Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not Our Country Anymore

This is a reprint of a letter written to the Times-Standard and published as a My Word on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 by Eureka resident Robert Barker:

Our new ways in the right-wing USA nothing to feel patriotic about

That little chapel down the street is replaced by a megachurch. That small hardware store is now closed due to Home Depot or Lowes. That grocery store that was called a mom and pop place is gone and now stands a supermarket from some famous chain, Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Ralph's, or Piggly Wiggly. 
That shoe repair shop we once went to, is replaced by shoes made cheap enough in China to buy new ones rather than re-sole. That small electronics store is replaced by a Radio Shack. The milkman and bread man, we had in the past is replaced by Stop and Go or convenience stores.

That policeman we once trusted to serve the nation kills first and asks why later.

Our “National Guard” that once defended the nation at home is now deployed with regularity.

Our beloved Postal Service has been put under the gun by right-wing conservatives that hate anything once or currently connected to the government even if it's been reliable for hundreds of years.

Our public school system, once the envy of the globe, is now rated low and unappreciated and underfunded by the right-wingers.

That trickle down we were told would occur to offset the wage freeze never trickled down and the middle class shrinks from that joke of an economic idea.

Racism is still with us even though the Supreme Court struck down much of the Voting Rights Act because they said there was no longer racism. They just needed to show up at a Tea Party rally and see the signs and racism is apparent. The experts said “Head Start” was the best program ever for poor children, but the right killed it or most of it, and the rest is set to die.

Private for-profit prisons where citizens are targeted and sent to jail for lower level crimes are now in vogue. We no longer claim to rehabilitate, we just incarcerate, due to the death of inmate rehabilitation, because the right says “punish, not rehabilitate.”

Our media -- which once held down the lies and propaganda through the “Fairness Doctrine”-- is now allowed to lie and keep us down through false information made to increase controls. Once a citizen was human and many died for this country but with the “Citizens United” decision corporations are considered human even though one has never died for this land in our history.

Welcome to the right-wing America, where billion dollar jets are built for wars, needed or not, but food stamps denied to hungry kids like it's the right thing to do.

Our world, at least here in America, has lost its philanthropic ways and has become more about right-wing religiosity, more about corporate gains and less about people gains, more cruel, stark and hateful.

We are not that country any longer, perhaps we never were, but our fascist, corporate ways are driving us to hell in a social sense faster than a speeding bullet.

We are willing to drone or bomb anyone we see as in our way. This is the New USA, the Koch Brothers' vision, becoming true -- and our populace's vision sinks into oblivion.

Robert Barker resides in Eureka.

This is about a well said as you can get. In view of the above, it begs the question, what now? More of the same certainly is not the solution. Maybe it's time to innovate.

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