Ashamed of What We’ve Become

Editor, News-Register:

I just watched an amazing “60 Minutes” program. The first part, “Hard Times Generation” portrayed an America of which I am frankly ashamed. I know that many of you will respond with, “If you don’t like it, leave it.” Well, I won’t leave it, because I love what I think it once was, and I will stay to do all in my power to reclaim it’s tarnished glory. Those who brazenly shout “My Country Right Or Wrong” need to be made aware that my country is now indeed wrong, and the true patriot is the one who dares to face that truth and make some attempt to set it right.

Is it not wrong when, according to CBS, (all credit to them for daring to expose these shameful statistics), 16 million, or one in five American children live in families with incomes below the national poverty level, which is set at an embarrassingly low $22,050 for a family of four? Is it not wrong when 1.5 million of these children are homeless? Is it not wrong when it spends $1.3 trillion of our tax dollars on two wars, while just a couple of weeks ago the Congress cuts back on food assistance to the poor? Is it not wrong when it spends billions upon billions on foreign reconstruction while our infrastructure lies in waste?

Those same billions could be used to give jobs to the millions of unemployed Americans to rebuild our own nation. Is it not wrong when it allows the chasm between the super rich and the rest of us to widen to obscene levels with government sanction? Is it not wrong when the Supreme Court allows corporations the right to buy elections under the guise of the First Amendment rights and at the same time persist in the fallacy that we are a democracy?

The first step in setting it right is to recognize the wrong. This becomes most difficult when we have allowed the evil super rich, through control of the media, to fragment the population into warring parties, not only between mainstream and minorities, but among the minorities themselves, each blaming the other, oblivious to who the real culprit is. In recognizing the wrong, we must come to realize that the mountain of wrongs we face is by design. This is not kismet, or serendipity for the evil ones. Clever bastards they. They have capitalized on our cowardice. The threat we fear was manufactured by the very ones who now pretend to be our saviors.

This is for those of you who blindly support these illegitimate wars, these violations of international law and our own constitution. This is for those of you who, under the guise of patriotism, vote your own selfish interests. This is for those of you who would sacrifice the lives of others for a bit of safety you don’t deserve. This is for those of you who claim to be Americans, but are not.

Hal O’Leary