Yesterday I was driving home from a visit to my cousin. She lives in LaCrosse, WI, near an area called “The Driftless Area” since the glaciers didn’t go through there – thus it’s full of bucolic, rolling hills. The physical beauty surrounding me was stunning.
At the same time I was listening to Jean Fereca’s “Here on Earth” show on Wisconsin Public Radio. She was interviewing Ramsey Clark, the former Attorney General under LBJ who has co-written a book called “The Torturer in the Mirror” about America’s longstanding use of torture, which has been ramped up as part of the so-called “War on Terror.”
I think the real terrorism is what has happened to the country I grew up in and the country I have loved.
I said that recently – to some friends when we were out for dinner “This isn’t the America I grew up in.” My friends pooh-poohed my comment essentially telling me that everyone feels that way as life goes on and that it’s really not that different than it was for previous generations.
But is this the best we can do? As I’ve said before I’m the daughter of one of those WWII heroes – the guys (and gals) who, imho, saved the world way back when. Who left all of Europe feeling grateful for our help. We seemed, back then, a country worthy of the admiration we received.
People still want to come to America (witness both ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigration) and we still have many things going right. But I see our values, morals and standards slipping precipitously. And of course, that causes the logical fall in standards in things that matter in our day-to-day lives: health care, infant mortality, education, poverty. We are becoming a second-class citizen rapidly.
I’m appalled that torture is happening ‘in my name’ and ‘to protect me’. The real terrorists are the money-men behind the governments (on both sides of the aisle in the purportedly citizen-led – yeah, right – Tea Party).
I’m not sure what to do about it. Now that the veil is off and rather than having corporations covertly running our government, we’ve given them the keys I no longer have even a shred of belief that we are in a participatory democracy. My opinion seems to matter little to my senators and congresswoman – the form letters i get back weeks after I write them basically just state what they think on the issue regardless of voter input.
Torture is going on in my name and I don’t get a say.
Not sure where to go with that.
And I’m REALLY wondering if that is why America seems asleep? Because others who care feel they can’t effect change.
I wish I had a snappy retort here, but I don’t. I’m just sad, horrified and feeling powerless about being an American in this new century.