Friday, January 25, 2013

Failure to exercise freedoms a colossal waste

By Jon Overton

The United States of America—the most powerful, wealthiest nation on the planet—declares itself the Land of Opportunity and its executive is the self-proclaimed Leader of the Free World.

But it’s a nation of collective hypocrisy. We claim to prize democracy while deposing foreign elected leaders and propping up dictators when it suits us. We tout our great freedom of speech but cower in fear when fundamentalist bullies threaten or murder authors and cartoonists. We demand politicians cut our taxes, give us more entitlements and blast Osama and Saddam to Hell, then get upset with lawmakers for letting the National Debt spiral out of control.
But that’s the government’s fault for screwing it up. They’re in charge.

Oh contraries; you elected the government.

I voted for the other guy.

In no sense does that absolve you of an ounce of guilt.

We are all to blame for every atrocity, every injustice and every last problem in our society because we failed and are failing to try fixing it. Giving up on our polity and not pressuring our representatives to do what is right is only making our problems worse. America has suffered from horrific massacres of schoolchildren, immorally high levels of child poverty (22 percent nationwide) and skyrocketing health care costs for long enough.

You’d think there would be mass demonstrations all across the country demanding that these abominations stop.

And yet, in spite of the clearly unjust and morally wrong status quo, people grumble, but do nothing.

We live in one of the freest societies on the planet and have unbelievable power, yet still, we barely protest. Only a pitiful majority votes—not because our government will coerce us, but because we, collectively, don’t care enough to change. And by failing to care about serious societal problems, we are failing our moral obligation to help one another as fellow humans, we are failing democracy and most of all, we are failing to accomplish all that humanity can achieve.

If ever there was a time to act, to challenge the status quo, to revolutionize how our society runs, that time is now.

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