The President exasperatedly addressed the shooting massacre at Unpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon with a passionate press conference. There was one statement that should be cauterized in everyone’s psyche. He said, “We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.” If one looks at America in the aggregate, that statement could just as well say ‘We collectively are answerable for the demise of the America we thought we had.’
This is deja vu all over again. A mass shooting occurs. People are shocked. The President speaks, begging for legislative action. Time passes. People forget. No substantive action is taken. People go back to life as usual. It is a pattern that we expect. It is a pattern that has become routine. We are now programmed to be accepting of this.
Sadly this pattern is true not only for mass killings and gun control. A few weeks ago there was great media hoopla over a young snotty nose CEO raising the price of a generic drug by over 5000%. While that particular story made great cover, it is but the tip of the iceberg. Drug companies have been extorting Americans for years. Obamacare did little to solve that problem. A few in Congress got riled up. Hillary Clinton got riled up. Bernie Sanders called for hearings. But, guess what? Americans are on to the next story and few are engaged with this ongoing problem. We collectively are answerable to those that will die because they cannot afford to pay extorted drug prices.
Corporations have unions? The Chamber of Commerce is no different than a union. All the different trade organizations that work collectively for particular private sector corporations are no different than unions. Who then speaks for the vast majority of American workers? Nobody. Yet, one continues to see the decline in employee union membership. In fact, unions are much less popular than they should be given the employment dynamics of the country. We collectively are answerable to those that are destined to corporate driven indentured servitude, most Americans.
Every year the defense industrial complex gets billions of American taxpayer dollars to build systems the country does not need and to serve America’s military overseas that would be better served by the military itself at a much lower cost. The hawks that represent them sell policies to Congress that are always wrong. They get continual access to major news networks even with said record of failure. Americans have seen the results in Vietnam. Americans have seen the results in Iraq. Americans have been the brunt of the blow back from our bad acts overseas. Yet Americans continue to vote in politicians that take the country to war and transfer the countries treasure to a few. We collectively are answerable to those that have died in unnecessary wars and the pilfering of the American treasure that all that entailed.
The trend is obvious. Take any substantive issue and the answer is the same. When Americans are polled, except for social issues, their needs and wants are not at all very different. An economic system that has evolved into a predatory economic system, a virtually unregulated crony capitalist system, will do whatever is necessary to ensure Americans never have the time or opportunity to explore their commonalities. Why? It would endanger the very foundation of their system.
A skit titled Bread & Circus by Move to Amend Utah is a perfect illustration of America’s seemingly short attention span, an attention span that prevents us from acknowledging our need to be collectively answerable. The story is that old empires used to control their populous by giving them just enough bread to survive and then sedate them with entertainment. Today America has lots of cheap food, mindless reality TV, and manufactured empty entertainment stars to keep the American collective eyes off of the ball.
It is time that Americans stop accepting the marketing and propaganda from the plutocracy. The problem is that most Americans do not understand that they are constantly being marketed to and brainwashed. It is the job, it is the civic duty of those who know these realities to help fellow Americans understand this through all possible avenues of communication. Until Americans really feel collectively answerable for our brothers and sisters, for who we are, for what we do, for every outcome in this country, we will be relegated to commodity status and indentured servitude by a burgeoning plutocracy.