News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 9, 2019: The question that must be asked is …
Are the majority of us men, women and children without a country?
I had long forgotten the short story that was so commonly assigned years ago in high school, even grammar school, until this week … “The Man Without A Country” by Edward Hale.
By the way, you can read this short story for free and you should. Just use any search engine to type in the title and the original version as printed in The Atlantic Magazine in December 1863 in the midst of the Civil War.
It is the brief but poignant story of the fictional Philip Nolan.
The latest versions of the never-ending gun violence, two more massacres by monsters who not only call themselves Americans but slaughter innocent children, women and men in the name of their bizarre so-called “patriotism…”
They leave all of the rest of us without a country when they claim it and most of all the thousands of dead and horribly wounded physically and emotionally whom, they have left in their wake in recent decades. Slaughter of a kind only seen elsewhere in the most barbaric terrorists run places on Earth.
All the rest of us are left without a country to believe in. We are the exact reverse of the protagonist in this very famous short story, Philip Nolan, who shouted out these infamous words that sealed his Fate …
“Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!” Those words fictionally uttered by Nolan in 1807, are the exact opposite of what is taking place today ……
We are seeing and experiencing a United States that is “leaving us” as it becomes more and more ruled by extremes of power and wealth that among many other excesses, giving license to these murderous madmen and “protecting” (sic) them from us with INSANE permissive gun “laws.”
Yet, as horrible as this never-ending gun violence is, it is a symptom not The Cause, just as the election of Donald Trump is a symptom not the cause of our malaise. That as long as too many of us believe simply getting rid of Donald Trump is all we need and that doing so will remake America …..
These Americans as well-meaning as they are still Foolish! Yes, we must get rid of Trump in next year’s election but that will not solve the problem – only rid us of one very small part of the problem, not the root cause.
As another example, it is an abomination that one U.S. Senator, the so called Majority Leader and/or one member of the House of Representatives, the Speaker, either has the power to prevent most legislation coming up for a vote. That is an institutional problem more pernicious than even Trump.
Another terrible symptom that must be eliminated. But not the root cause.
The root cause of all of it is the absurd concentration of wealth and power and its result is that most Americans have little or none of either. So, while most Americans dd not want Trump to be President, he is, and might be again. And the result is that simply having votes in Congress for legislation that the vast majority of Americans want – to control gun violence – never even takes place.
The biggest crime of all is institutional corruption. Not legally viewed as corruption at all. This is one “perfect” (sic) example among so many others seemingly endless other examples in which concentrated wealth and power overwhelm everything else, and leave all of us citizens of a country having no control or influence in, and the situation only getting worse not better – or we would have adequate gun laws by now not endless slaughter.
I offer my strong belief that if these many massacres had occurred in the 1950’s, 1960s or 1970s or any time earlier, that effective gun legislation would have swiftly passed Congress and been signed by the President. America was also imperfect back then but what has changed since then is that power and wealth are even more CONCENTRATED with the result among many others, that even essential gun legislation cannot pass Congress.
Again that failure is a symptom of the ever greater concentration of wealth and power to completely negate the will of the majority of Americans, because in this case, the power of one group, the so called NRA, with wealth and power enough to buy the complete allegiance of many members of Congress and this President of the United States. They WIN and we all LOSE.
Far worse and having nothing specific to do with the NRA or gun legislation, are drug prices, environmental degradation, or a very, very long list of other problems in which most Americans are VICTIMS. In each and in every case, we are the VICTIMS of concentrated wealth and power which manifests itself in so many ways nationally, locally and individually.
So like Philip Nolan, the fictional man without a country in the famous short story with that title, today most Americans see OUR country drifting away from us, comparable to Nolan forced to live his life at sea, adrift unable to ever be allowed again to stand upon the United States of America as it faded from his view from the decks of the ships on which he was imprisoned.
For us here in the 21st century, we absolutely need a story and a SHARED vision for America in the 21st century that is far better than the past or the present in which the hope of the Founders is finally realized and we gain a nation in which absurd levels of wealth and power do not dictate to all of us.
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)