Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Voice of a Nation in a Tailspin

Bit by bit American democracy is being dismembered.  Masses turn to propaganda mills like FOX News for information, arguing that the very number of viewers (the unseen hand of the marketplace) vouchsafes the Murdoch flagship's credibility.  Notionally grassroots protest movements are funded by shady mega-rich characters and harnessed to their service.  The defenders of the public interest allow corporatism to insinuate itself between the elected and their voting public, transforming them into a "bought and paid for" Congress.  The nation is transformed into a warfare state in which perpetual war is essential for an ascendant military/industrial/commercial war-waging complex.   Support for the country's less advantaged is ruthlessly slashed while their government relies on foreign borrowings to finance tax cuts for the rich and a malignant, bloated and ruinous defense budget.

Working class Americans, millions of their jobs outsourced, their incomes stagnated, their social and economic mobility all but choked off, seem whipped.  An example of that was seen in the wake of a fracking blowout in Bradford county, Pennsylvania that resulted in many thousands of gallons of toxic fracking fluid flooding fields and pouring into an agricultural creek.  Local radio station, WNEP, captured the resignation in the voices of affected residents:

"The biggest thing is the footprint on the environment. Well obviously this is a big footprint," said neighbor Ted Tomlinson. "It's one of those things that happens. Gotta live with it, I guess.  Here to stay." ...

"It's just one of those things," said farm owner Randy Morse. He leased his property to Chesapeake. His beef cattle will no longer be able to drink from the brook that has been contaminated. Morse is broken up over the whole thing, hoping others don't blame him.

...Neighbor Ira Haire is one who does not worry over the leak, saying he trusts Chesapeake will make it right. "I will drink my water. I have salt water as it is," Haire said.

"Just one of those things"?   This is a nation that venerates its independence forged in protest and revolution.  But that steely resolve that once built America today seems hopelessly sapped, resigned to its fate.   It's unclear how long today's America will be able to withstand the challenges that beset the nation but its future looks anything but promising.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Coming SOON* to a Canada near you!

*soon indicates May 2nd.