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The Apathetic American
In the 1960s and 70's, social unrest was at a peak. There were demonstrations against the Viet Nam "Conflict" (aka "Police Action"), student protests against government intervention into our lives, organizations that fought back against rising tyranny (SDS, Black Panthers, The Weathermen among many others), and men and women who attempted to raise awareness of the plight of the underprivileged and persecuted (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy and Malcolm X among the most notable). These actions and people were involved in trying to change the way Americans lived. They were arrested, jailed, beaten, killed and generally martyred for their causes. These were the people and events that shaped our political landscape. They genuinely cared about where America was headed and changing that direction for the betterment of the American people. Not just religion and not just racial inequality; they cared about the people. This was the tail end of the "The Greatest Generation" and the beginning of the "Baby Boomers" (of which I am proud to be a part). We did what we thought was right and hung on to our ideals.
But somewhere along the way, future generations managed to lose sight of what we had started. This was through no fault of their own. As more corporate money and political greed crept their way into our electoral process, people were becoming apathetic because they were convinced that their vote meant nothing. The percentages of voter turnout are staggering in their silence. While years of presidential elections generally see turnouts run to just slightly over 50% (which is depressingly low by any standard, particularly for a "democratic" society) mid-term elections drop to below 40%. There is no possibility of taking government back from big money if we don't improve those numbers.
What has brought to this point? We are convinced by the corporate and government controlled media to turn away from meaningful programming, and instead are fed a diet of "reality" shows and corporate manufactured news, in order to keep us off guard. Add to this the ever growing division between conservative and liberal factions, also foisted on us by the ruling class, and you have the perfect recipe for inaction on the peoples' part. They have forced us to believe that, no matter what we do, the "other side" will undo it. As long as we buy into this, we will never be able to overcome the wrongs committed against us and our Constitution. If we're told that the "other side" is the one perverting our laws to fit their agenda, then we won't work together to right the trend.
So, we go blindly on, believing that we will never be able to affect change because we're constantly stopped by those who believe differently from us. This has been going on for centuries, but only now has it become an art form. With the advent of social media, the rift between us has become wider, and what may seem to be factual is, instead, propaganda that is started at a governmental level (conservative, liberal or independent) and spreads through our viral channels. Once a lie takes form and is spoken often and loudly, suddenly, it becomes "truth".
When we feel that we are not able to affect change, we become apathetic. The feelings of helplessness become those of apathy, and this plays right into the hands of the ruling class. The slowly disappearing middle class is a direct effect of this "shell game". The lower the percentage of middle class workers, the higher the percentage of low wage earners, which contributes to the corporate bottom line. As I said, this is nothing new over the centuries. Particularly where war is concerned. As evil as the Koch Brothers may be, they are far surpassed by the Rothschild family, which has financed both sides of every war since 1744, all in the name of profit. This family is the richest in the world, estimated net worth of $500 billion, and has controlled peoples' emotions through war mongering and corporate controls since the establishment of their bank.
The time has come to bring back the attitudes of the 60's and 70's. Those of you of younger generations need to ask your parents and/or grandparents what made us take action against the political and corporate machines and learn from us how to go about trying to change things before it becomes violent. The only way to save our country is to rise up and make our voices known again. Don't just sit back and say "I can't change anything"; stand up and make a difference. It might just save your life and the lives of your children.