With some sleight of hand thrown in, we the people have been hoodwinked.
As a democratic society, we have sold our souls for empty promises. I'm not defeated yet, just disappointed.
Our government has failed on so many levels to protect the basic foundations of our form of rule. Our country continues to just slide down a rather muddy track to Second World status. I'm worried that we will wind up at the bottom alone.
History is a wonderful teacher, but only if you explore it. A review of the rise and fall of other governments in this hemisphere should give us pause.
The one I know best is Haiti, since I travel there, and have studied it the most.
Haiti is the second-oldest free republic in the Western Hemisphere, second to ours. Here is a microcosm of the U.S. government, with lesson after lesson showing the failure of democracy when weighted at the top.
Haiti has seen periods of dictatorship under the leadership of "elected" rulers. The typical slide for that country has been a restriction of the press, disbanding or neutering of the judicial branch, formation of an elite police force above the law, and elimination of opposition parties, by any means necessary.
The chaos that results has usually found a "savior" in the form of a candidate with the support of the poor and illiterate masses.
Once out of the slums, power corrupts even those who would appear to have a higher calling. Some of these rulers have had the backing and support of the U.S., only to be abandoned when significant change has not occurred at sufficient pace.
Our country is at the point of sliding into the abyss.
The current leadership has corrupted the media, either through half-truths leaked through "official" channels, or simply manufactured propaganda. The muckraking of one side or the other depending on the money trail has given the people only a hazy glimpse at the real truth. Just because someone says something, doesn't make it true. Blind loyalty to a cause is still blind.
Making Supreme Court appointments by political sleight of hand doesn't bode well for future decisions by a court that should always be free of influence. A weighted judiciary will protect only those few who share a particular philosophy. The overwhelming determination of right or wrong should always be bound by the very narrow focus of the Constitution, not by a committee bent on interpretation. There should be no citizen, president on down, who is above the law.
The current news of undercover prisons, illegal "interpretation" of the Geneva Conventions and suspension of law to detain and prosecute even the most dangerous among us should give pause to all of us.
At what point will our rights be "interpreted" out of existence? We can't have a police force that acts first, then asks questions, or just apologizes for a "mistake." That is not freedom.
There will always be situations where immediate action must be taken. I would hope those decisions wouldn't involve the trigger of a gun.
We the people need to take back our country. Stop buying the snake oil. Look behind that curtain over there in the corner. We are a free democratic republic; let's look and act like it.
Larry Bailly is a lifelong resident of Snohomish County. He is a Vietnam veteran and father of a soldier who served in Afghanistan. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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