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Reflections on the U.S.A.

Are we or were we ever a great country?

December 2, 2010
Maury King · Founder,

It has been said that democracy is the greatest political system. I suspect that it has just taken longer to show its true colors. It does look good on paper. Maybe if everyone involved in this system operated with integrity and with the greater good of all in mind, it would be groovy. But look where we have ended up. Everything is so much about greed and power. Sensibility, health, safety and quality of life are out the window in the face of corporations.

And our stuck-with-gears-forever-grinding political system can’t even begin to tackle the large, systemic problems like Social Security and Medicare that need addressing.

Oops. I just felt a little bile in my throat.

Oh editor, pray tell the nastiest words thou wouldst allow me to defile the do-nothing, while still blood-sucking leeches gaming the political system for less than honorable reasons?

We are at the point where future generations won’t have it as good as their parents (the experts say). What does that even mean? What will it look like? We are failing to educate our children in a meaningful way. We are failing to feed the children and ourselves healthily. Congress is considering a bill that would put huge corporations in charge of food and practically ban using your own seeds, having a backyard garden and hamstringing organic food production in the name of safety. It’s just the opposite direction we should be going in.

And to get personal for a moment, Hawai‘i has been talking renewable energy— Hawai‘i brags about being the model for the planet—while we have egg on our face for talking it while other places are walking it.

And we speak about the importance of sustainable agriculture for our health and to provide a measure of food security and keeping money local. But can we ever do that with the power structure in place that has to put corporate profit over what is best for all residents? And they do that by controlling the land and the water.

Let’s face it. This is not a can-do state. The system we have in place will further stratify the rich and poor, produce an unhealthy population, cause incredible environmental degradation and overdevelop profoundly in anticipation of more (mostly rich) people coming into the state.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We could have a vastly different future by making better choices now. Why don’t we?

I don’t think we are a great country. Maybe we never were. Sure, we’ve been able to get things done. And depending on how you define better, we’ve done it better than anyone. We’ve made amazing advances in a lifestyle of bigger and faster things in it (while plundering the planet). We’ve made amazing weapons and used them to kill lots of people (in the name of what?). We’ve created a Wall Street that not only extends to all a deliciously dangerous debit lifestyle, but thinks the citizenry is simply theirs for finding the best way from whom to extract money (and the citizenry goes along). And those leeches I referred to above facilitate it all by being bribed into submission by our whole political system and the way it is financed with wastefully “gianormous” amounts of money and favors owed.



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