon a time Americans could confidently believe that their nation was on the right track, getting better, offering most citizens a decent chance of living securely and proudly. Now, that view has been smashed by many years of undeniable evidence that our political system is frighteningly corrupt by forces that have ensured an economy serving the interests of the rich and powerful. Their pursuit of happiness enslaves ordinary Americans. America's middle class is a disappearing and suffering set of distracted victims, slipping continually into the lower class of an inevitable two-class system. Most are oblivious to their fate, to the electoral tyranny that manipulates and consumes them as fuel to keep the corpocracy humming.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was right about the past decade: "It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true. ... the decade in which we achieved nothing and learned nothing." Do you think children noticed?
The decade of numerical zeros was also the decade of nothing. Nothing, as in not having a home anymore, not having enough money for food, not having health insurance, not having a decent job anymore, not having the friend or relative that lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan, not having money and financial security for retirement and old age, not having any more illusions about politicians like President Obama who sell themselves as agents of change and reform but end up like all the other lying plutocracy-serving political hacks, only this time hiding behind blackness. But learning nothing is even worse than having and achieving nothing. Worse, because nothing is likely to stop the slide into slime. Nothing promised by Democrats or Republicans is likely to revive the American Dream, now replaced by the American Disappointment.
Tyranny can prosper along with elections and even freedom. That should have been a lesson learned by the many millions of Americans victimized by corporations and dysfunctional government agencies that did nothing to protect them from the greed, incompetence and criminality that savaged them. What is even more inscrutable is that we do not see Americans rising up in righteous, populist anger and discontent to tear down the system killing them. Why is there such stability in a system so corrupt, disgraceful and unjust?
This is the great mystery that defines the American Disappointment. A country founded on revolution is so sick it cannot see the need to use it again against domestic, elected tyranny.
Our Constitution provides the path to a peaceful Second American Revolution, yet Americans do not even get excited when they hear that Congress has refused to obey the Constitution and the option in Article V for a convention of state delegates that could propose constitutional amendments. An option put there by the Founders because they anticipated the day when citizens would lose trust in the government. Nor do they become enraged when it is pointed out that Congress flagrantly disobeys the Constitution and their oath of office because they fear constitutional amendments that could truly reform the political system, ones that they would never propose. The nation is filled with constitutional hypocrites more than willing to ignore a piece of their beloved Constitution that Congress refuses to honor. As if it does not matter. Just the supreme law of the land and the rule of law smashed with the invisible fist of ignorance. By itself, enough for a revolution, once upon a time.
Wait, perhaps all this grief over my country does not really matter. After all, in about a hundred years there will be a whole new set of Americans. Maybe they will be in an even more devastated condition than today. Then, finally, the revolution may appear. Wish I could be there. Wish you could be there.
Here's a resolution for the New Year: As a US citizen I will act responsibly and do everything I can to get strong reforms of our political and government system. Start with becoming a member of Friends of the Article V Convention at foavc.org.
[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com]