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Commentary Last Updated: Jul 17th, 2006 - 01:15:01

Where is the rage? Where is the outrage?
By Michael Payne
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 17, 2006, 01:13

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We are all part of an American society that continues to silently watch as our government pursues a foreign policy that threatens the very future of our democracy.

A large segment of this society is currently in a state of conditioned silence. It watches as America is undergoing radical changes that are transforming this nation into an instrument of world domination with the objective of controlling this planet's energy resources. The overriding question is: what will bring this society out of this state of conditioned silence -- does it have the will or any desire to say, "Enough is enough, we will accept no more?" Or have the American people completely lost their will to dissent?

It seems that we have become a society that no longer may know what is right versus what is just plain wrong. We collectively watched the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Then came the "shock and awe" and the complete destruction of the city of Fallujah. We began to hear the bizarre stories of the inhuman torture of prisoners at Abu Grahib and Guantanamo. Now we are beginning to hear details of the horrendous story about the village of Haditha, a potential time bomb of immense proportions. The senseless deaths of our military and Iraqi civilians continue each and every day; this is complete madness! Is Big Brother wiretapping you and me? Does anyone care? America remains in a state of conditioned silence.

Where is the rage? Where is the outrage? National opinion polls have determined that there is dissatisfaction, uneasiness, and a tiredness in the American people. The public now feels the Iraq war was a mistake and not worth it. Is America disillusioned simply because we are not winning? God, I hope not. Is there anything at all that can reach the American mind so that so many of us who profess "family values" can just get real damned mad when we witness our foreign policy going berserk?

We in this society also watch as America changes in so many different ways domestically. We watch as our remaining jobs continue to be outsourced to countries all over the world as our corporations brazenly reduce the American workforce to achieve greater and greater profits. Our trade and budget deficits are spiraling out of control and our government now has to sell $2 billion of treasury securities each and every day to finance these deficits. China, in particular, along with Japan, various other Asian and European nations now virtually own our nation. We are the greatest debtor nation in history and have no conception of how to end this massive bleeding that is rapidly leading us to national bankruptcy. And the people watch and there is no outrage. Only an eerie silence.

Yes, there is only silence, only a weary acceptance of these travesties foisted upon the American people, only the passive condoning of this insidious wrongheaded direction that those in control of our government are taking. Americans seem to have lost the will to question and challenge. Thomas Jefferson, one of our greatest patriots said, "Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism" and truer words were never spoken. If we completely lose our ability to question, to challenge and to dissent when our democracy is in jeopardy, then we will have become nothing more than passive sheep.

We in America are so very content with our lifestyles, our gas-guzzling SUV's, Hummers, huge pickup trucks, bigger and bigger homes that many cannot really afford, interest-only loans; and now, believe it or not, 50-years mortgages. We see the price of gasoline rapidly escalating and we watch as our government, the auto companies and the energy corporations have no plan or any desire whatsoever to try to solve the energy problems that are endangering our very future. It seems that the American mind is so fixed upon personal gain, the accumulation of wealth and material possessions that this fixation has negated and wiped out the former great influence of moral values in our society. It appears we have become slaves of consumerism and that this addiction has virtually wiped out the will, incentive and courage to dissent.

We need to discuss 9/11. Yes, it was one of the most terrible, destructive, events in our history, Yes, a great tragedy, but It certainly is not of the same magnitude in total destruction of lives and property as other major events in our history such as the Civil War, Vietnam and several notable domestic disasters. But we need to understand the more destructive long-term psychological damage that it stamped into the fragile American psyche. The criminal perpetrators of this vicious act knew exactly what they were doing. Bush & Co. knew they had accomplished one of their major objectives -- instilling fear and paranoia into the American mind.

The Bush administration pretended to go after alleged 9/11 perpetrator Osama bin Laden with a vengeance in Afghanistan, an action that a majority of Americans fell for. However, thereafter, those in power made one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in American history. While, in this essay, I will not explore the underlying issues of WMD, Saddam, liberation of Iraqis, bringing democracy to Iraq, lack of any legal or moral justification. -- when this Bush administration made that ill-conceived military invasion, when they then filled the American mind with more fear and foreboding about terrorists hiding behind every bush, they effectively gave any real terrorists an important victory.

These seeds of fear and extreme paranoia had been deeply planted into the American mind by the 9/11 perpetrators and, thereafter, have been fertilized and cultivated by this same Bush administration. These neocon-driven bulls rushed into Iraq to "fight them over there instead of here," initiating their fantasy plan to tie the Iraq war to al-Qaeda. Each and every day they continue to trumpet that "the insurgents are making their last gasp, democracy is near, we must stay the course, we cannot cut and run" and on and on. And the corporate media continue to feed this propaganda into that very damaged American psyche.

Where is the rage, the outrage? Oh, I think that it is present in our society, buried somewhere deep in the American mind. While the outrage may be present in some latent state, it has been completely suppressed and bottled up by fear and paranoia. But so far no member of the opposition party or anyone in a leadership role has been able to counter this psychological malady with a powerful vocal serum to provide healing and a clear message that can free the American mind.

Big Brother & Co. did a masterful job of devising programs of misinformation and distortion that were spread throughout America by the obedient lapdogs known as the corporate-controlled mass media. Why have this media completely failed to provide the leadership to the American people to awaken them? Because they are trapped in a state of journalistic paralysis. They have been brainwashed and conditioned to fear that dissent will be considered to be a traitorous act -- compliance and servitude are the twin credos of this sad community of gutless, spineless pseudo-journalists. This is a media that truly have sold their journalistic soul to the highest bidder -- and guess who that might be?

When we as individuals and a society have the God-given ability to weigh all sides of all these momentous issues that threaten the future of our nation, our children and the entire world community, yet we may no longer have the moral strength and the will to logically choose between what we know is right and wrong -- then it may be that this society is truly in a state of moral decline, one that might be irreversible.

But, the jury is still out -- America, our society and our democracy is standing at a crossroads that will determine our future. Many questions and facts have been presented but many more must and will emerge. The American mind is, in effect, the jury that will decide the fate of America and what its future will entail. The American people, not the government in power, are still the foundation upon which America was built. If this foundation continues to erode and crumble, then our future will be meaningless -- and irrelevant, no more than slaves to the god of consumerism.

If this jury remains in a state of conditioned silence and is unable to make honest and moral deliberations -- if this jury, this society, will not and cannot show its outrage and demand that the course of this nation be dramatically changed -- then the verdict will be that outrage and dissent are just too dangerous to even consider and that sheeplike passivity is the safest and most expedient course of action. At that point, we Americans will have lost our will to dissent, and this society will have died and it will not rest in peace.

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