In a democracy power must be restrained from time to time.
When the government begins to act in ways contrary to the will of ‘the people,’ in opposition to the health and well-being of the governed, ‘the people’ shall — must — rise up in opposition to the tyrannical elements in power.
The movie, “The Company You Keep,” is about a previous time of unrest, a time when our government overstepped its bounds and recklessly used its citizens for feckless purposes. A time when the youth rose up and challenged our government’s authority; especially the authority to wage war.
But the film not only showed the necessity of revolt then, but the similarities of our circumstances now.
Have we reached the point of revolt again?
That critical point when the abuses and usurpations of our elected officials — our Representatives and Senators, Governors and State Legislators — become so unbearable as to require change!
Our government is engaged in a careless and dangerous game of politics — a political tug-of-war — that deters it from its primary job of serving ‘the people.’
In fact, their actions and inactions continually place our citizens at risk, having a negative effect on our Safety and Happiness, two reasons Jefferson cited in The Declaration of Independence for the dissolution of an oppressive government and the adoption of a new one.
As our government continues to cause ‘the people’ great harm, the need for dissidence takes on greater significance. During the last three decades they’ve failed in ways too numerous to count.
For three decades we’ve wandered an unhealthy path toward a military-industrial complex fueled by a form of capitalism so dangerous that it threatens the life and liberty of most Americans and most of the world. Congress has facilitated it rather than prevented it.
We’ve been warned many times throughout our history of impending threats to our country, to our democracy — from within.
Thomas Jefferson warned us about our banking system. Eisenhower implored us “beware the military-industrial complex, Carter tried to deal with our energy dependence, and Colin Powell warned us about owning a war in the Middle East despite making the case for war to the UN Council.
McCarthy frightened us about Communism, Bush invoked fear scaring Americans about jihadists, and Darrell Issa conjures up monsters in the Post Office and IRS when he should be investigating the activism of the Supreme Court.
But one of the most ominous warnings, prescient to our current endangerments, attributed to Sinclair Lewis: “when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” There are signs, far too real signs, whether it was Sinclair Lewis or not, that we should take this warning seriously.
Our members of Congress and others involved in politics are not all students of history.
The most obvious example is Sarah Palin who consistently wraps herself in red, white, and blue, invokes the virtues of Christianity and the Bible, frequently misquotes and mixes metaphors. And the company she keeps — those she inspires — are equally uninformed and frightening.
Many in Congress are just like her — uninformed, contemptuous, arrogant, and some even slightly deranged.
Nearly a third of those serving in Congress today are unworthy of serving — even their small constituency — yet the entire nation is strapped with their crazy beliefs, ideologies, and inane decisions.
The House, more so than the Senate, is filled with these horrifying, unstable, mendacious, and inept individuals — an epidemic significant enough to derail common-sense politics.
Perfect examples are Michele Bachmann (MN, 6th), Louie Gohmert (TX, 1st), Steve King (IA, 4th), Trent Franks (AZ, 8th), Marsha Blackburn (TN, 7th), Tim Huelscamp (KS, 1st), Paul Broun (GA, 10th), Steve Stockman (TX, 36th), Michael Burgess ( TX, 26th), and Virginia Foxx (NC, 5th) to name the most obvious.
The company they keep is dangerous.
If ever there was a reason for dissidence, for rebellion, they’ll be the spark.
Or the spark could come from the war mongers in the Senate: John McCain and Lindsay Graham recklessly beating the drums to drag us into another war in Syria or Iran.
But it could be right-wing zealots like Rep. Tim Huelscamp and Governor Sam Brownback in Kansas, fighting against women’s health and keeping gays unequal.
The egregious nature of their oppression leaves us no other choice but to impel us to separation.
If the right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness becomes unequally burdensome it is imperative that we change — the company we keep.
Tags: Congress, Declaration of Independence, democracy, fascism, John McCain, Michele Bachmann, Republicans, Right Wing Ideologies, Sarah Palin, Steve Stockman, Texas, The Company You Keep, Thomas Jefferson, Vietnam, war protests