Look to your office Americans! Here’s a link that’s been floating round for anyone interested in exploring a not implausible alternate reality at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I think we tend to laugh at the truth or at least half-truths or at discomfort and fear. And after laughing one of my greatest concerns right now is a long standing idea in parts of mainstream American (hit upon by Palin herself in her recent speeches). The idea suggests that “real” Americans, the working majority, the salt of the earth, simply wave flags and don’t or shouldn’t dissent against their government.
Seems there was some dead white man back in the late 1700s who wrote about standing up to governments. He was interested in securing the peoples’ right to the good life and said that if any government forgets the will of its people it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence) It is within the very fabric of this nation to dissent, to rise up against oppressive leadership no matter what form it may take and make change that will benefit the nation as a whole not just a privileged few.
That is why I find myself wondering what kind of country we are living in these days when US Representative Michele Bachman calls someone un-American for not having enough national pride? Or when that same Rep. insists on tests of patriotism.
Isn’t it every American’s right not only to be deeply disappointed with our government but also to strongly question, argue against, and even completely oppose the decisions of our elected officials when they run contrary to our political and/or ethical views?
I make no bones about my bias in this presidential campaign but my American bias is towards a strong, just, and inclusive nation. I don’t know exactly how we build our future, how we each play a role in this democracy or whether we can keep democracy alive. Too often I have found myself preaching to the small choir of friends and family around me who for the most part hold the same views. But perhaps it is time to get over fears and stereotypes and actually start talking to anyone who is willing to engage in good discussion.
As the presidential race reaches its climax I am playing out the different scenarios of who will enter the White House on January 20th 2009. I hope it is Obama and I look forward to giving my full support to the next administration when deserved and dissent for the rest.
Friday, on Democracy Now Michael Moore offered some suggestions for the new commander-in-chief.