There is an elephant asleep at the wheel: How our government has let us down

By George Ploss

As I mentioned in a column last fall, political correctness and censorship hide deep feelings of political sentiments and catalyze an apathetic environment. The falsity of politeness on serious issues that threaten our way of life has been a grave illness for this country since our kids were taught that Lincoln freed the slaves.

This country was born on activism. Thomas Jefferson would have been the first to burn an American flag on the White House lawn with his entire peppered family, all 100 or so of them, protesting the war in Iraq, illegal detention of foreign nationals and citizens, the amnesty given to soldiers, CIA agents and any American who violates Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions, the torturing of POWs. I don’t understand, so many laws have been broken by this administration, so many people have died, and so many people are going to die. From Darfur to Baghdad, Afghanistan to the Bronx, this administration has consistently disenfranchised the poor, the colored and those who have dissented to their ways.

What will I tell my children when they’re taught history and they ask me: why did the “greatest representative democracy” in the history of the world let these atrocities take place? They might then ask me why is Andrew Jackson honored on the $20 dollar bill or why the word genocide isn’t used when the United States of America systematically eradicated Native Americans? I guess I’ll tell them that Jesus endorsed the Republican Party and the real patriots where those quiet, obedient citizens who didn’t question their government. Those who didn’t heckle their congressmen for congressional oversight of a war that was anything but right.

Deficit spending, bin Laden still on the loose, a war fought over a lie and then mismanaged because of an egotistical bureaucracy. Yes, I’m upset about the troop surge, if that’s a military term, but not for the reason you’d think.

We didn’t have enough troops there to begin with, that’s why 1,626 Iraqis and counting will die in the month of January. The executive branch of our government didn’t listen to the generals of the most powerful military in the world, and as a result, we have thousands of unnecessary deaths. This troop surge is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound; it’s just too little, too late.

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Am I un-American for being upset about the actions of my government? I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves “whatever happened to the my country, right or wrong philosophy?”

Where are the good ol’ fashioned anti-war, anti-oppressive rallies and marches? Isn’t holding the government in check as American as apple pie? What is so deviant about exercising our 1st Amendment rights?

This is not an anti-republican article. I have very high republican values. I believe in states’ rights and a smaller, more efficient federal government. I believe in tax cuts, however not disproportionately to the poor, but in relieving the middle class and not through trickle-down economics.

I am simply asking the question, where has activism gone? The mobilization of everyday people on becoming upset about the exploitation of their labor for a country that misrepresents us and mis-allocates our hard-earned money? We are reminded on a daily basis of the looming threats to national security by bad foreign policy, but we don’t think about the even more threatening fact that our children and young adults aren’t getting a top-flight education that would make us more competitive in an ever increasingly smaller world.

Just ask yourself the question, which is the bigger threat to national security, an entire generation of citizens that suffer from an education gap, meaning a very small population that is highly educated because they went to private school or lived in an affluent neighborhood, or Islamic Fundamentalism?

At the end of this rant, I just want us as Americans to make the government revere its citizens, make them afraid of lying to us, and to convey the message that those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither. One Love.