Friday, August 14, 2009
A picture is worth a thousand words. I briefly encountered the live broadcast the other day of President Obama awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a very diverse crowd of domestic and international personalities : Sandra Day O’Connor, Desmond Tutu, Billie Jean King, Stephen Hawking to name a few. It was in searching the Internet that I came upon the very interesting photo above in conjunction with Sidney Poitier who also received the Freedom Medal the other day.
I knew of Charleton Heston in later years as a pillar of the GOP, NRA. I did not know of his brief shining moment in 1963 when his mere presence stood for the right thing at the right time in American history – civil rights. Where have Republicans like Charleton Heston gone in this strangely angry America of these days?
That the GOP in its death throes is in an escalating battle royal for power only and not any real mission statement – is the source of much anger and fuss these days and with the Health Care Restructuring Reform issue on the plate before us on this hot humid August day.
I take one or two steps back in history. This country has never been a democracy. It has always been a country ruled by a private white men’s clubs throughout the states. We don’t elect the president. We merely elect the elites who vote on who should be president in the Electoral College. Members of the Electoral College are under no obligation what so ever to reflect the vote of the people in their states. This veto power of the elites is the hidden monarchy of our system. It is a bit of a royal bastard in which the nation is ruled. It is never the less, as royal bastard, a connection to the past.
The other step back has to do with the Transcontinental Railway issue of one hundred and fifty years ago. If the southern route won out in congress, the South could have held onto an obsolete economic thing like slavery well into the first half of the twentieth century and without need of a Civil War to restructure or realign the political and economic structures of mid nineteenth century America.
As it was, the White Christian Men’s Clubs of the South felt that with cotton and Britain, and a railroad, it, the ruling class could do okay if it seceded from the Union. Lincoln, who was a corporate lawyer, would have backed down, and let the South and slavery go on forever if the South wished to compromise in ways that they did not entirely feel comfortable with.
The one thing that irks me looking at the history of Confederacy and the Civil War was the fact that ninety five percent of the whites in the south did not own or could not afford slaves. They were fighting for a way of life. They were fighting for the illusion that maybe one day they could strike it rich and own slaves. The promise, the delusion of the old south perhaps had more to do in inbreeding of the white ruling classes than with any real common sense model to follow in that situation.
So from the beginning, America’s democracy has been on the Greek model of democracy which is a democracy for slave owners. Slavery per say has disappeared in America. Our owing our souls to credit cards, plastic dreams and subject to the whims and outsourcing of profit making corporations makes us subject in many ways, like slavery, to these moneyed institutions.
When I reduce the present tirade of screaming Dr. Goebbels like BIG LIE mouthpieces: Limbaugh, Palin, Beck and Grassley, I hear something differently than the immediate energy of the subject at hand. I am hearing the coded message of States’ Rights, the right to own slaves and most importantly I hear the Pagan message that it is alright that we remain half free/half slave – half covered/half not covered in healthcare. It is a not the truly Christian message. It is a white Christian message from the white Christian party – the GOP.
Every American citizen does have a right to Human Rights. Let me repeat that.
Every American citizen has a God given entitlement to Human Rights!
Britain has health care. Canada has health care. Even the Frenchies have health care. If Hitler had won world war two, all of Europe would today have health care. Stalin had health care even in that many gulag splendored world of totalitarianism. Cuba has health care etc. etc.
Why aren’t we as Americans worthy of Universal Health Care? What Original Sin are we being punished for?
It is not a White Christian Country. It is a Christian country. With many who do not know what Jesus’ message was about – or have an understanding of our entitlement from birth to human rights including Universal Health Care.
How long can this nation remain half slave and half free?