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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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Nationalist Propaganda Comes to a TV Near You

This January, ABC will be launching the reality television series “Homeland Security U.S.A.”. When I first saw the promo for it I had to do a double take because I just couldn’t believe it. In 21st Century America we are about to air a show on television glorifying the department created to unify and remove accountability from our nation’s different national law enforcement arms. This agency that some have likened to the Nazi SS in its structure and scope of power, was formed purely to give Washington more power and further isolate America from the rest of the world.

The really disheartening thing about this new show is that it is expected to have very high ratings. Homeland Security U.S.A. will likely be a hit TV show with millions of loyal fans which should frighten all thinking people in America. Pop-culture has caught up with our nationalist views and we will make celebrities out of the instruments of America’s isolation from our neighbors and the rest of the world. Who knows, if this show does well we might see a new reality show about Guantanamo interrogations. Maybe we could even have one about our secret torture facilities overseas. These shows could become a new show format with related products promoting basically everything that is wrong with the current system. God knows Americans will buy just about anything so why not sell them on the destruction of the principles our nation was founded on?

Americans seemingly can’t get enough of flag waving and the idea that “America for Americans” is more important than “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” We have become so closed-minded and nationalistic in recent years that we have mistaken nationalism and isolationism for national pride and the inscription on our own Statue of Liberty has lost all meaning. For many in America the “Welcome” mat has been replaced with a “Go Away” sign.

This has got to be one of the most disgusting examples of American myopia ever seen. We are so incredibly arrogant as a nation that we can’t see the injustices being committed in our name even when they are right in front of our faces. They hide American hypocrisy in plain sight and even air it on prime time television and people see nothing wrong. The assumption seems to be that if it’s on television that there simply can’t be anything wrong with it. Somehow Americans have lost their senses of greater justice and now rely on brute force and overwhelming power to determine who is right and who is wrong in any conflict. We have allowed our leaders to take America from being the country who stuck up for the little guys like we did in World War Two to being the nation that invaded Iraq for no good reason and now occupy that nation against the will of the vast majority of her people. Somehow we have been fooled into waving our flags and looking the other way when we punish innocents for the activities of people wholly unrelated to them.

We continue to glorify American excess and wrongdoing while the rest of the world’s hatred for America grows. If we don’t start to look inward for sources of our own miseries we will eventually be consumed by the resulting consequences of our poor choices. Instead of glorifying Homeland Security we need to dismantle it into its component parts again and return to having our agencies kept in check with adequate oversight and frequent policy reviews. Creating mammoth bureaucracies with fewer people in control does not lead to efficient government; it leads to abuses of power and monolithic policies without consideration for ideas that come from opposing viewpoints. Without that dialogue we miss opportunities for positive changes to improve the way we do things.
LJ Finstermore - World Citizen| E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Carrying Their Own Chains

America has a dirty little secret that nobody likes to talk about. We have a virtually permanent underclass that is self perpetuating and constantly reinforced by the entertainment and marketing industries. We have virtually entire generations of some American communities with no greater aspirations than to get rich quick and die young. These aspirations of violence and crime that discount and even ridicule education and responsibility lead young people down a path that only leads the vast majority of them to one of two places; prison or the grave. Their nowhere plans lead to a nowhere destination but none of them seem to care or even be open to the idea that any other path is open to them.

Supporting this culture of crime and villainy is a multi-billion dollar industry of entertainment in the form of music, movies, video games and fashion as well as catered advertising for products that uses subliminal suggestions of products being more “street” or “real” to lend the mundane an air of danger. For whatever reason, this air of danger is what people see as motivation to do things that they know are wrong. It’s the idea that being bad is somehow better than being good. The saddest thing in all of this is that when people try to point out the pointlessness of their lifestyle to them the slaves to the hype laugh it off as being the stupidity of people who just don’t “get” their culture.

At some level it leaves even the best intentioned of people scratching their heads and asking why they can’t seem to get through to the people who clearly have been most wronged by the American capitalist system. Why is it that those who have been marginalized and left behind are the least able to see their situation clearly? The answer in the view of some is generational. For generations, certain segments of the population have been told that they could not achieve and that they were destined to live poor and/or die young. After a time, they began to believe it and teach their children the same bad ideas that were drilled into their heads by greedy people only wishing to take advantage of them. Eventually it became a culture of ignorance and disdain for knowledge. Educated people became outsiders and outsiders represented those who only flaunted their success in the faces of the poor. So now if one aspires to attain success through the system it is “selling out” the “real” people in the community they come from.

Many will point to one community and say that this is a “black” problem or a “minority” problem but the truth is that this is a class problem. There are just as many poor white kids out there looking to live the “redneck” and “outlaw” lifestyles as there are inner city minority kids looking to live the “thug life”. These people all have their “cultures” reinforced with different music, movies and clothing but the result is the same. The end result is that the poor stay poor with a sense of hopelessness and resignation to their station while the rich get richer. Some simply buy pickups and the clothes and boots that Toby Keith wears instead of the Escalades, styles and “bling” that Diddy wears. They all kill themselves and sometimes others for the money to live some fantasy life that doesn’t really exist for most people because they think that the only way they will get rich is if they hit the lottery, deal drugs, pimp or rob a bank. They all dismiss education as “putting on airs” or “trying to be white” or any number of other insults designed to denigrate intelligence. And they all tell their kids that school is for fools.

So what is the solution? How do we get through to the people being crapped on by the system and get them to stop holding their chains in their hands? The truth is, I don’t know. I wish I did. I’ve been trying for years to get through to people even in my own family and have had little or no success. I got lucky that my parents broke the cycle with me and my sisters. We had our run-ins with idiocy but eventually the things our parents and grandparents taught us overcame the willful ignorance that other people in our communities tried to force into our heads. We left the small town we grew up in and moved to a place where people value education and diversity over ignorance and enclave mentalities. Over time, we found success and all try very hard to share that success with others less fortunate than ourselves. Still, with very few exceptions, we all hit a wall of resistance when we try to help others rise above what life has handed to them to achieve more than those who came before them. That wall has got to come down or God only knows where the people and their children will end up.

One thing I am sure of is that our dirty little secret will be the undoing of our nation if we don’t address it soon. In all great societies there comes a time when the divide between the powerful and the poor becomes too great and violent upheaval happens as a result. The divide between rich and poor is as big as it has ever been in America and those who are living without are getting more and more desperate. If we don’t start promoting a culture of inclusion and stop trying to create artificial divides in our nation based on ignorance and hatred, that hatred will boil over and the ignorance will drive it with no sense of history to keep it from destroying the good with the bad.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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