Our country is no longer up for sale: it’s been bought, wholesale, for pennies on the dollar, while we’ve been asleep, dreaming about what the Kardashians are up to and what’s on the next channel.
The oligarchs have won, and we can now look forward to a dystopian wasteland of corporate land-grabs, choking pollution and abject poverty.
Final score: Money 1%, America zero.
Our own American Senate—our own elected representatives—sold the country out last week, sneaking an amendment into a non-binding budget to sell or give-up outright all federal lands not currently protected as a National park or monument.
How the hell did we allow this to happen?
Our own representatives voted to sell our country out, literally, in a 51-49 vote. Our own elected body, those supposedly there to advocate for us, sold out the entire country to the Koch Brothers and Monsanto and Swift Foods and all the pillars of corporate America.
Under the amendment, which comes on the heels of a 228-119 vote in the House ceding control of land to states and municipalities under the guise of “local control,” states and municipalities will be free to divert monies earmarked for preservation away from that purpose and to tax breaks for fracking and offshore drilling.
You think the last Gilded Age was bad? The Vanderbilts and Rockefellers are gasping with jealousy in the great beyond over this literal land-grab.
And we let it happen.
This is what happens when We The People remove ourselves from our Political Commonwealth. This is what happens when we become apathetic and complacent. This is what happens when we fail to give a collective shit.
You get what you vote for. Congratulations, America.
Buddhist thought teaches us to be fully present and aware. We as a nation have failed miserably on that count.
This is not about spirituality, nor about moralizing our distractions from the vicissitudes of our daily existences: we’re all allowed to shut it down at the end of a crappy day at the office and watch a ballgame, drink a few beers, whatever. But when we have grown so complacent, so enamored over reality shows and which pop star is screwing what pop star and what’s the quickest/cheapest/easiest thing for dinner that we miss out on these issues—we have a major problem in this country. This is to our great peril.
Money has bought out or Political Commonwealth lock stock and barrel, and we didn’t even notice. And if we did, we shrugged.
Where will this amendment lead? Do we care? We will when Oklahoma experiences more earthquakes than California due to fracking, and when we the Polar ice caps are nothing but a swimming pool thanks to global warming and when NASA, which studies these trends, is neutered to nothing by science-denying elected officials such as Ted Cruz.
We have no more time to be apathetic.
We have no more time for complacency.
Our country is up for grabs, and we all lose.
Author: Brian Westbye
Editor: Emma Ruffin
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