The character of a nation, or an empire, begins to erode severely when the unacceptable becomes the accepted. When the barriers of propriety and formality, where anything goes becomes the rule rather than the exception, when dignity and common decency no longer are part of the soul of a nation that society begins to deteriorate within. When people, in particular politicians, radio talk show hosts and celebrities say what once would not have been uttered in public are said now without reprisal, a national culture degrades from within. Quoting Plato, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” The United States of America has entered the era of inferiority.
In recent years Americans have been subjected to bluster and bombast, lies and deceptions, arrogance and hubris and other misbehaviors that are nothing shy of fully disgusting. Certain blubbery, drugged-out radio talk show hosts fill the air with bluster and banter spewing forth with false representations and words that are just short of treasonous. Acting like unbridled buffoons, certain radio celeb nourishes the underbelly of society and insults what is left of basic intelligence in America.
New political opportunists appear on the national stage, purporting to represent the under-represented. One particular female pol portrays a picture of hope while serving to heighten her own popularity and power. She gives witness today on how hype trumps substance. Coiffed like Barbie Doll and speaking with a voice that mimics Betty Boop, she screeches like chalk scraping across a chalkboard. Her real motive is one of underlying deception for self-gain. Already she has amassed millions through her charlatanism; her followings partially brain dead and fooled all too easily.
In his latest tome “Empire of Illusion” the late Chris Hedges elaborates on how America is decomposing from within. Karl Marx once wrote, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Today, illusion, deception and lies, delusion and fantasy combine to create the new opiate that feeds our nation’s masses. We are seduced into a national lethargy, apathy and indifference; a national falsehood.
Politicians at local, state and national levels fail as leaders. They act out in ways to assure their reelection and their sustained job security. A former vice president, representing the darkest side of humanity, undermines our current president through relentless media ops; a first in our nation’s history. That former vice president is callous, heartless (in spite of “us” giving a new heart to him) and represents all that is consummate evil.
Wall Street, banks and lending institutions, and insurance giants coalesce to create an institutional largesse surpassing grand larceny at its extreme. Celebrities of every stripe make millions while the average American, the working and the millions not working scrape by. Those who should be looked up to, who are expected to follow the higher moral ground fail to meet the expectations and hopes of the average American. The icons and champions of society simply help to form the underbelly of America rather than work for the greater common good. The commonweal has become the victim of these all too powerful villains.
Places of Christian worship, once close-knit churches in local communities, now thrive in huge stadiums and auditoriums that are circus and carnival in nature. The mission of Christianity is failing. God has become a commodity. God is on the auction block, turned into a convenient tool that permits religious charlatans to attain wealth and power while the spiritually hungry, the starving masses continue to look on. God has been transformed into theater and megabucks. By default, the masses become partners in this charade against God and become party to America’s heresy.
The American media overwhelms its viewing audiences with constant tales and warnings of terror and terrorists. The more reasoned among us surmise the terrorists are not the ones to worry about. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” America has reached a new zenith where the only thing we have to fear is ourselves. We are destroying ourselves from within. Perhaps the terrorists are winning after all, a cleverly contrived psychological maneuver to promote fear mongering, hysteria and lies to keep the masses under control. The comic strip character Pogo once said, “I have seen the enemy; and, he is us.”
The underbelly of America, like excrement rising up in sewerage, has risen to the top. The fabric of our great nation is being undone; shredded asunder by false prophets, inept self-gain politicians, and self-described truth-sayers who in fact are purveyors of lies and deception. Decency, dignity, respect and respectability, accountability and politeness have become society’s cadavers. The fabric of our nation is threadbare. In place of leadership we witness strident obstructionism. Instead of reaching for the higher bar, the bar is lowered so that others may “pass” with less effort and commitment. Plato speaks once again! Intelligence and intellect have seen their demise. In their place are sound bites, adulterated English and college graduates who perform worse than high school graduates of two decades ago. The illiteracy of America’s youth today is astonishing and should be sending shockwaves throughout the land. Our nation’s future is being impaled upon the stake of stupidity. “Faking it” has become status quo.
The frustration and anger coursing throughout our nation is growing thicker and gnarlier. We continue to hope, but each new hope gives witness to how the underbelly is energized to diminish and wipe out that hope. Duped, deceived and deluded, we hang on. The underbelly that deceives us and alludes us is rising to the top like the proverbial sewerage. Social toxic waste is feeding our nation’s underbelly, assuring that it will grow and thrive at the expense of this great nation, we the people, present and future. The United States of America is bottoming out. The bottom feeders are winning.