Just watching the two major parties ruthlessly claw at and attempt to malign and de legitimize each other, then seeing people now excitedly lining up on one side or the other like opposing Ninja turtle teams is both amusing and frightening. We can count on the talking heads and modern media to regurgitate a story line familiar to devotees of Saturday morning cartoon shows to give substance to our political competitions and aspirations. Unfortunately, the narrative is insultingly simple-minded and mostly a distraction.
With the nation divided into red and blue states, the news robots now have the solemn and putative critical duty to keep us up to date on any shifting of allegiances and re balancing of the color scheme, milking any incremental addition of a splotch of blue or dash of red for whatever drama they can generate, before cutting to a commercial break.
What has this got to do with the mounting crises we find ourselves in?
Here is a short list of profound challenges confronting the world:
- Potential for nuclear war and the annihilation of the planet.
- Climate change.
- Resource depletion.
- Desertification of shrinking tracts of farm land.
- Diminishing fresh water supplies.
- Acidification of the oceans and over fishing.
- Antibiotic-resistant diseases.
- Accelerating species extinction.
- Human trafficking and enslavement.
Here is a short list of critical challenges just to our nation:
- Destruction of democracy and rule by an oligarchy.
- Historical levels of wealth inequality.
- Loss of privacy and basic constitutional rights to the surveillance state.
- Corporate tyranny and plutocratic control of the economy.
- Almost 40,000,000 Americans, 12% of the population, living in or close to poverty.
- As many as 30,000,000 still without health insurance.
- Rampant social and systemic racism.
- Crumbling of infrastructure and crippling of our social institutions.
- Militarization of society and seizure of power by the military-industrial complex.
- Police brutality and murder of innocent citizens.
Pundits and politicos in service to their oligarchic masters can generate all the wonderful spin they can. But America’s economy has been hollowed out from the inside, and due to a fanatic allegiance to a defective and extremely destructive ideology, the vital needs of everyday citizens have been ignored. Anger and frustration mount. Signs of decline and decay are all around us, behind the glitter and the glitz. Worst of all, the U.S. as a world power is losing the mantle of leadership. Its policies have inflicted so much chaos, destruction and death on the rest of the planet, the U.S. is losing its legitimacy and is successfully being challenged by Russia, China, and the non-aligned countries of the South. Of course, with the myopia and desperation that characterizes a dying empire, what’s America’s answer? More chaos, destruction and death. We are involved in a very serious war right now and the specter of World War III looms frighteningly on the horizon.
Everything comes back to what we as a people do to reverse this disastrous course.
Isn’t it time to put away the gang colors and actually begin to solve some problems?
Is it possible? I don’t know.
I do know it’s absolutely necessary.
Our survival as a country and even as a species depends on it.