26 March 2006

Overheard on the Street

"I'm tired of my country having a finger up my ass, and religion having a finger down my throat."

Well, please allow me to add to the litany of fatigue:

I'm tired of the lack of respect for the working men and women who provide us with all manner of services. It starts with treating people with dignity, and it ends with paying them enough to support themselves and their families.

I'm tired of public relations masquerading as journalism. When CNN plays the video press release from Dubai and calls it news -- and NPR uses the same script to do an audio-only version of the story -- something is gravely wrong.

I'm tired of two political parties, both apparently in collusion with special interests and corporations, protecting a corrupt government more reminiscent of a third-world kleptocracy than a modern democratic republic.

I'm tired of entitlement in all forms, from the belief that the very wealthy and powerful automatically deserve both respect and special treatment to the belief that the poor and the oppressed automatically deserve either disdain or a handout.

I’m tired of racism, prejudice, homophobia, xenophobia, and all of the various –ism that turn one person against the other. I’m especially tired and disgusted by the use of any –ism as a political tool. (See Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and the “Southern Strategy” as examples of what should not be acceptable in a democracy.)

I'm tired of the false dichotomy of the arms race vs. the human race. Security is not achieved at the end of a gun. Freedom is not insured by good deeds and good thoughts.

I know we’re all tired, but I want people to wake up and recognize that we - yes, that collectively, all 6.5 billion of us – that we inherited a tremendous gift and burden. We have all of human history's successes and failures as our collective baggage. And there are no porters to carry it.

And we 300 million-odd Americans have a special duty and responsibility to work to make sure that our country remains a living example of what people can to do to create and maintain freedom.

It's up to us.

OK, down off my soapbox. Regular programming will resume shortly.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I see you have done something constructive with your extra scribble time during your commute. Bravo.