Every once in a while we are blessed with leaders who have a vision of something far and beyond anything we have grown accustomed to…
Barack Obama challenged us to political change at the 2020 Democratic National Convention:
Bill Moyers told the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis in 2008. l
And many others lend their voices to a rising swell of people waking, as from a deep sleep, to discover that things just aren’t what they seem or what we were led to believe.
They’re telling us that we’ve gotten off track and it’s time to re-focus There’s work to be done – lots of it. The time is now.
But, sadly, I think that Arlo Guthrie Patriot’s Dream that Moyers quoted in his speech could hold an ominous premonition for where we are headed – IF we allow it to happen. The last stanza says:
“Ah but perhaps too much is being asked of too few
You and your children with nothing to do
Hear us now for alone we can’t seem
To try to rekindle the patriot’s dreams.”
I do believe that too much is being asked of too few. Too many have been disenfranchised by mergers and layoffs, eliminated from the workplace and their professions because of age or the need to strengthen corporate profits. The movements that are afoot today will make some progress when media workers begin to take back their responsibilities and when our political leaders begin to exercise the fiduciary responsibilities entrusted to them.
But the real heavy labor still falls on “You and your children with nothing to do…” to create the groundswell needed to make the real changes.
Are there any Americans with “nothing to do”?
Are the American people, already disenfranchised of their places in American society for so long, finally going to be allowed to help with the heavy lifting again? Or will this job, too, fall on the shoulders of those who are already stretched thin trying to carry more than their fair share of the capitalist race for profits?
Are those American people “who have nothing to do” – but want to be productive – able to come up with the physical and economic resources they need when lack of jobs/income and escalating costs of food, gas, taxes, and more have drained them dry?
Are the American people able, willing and passionate enough to demand – and work together for – the betterment of each and every American regardless of the artificial special interest barriers that have been put in place to segment us?
Are the American people, brain-dead from years of consuming the media’s pabulum and well trained to ask no questions, still able to think clearly? Can they still believe that they have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness … and the truth?
Are enough Americans incensed and ready to demand fairness and acceptance from those who still insist on control and manipulation?
We are blessed with some dynamic leaders today…people who are indeed pointing toward renewed pride in America and the patriot’s dreams. But, and I may be wrong here, those leaders won’t get very far if they look around and don’t see an army of “You and your children with nothing to do…” right there with them.
But, who are those Americans who have “nothing to do”? Certainly not those who are desperately trying to fill the jobs of 2-3 others who have been “let go” to bolster the corporate profits. Surely, not those who have no work or prospects of work spending countless hours trying to get the attention of overworked and stressed out hiring managers.
The truth is, we’re a dysfunctional country. We don’t talk with each other about the real problems we face. Too many employed Americans are struggling to keep up with excessive demands of work, school, raising families…. fearful of losing their jobs and trying to do the work of two and three people who have been terminated so that the stock market can show corporate gains. At the same time, countless others – who want to be productively employed – struggle to get the attention of harried employers. Either we have no time to think or we have no resources with which to act. So then, who are those “with nothing to do?”
We accept anything that the media tells us without question – even when we know in our hearts it isn’t consistent with what we’re experiencing. It’s not because we don’t care. We just can’t continue to bounce from crisis to crisis without emotionally shutting down. We’re all busy about many things and exhausted by too many messages threatening our well-being while we try to deal with real problems that impact our very survival. We settle for sound bytes because there’s no time for “the rest of the story”. We blindly follow anyone who promises to deliver something – anything – that will take away our pain. We still hope that there is truth and justice and sanity.
We’re busy living an impossible dream designed to convince us that what we don’t know won’t hurt us. But we need to finally face the truth….the real truth… not the convenient feel-good propaganda or countless warnings of impending doom at the hands of invisible enemies we cannot control. We need to share our truths — even those truths that are uncomfortable, unpopular and contrary to trumped up statistics and media cover-ups.
We’ve been warned time and again over the last number of years and we’ve slept through a total nightmare all as if it would magically self correct. But is hasn’t yet – and it won’t…
It’s time to wake up NOW. As long as we continue to buy into the cover-ups and false promises, money will continue to be made feeding us fears and insecurity.