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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lost Dreams of Optimism

Once upon a time, I believed in the honorable intentions of our government and its many representatives. One might dismiss this optimism as dewy-eyed callowness, or perhaps blame it on ignorance brought about by the more pressing demands of eking out a meager living while possessing no formal education and residing in a Southern State where independent, enlightened thought was the exception rather than the rule.

Growing up during the Cold War, while the eminent threat of total and chaotic destruction loomed overhead, I realized even as a child that the ridiculous ritual of hiding under a desk would do little to save anyone from an all out nuclear exchange. But for whatever reason, I assumed that wiser and cooler heads prevailed over the daily decisions which affected the lives of millions of citizens, if not those of the entire world.

Surely these elected officials were chosen based upon their ability to represent our needs, work towards realistic solutions, and take our best interests to heart. Each individually selected, polished, and sent off to Capitols around the country to negotiate our concerns and endeavor to make the world a better place for all. Undoubtedly, they possessed the wisdom to discard those ideas which were merely distractions, and adopt as their cause those which were not. The petty drudgery of life that detracts from one's ability to think clearly and insightfully was removed from their sphere of influence - mundane worries such as sufficient income to live reasonably, health care, retirement, and safety - so that these chosen voices could work unfettered at the business of making this country the best it could possibly be.

But then I awakened...
And discovered the darkest nightmare one could imagine.

  • A Judicial system fraught with improprieties, bribe-taking, incompetence, laziness, and personal favoritism.

  • A Governing body whose spineless, tainted efforts are primarily devoted to self-preservation and the perverted agendas of the highest bidder.

  • A Foreign policy that promotes exploitation, fear, anger, and resentment towards this country - not only from other nations, but from its own citizens.

  • A Scholastic system so dysfunctional that many graduates cannot read, spell, comprehend basic texts, or properly count change.

  • A Military which is subverted by special-interest contractors yearning for ever more profits derived from no-bid contracts with their sole customer.

  • A Populace so shallow, so engulfed by a self-indulgent bubble of consumption and denial, that they remain oblivious to the inequities that surround them.

  • A Medical guild which places personal profit well above the basic health care needs of the population.

  • A Religious community which extrapolates erroneous, hateful meaning from the Bible and publicly exhibits absolutely no empathy or compassion whatsoever.

  • A Media Circus which has abandoned all conviction in journalistic integrity - instead relying on cheap sensationalism, pop-culture, and pure politicized propaganda to boost their deservedly flaccid ratings. Even the old-school sits sheepishly on its laurels, not daring to report news of any substance until the scent of blood is detected in the waters.

The axiom declares, The more things change, the more they stay the same - and this is likely correct. For while many of our technological advances have resulted in astounding benefits for most civilizations, the age old quest for power and gold remains a core factor contributing to the aforementioned ills of our society - and yet we take no steps towards correcting these flaws.

Once the sapling is bent, will it forever be misshapen? Have we lost the will to address these wrongs, or have we simply tired of the vigilance necessary to control the evils which lurk within the heart of mankind? Have modern technologies undermined the election process so as to totally circumvent our individual voices? Has our power to effect change been minimized by the inability to control the foul monster we have created?

I yearn for these implications to be proven falsehoods, but this desire demands diligence if we are to sway this heaving, dysfunctional beast from its current course and lead it towards a more proper path.

Wickedness is unlikely to relent, hence good men may ill afford the luxury. Could it be that there are simply no good men left?

2 Comments:

Anonymous rcg said...

XL post. It always pleases me when I read a post that expresses my own experience and beliefs - Now I don't feel so alone.

Thanks.

Wed Nov 08, 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

Thanks. I find the callous and xenophobic attitude of the "party of values" so offensive and philistine that I was forced to start this blog to vent my spleen before it exploded.

Thu Nov 09, 10:25:00 AM  

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