Brainwashed

The Brainwashed logo.

The Brainwashed logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do Americans sit idly by when our freedoms and our economic livelihoods are threatened? Citizens of other countries would take to the streets to protest while we, in contrast, do nothing. I believe that we Americans have been brainwashed into accepting what our political leaders tell us as they carry out the mandates of the 1%. We live in limbo since corporate-owned media entertain us, rather than inform us.

What must we do to change this? First of all, we must demand to be informed by the media, not entertained. To that end, I recommend two non-profit websites free from corporate influence: www.readersupportednews.org and www.truthout.org Both are worth supporting if you can. If you cannot give to maintain them, then I suggest you send articles you find important or extra informative to your friends and relatives, your kith and kin. If we don’t know what is going on, we can’t demand changes.

Secondly, I would suggest that you consider becoming active in the political process at any level and work to get out the vote during elections. The fewer people who vote, the easier it becomes to steal elections or maintain incumbents in office. Change is required and the only way to get change is to change the players.

During the medieval period, kings and the nobility, the 1% of that day,  maintained their hold on power with the support of the clergy, the media of that day. The 99% accepted their lot in life with the promise of a better life in the next life. Today’s 1% use the media to spin a fantasy world in which anyone might become fabulously wealthy through hard work or good luck. The truth is that the US has become more class stratified than Europe and the chances of hitting it big in a lottery are much less than being struck by lightning.

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Chicken or egg

Chicken egg in straw nest

Chicken egg in straw nest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Great question for discussion with no application in real life. A better question for our times is are our times a product of our politicians or are our politicians a product of the times we live in? I believe that the answer is our lousy political leaders are a product of the times we live in, but they reinforce and strengthen the problems of our times. What to do?

Some want to put religious tenets back into American life. That may or may not help, based on the corruption of political life that existed while America was a more religion-observant nation. I think that we must go beyond the forms of religious observance and return (or advance) to practicing the golden rule in our treatment of the less fortunate here at home before we venture abroad to spread “American” values. I would emphasize spreading our values by example, rather than by use of the sword, what we do too often now.

If we start to practice the golden rule here at home with minorities and the less fortunate, we will demand that our political leaders follow suit, or lose office. It will not be a fast process or easy, but as I see it, it is the only way to break out of the vicious cycle we are in where the times produce political leaders who make our problems worse, not better.