You are being lied to! Every day and in every way our politicians and the talking heads of the media weave for you a tapestry of unreality that they hope will keep you ignorant of the true situation our country finds itself in. Yet, despite this unrelenting wave of spin, Americans know deep in their gut that something is wrong with the world. They don’t know what it is, but they feel it.
No one is blind to the fact that, in the immortal words of President George H. W. Bush, the United States is in deep doo-doo. New buzzwords like “sovereign debt crisis”, the “new normal” in unemployment and economic growth and “partisan gridlock” have left most Americans with the sinking conviction that our nation is on the wrong track. All the recent polls bear out our collective negative appraisal of the future. For the first time, more Americans think that the nation that they will hand their children will be worse than the one our parents handed to us.
How can it be that we’ve begun to accept the unthinkable: that the American Dream may be lost forever? How can it be that our people have become so divided, distrustful and partisan that we seem completely unable to agree on anything except that the other side is wrong? Well, it shouldn’t be and it doesn’t have to be. We can change the course we are on if we are willing to go past the narcotic veil of illusion that those in power have tried to place over our eyes and face some unpleasant truths about how and why we were lied to.
It isn’t a surprise to most people that those in power want to stay in control. They’ll do anything and say anything to maintain their hegemony. In today’s America, they take advantage of the shallow reporting and biased refereeing of the mainstream media and reduce the national discussion into a contest of which side can “out-spin” the other without actually saying anything of consequence. They play a game in which they keep the people ignorant and rile up their base emotions to the point that every debate of import quickly devolves to name-calling, half-truths, diversions and distractions. Like master con-men, the politicians and their media lapdogs seek to distract our attention with shiny meaningless objects held in one hand while they pick our pockets with the other.
Like many of my fellow citizens, I had taken these developments with a grain of salt. The truth is that I became as cynical as everyone else. In disgust, I wished a pox on both their houses and wished to wipe my hands clean from the dirty stink that our leaders have made of our politics. I mean, seriously, could you have ever have imagined that things would sink so low that there would be a weeklong media frenzy about whether it was worse that Mitt Romney put his dog on the roof of a car or that President Obama ate the windblown hound when he arrived at his destination?
Surely, I foolishly thought, nobody believes any of this nonsense. So, I just rolled my eyes in disgust at the media and the schemes of the political operatives. Recently, however, several conversations I had woke me out of my apathy. In these discussions, I found myself trying to communicate with people whom I thought were possessed of above average intelligence and awareness of current events. I must say that I was shocked with their utter lack of any sense of the the implications of our current policies and the magnitude of the decisions we must all face as a country. Regardless of whether one is left or right, I assumed, surely everyone at least sees the same things, right? Not!
As John Stewart remarked to Senator Marco Rubio the other day, it is as if we live in two totally different universes. In one world everything is fine and dandy. Trillion dollar yearly deficits? Sixteen Trillion in total debt? An entitlement crisis rapidly spinning out of control?
“That’s no problem!”, I was told.
“If we tax rich people enough and make them pay their fair share, we can fix the deficit, jump start the economy and still have enough left over to pay for free health care for everyone!”
“Really? You can’t be serious, can you?”, I replied.
“Absolutely!”, I was assured.
I asked how, in this new world of global economics where America is becoming more and more uncompetitive, is the answer to promote even more regulation and higher taxation? How, when the headlines are filled with stories of the serious debt crises caused by the profligate spending of politicians in Greece , Spain, California and Illinois, is the answer is more government spending and new entitlements? How, when the real corruption and mismanagement of trillions is occurring, not in industry or even banking, but in the rise of crony capitalism and special interests, is the answer is to empower ever larger and more expansive government? The response I got was either blank stares, tired worn out clichés or assurances that I was simply exaggerating and a dupe of right wing conspiracy theorists.
It’s as if the hard reality, cold numbers and daily stories of states and countries verging on financial collapse don’t exist in the world in which these people inhabit. Hey, don’t worry . The Preezy of the United Steezy has got it covered man. Relax and be happy!