As I read and watch the news, I see selfishness and deceit. It’s called partisanship, but it’s really hate and dishonesty. Even what I call my opinion is just a manipulation in a great game in which I’m not included. Something is very wrong. I am left with this one feeling of anger.
Like in the 1976 movie ‘Network’, I feel like opening my window and shouting, “I am angry as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!” In every direction, there is someone or something to be angry at.
I am angry at Boeing Airlines knowing their plane had safety issues and hiding it for years until 346 people died. I am angry at Obama for letting Wall Street off the hook after causing so many Americans to lose their homes. I am angry at the tobacco companies in the 1950’s knowing their cigarettes were addictive, caused cancer and would kill us. The list goes on.
I am angry at our national government letting big Pharma go after it flooded this country with opioids they knew could destroy us. I am angry at a tax cut costing trillions of dollars that benefits only the richest people and corporations while the working poor watch their teeth rot. What is happening? I thought this was a democracy.
In desperation, I look up the definition of ‘democracy’ and it leads me to a fancy word I can’t even spell: oligarchy. Oligarchy is “the rule of the few for the benefit of the few.” That’s it! Our country has turned into an oligarchy. That’s the real deep state! It hides in plain sight. It is in corporate board rooms, in the political action committees, in the media focus groups. It is not in one place nor one party. It’s everywhere that “The Few” selfishly rule for their own power, wealth, and ego. It hides under words like ‘free enterprise’, ‘corporate rights’ and ‘America’s greatness’.
As I feel this seemingly endless flow of anger, I am reminded of Forest Gump when he says to Jenny as she throws rocks at the house where she was abused in, “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.” Just like Jenny, throwing around, my anger doesn’t work because there just aren’t enough rocks. What am I to do?
Then I remember that word democracy, “the rule of the many for the benefit of the many.” That’s what I want. But I can’t do much nationally; ‘The Few’ are just too powerful, too well placed. Selfishly, they fight anything that challenges their power, profits or wealth. They control everything. For they are not in one place or one party. They are everywhere.
In desperation, I go to the only place I can help. And that is locally, right here in Grant County. Here I can listen, respect and honor each of the many voices, then from this understanding I can take actions to help. It's talking with my neighbor across the street. What do they need? It is listening to the farmer in Gila or citizen of Hurley who worries about their water source. It is helping senior citizens plagued by crime. It is collectively responding and seeing their problems as our problems.
Democracy is this sense of community caring and response. We can be an example of what democracy is meant to be—rule of the many for the benefit of the many. And in this, our local democracy can be what America needs to be again. This is my hope—Esta es mi esperanza.
Silver City, Grant County