My America. The People, Yes? By Hal O’Leary

My America. The People, Yes? By Hal O’Leary

Opinion. My America. The People, Yes? By American author Hal O’Leary in his weekly section on Yareah magazine.


American flag. Photo by Alejandro Lizardo

Although I was born and raised and proudly fought for my country, America, I sadly write this as an outsider in the hope that it will provide a better perspective for viewing what I perceive my country has recently and regretfully become.

Since the current policies of America’s presumed democratic government would deny any semblance of transparency, its people, far from being instrumental in the decision making process, are left with nothing more than speculation as to what is being done in their name. Secrecy and deceit have replaced openness and truth. This means, of course, that awareness and trust can no longer be relied on with any expectation of discovery or fairness. With the loss of awareness and trust, it can no longer be realistically assumed that the professed government of, by and for the people remains in place.

The many staged events now being played out in Washington are merely sideshows. The powers that be would have the public believe that the puppet politicians in their shadow-boxing routines are sincerely attempting to find solutions to the manufactured and superficial problems which unsuspecting citizens are manipulated with rhetoric and bombast into believing are matters of life and death. They are, in reality, little more than vignettes being played out for no reason other than to distract and confuse the unwary. Rather than a truly life and death matter like war with its shock and awe, drone strikes and torture, the people are given a manipulated government shut down, Obamacare, immigration, gay marriage, and gun control.

Several words and expressions describe just what is taking place in America. The one I prefer is “hoodwinked.” It is an old English term for being “blindfolded” or “having the wool pulled over one’s eyes.” I like it because it has a current and added connotation of “the hood” referring to a blighted urban neighborhood that has been ostracized by polite society. It has the further connotation of “hoodie” a hooded jacked sometimes worn to conceal identity and intention.  I fear that the great American landscape outside the sacred bounds of the Washington citadel has become politically the “great American hood” whose cities and states lose all distinction except for their ability to manipulate what has become the great American mass, no longer a people. I fear that those responsible for this reprehensible situation do, as with a hoodie, conceal themselves from public observation, making accountability all but impossible.

The great and glaring insult of this coup d’état is that it’s being done in the name of their founding fathers and in the name of the very citizens it has deceived, displaced and for all intents and purposes silenced insofar as being heard is concerned. The people want privacy; they get intrusion. The people want security; they get anxiety. The people want peace; they get war. One would think that the people would soon come to realize that their pleas for what can only be described as sensible requests are being ignored. But for some unexplained reason, they continue to write and phone their presumed representatives with a democratic fervor that does nothing but reassure their persecutors that there is no real threat and that the sheep’s wool remains safely in place.

Yes, one would think that the people would realize such obvious deceit, but obviously they have not as yet, and until they do, I fear that little can be done to halt the mad rush to global military and economic hegemony that a sociopathic few pursue. Does this mean that I am totally pessimistic? No, it does not. Ultimately I believe in and have faith that the people will eventually move. But it will not happen until their tolerance for oppression has reached a tipping point. I believe this because historically it has always been true. I am particularly fond of a line from Carl Sandburg’s long poem “The People, Yes,” in which he refers to the people as, “the hallelujah chorus forever shifting its star soloists.” A common sense assessment would suggest that the ultimate power has to lie with the people, if for no other reason than that there are inexhaustibly so many of them. Of course, once the people exercise that ultimate power, the immediate outcomes may be far from pleasant, for historically violent revolution has often been the result.  Solidly entrenched power never surrenders without a maximum effort to survive.

Does this mean that I am calling for such revolution?  Most certainly not, but should it become inevitable, I would prefer it to occur sooner than later. Any delay in such movement only provides time for the sociopaths to become more safely entrenched, making the human sacrifice necessarily all the more devastating.

As a citizen of the world, I would like to think that America’s problems are purely American. However, it must be pointed out that, in its mad belief that America is somehow exceptional to the point that it need not concern itself with the norms of humanity or the plight of those nations on which it attempts to impose its questionable culture (whose own cultures may be centuries older), America’s hubris and arrogance are highly resented by the rest of the world. Is this an America one would endorse or lend one’s name to if it were not their homeland?  It was once a great nation but one now in need of saving. And only its people can save it. Oh, where is Robert Burns when we so have need of him?

“O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

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Hal O’Leary is an eighty-seven-year-old Secular Humanist who believes that it is only through the arts that one is afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University.

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