America has been a kind place to live in, as long as the citizens are blind to what the government actually participates in. As long as there is healthcare, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, corporate bailouts,…etc. We have been able to live as we wish with our freedoms slowly being hampered down by our government for a long time now. Our children recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” when they get to school before they begin their lessons and they are taught how brave and noble America is and has been. We go about our day to day activities of consuming natural resources at our leisure and spend all of our paychecks on menial and shiny trinkets. Life has been good for citizens living in America. If you’re an illegal citizen and are caught, you too can reap the benefits of the welfare system and your children will be put in school.
Then Wikileaks came.
They say that one can either be informed or happy. Those are your two choices. One can live in an imaginary world full of shiny babbles and digital toys all the while you sit back in the morning and sip your Sumatran coffee trying not to turn on the television news or click on any internet media sites. It’s easy to live in happiness and put on the blinders to any actual damage being done by telling yourself that since it’s not affecting your own little life, you don’t care.
So you get in your brand new car that you just put on your credit card knowing that you will make it to work safely and notice that your gas tank is getting low. You see a gas station ahead and scan for the prices. $3.09 a gallon for the type of gasoline that your car takes. You think to yourself that it’s just a small price that you have to pay in order to lead a happy life. You gladly fill up your gas tank, pay the cashier with your credit card, and go to work.
You’re at work and some of your co-workers are talking about how the government has done this and done that. You move away from the break room because their “gossip” is un-American and again, since it doesn’t affect your small life, you simply don’t care. Within minutes of you getting to your desk, you get a popup chat on your screen with a woman whom you’ve been flirting with online while you are at work. You silently tell yourself that it’s nothing to get up in arms about because what your wife doesn’t know, won’t hurt her and it’s not like you are actually cheating. You’re just flirting a little bit on the internet.
During lunch break, you drive down the street to the nearest cafe. You walk up to the counter and order the same meal that you always do – every day – and when it’s time to pay, the cashier worker gives you the total. You are a bit stunned because today, the price has gone up once again for the third time in the past six months. You tell yourself that it’s ok. It’s probably because of people shoplifting. We all know that the more things are stolen from a store, the higher the prices go up. Damn criminals. You whip out your Bank of America credit card and purchase your meal.
You return to work and you do your job like you are told. You go home, and eat the meal that your wife has prepared for you and you spend the rest of the evening surfing the internet full of porn and gambling sites. Realizing that your wife went to bed hours ago and that you are getting hungry, you go to your kitchen and make a sandwich fit for an army, eat it, and return to the computer full of porn and gambling. Then you go to bed.
You wake up the next morning and begin getting ready for work and start the cycle all over again…to chase that dollar just to spend it on those shiny baubles and digital toys.
So what would happen if those freedoms were taken away? America is the last place on Earth that you would think there would be a loss of freedom and liberty. Then you hear disturbing reports about the Pentagon what they can’t look at, in violation of the first Amendment. You accidentally pay attention to the news for a moment and catch a report that says that you will be forced to purchase medical insurance. You find out suddenly that the internet is no longer free, because the sites that you used to peruse at your will, you no longer have access to. Then you realize that all of the things that you have purchased – all the shiny little baubles that you have chased (because you’ve been told to do that) have put you massively and deeply into debt. You attempt to see if the state will help you with your debt only to find that they too, are teetering on bankruptcy. In the process of trying to find help for your financial woes, you discover that the federal government is massively and deeply in debt, just like you are.
Soon, you discover that your children’s education is mandated by the federal government and that half of the American school systems have stopped teaching civics. You discover that businesses do not have the freedom and liberty to be operated at the pleasure of the business owner, but rather, the federal government.
You look around and wonder, “what happened?” “How did this come about?”
You hear about a man named Julian Assange.
You see how he is being attacked for telling the truth – exposing the corruption in your government. It amazes you to hear that for speaking the truth – that he has been called out to die by some very powerful people in your country. Suddenly you remember that there is something in the bill of rights about due process of law – and you wonder again, “what happened?”
It suddenly occurs to you that while you’ve been sleep walking through life, the nation that you once thought you had lived in has been stolen from you. The only thing that you have to show for it is…debt. Idly wondering to yourself, “is there anything I can do about this,” you begin creeping into ideas of moving away…moving away from the America you were raised in…the America that gave you freedom…and liberty. The America that is no longer free.
Thoughts begin to run rampant through your mind and panic sets in. Anxiety cloaks you like a blanket and you can’t seem to find a way out. You can’t sleep because now, you are informed. You are no longer happy. You receive a letter in the mail telling you that you’ve been laid off and you sit alone at your dining room table wondering how you are going to feed your children and wife – the people that have counted on you for survival.
Alone, you sit at your dining room table wondering what to do…knowing that the man who is trying to do something about it will be dead, if he makes it to America. So you wonder if you should support him for fear of that incitement to murder being in your name instead. You wonder if supporting a man who is trying to restore freedom is worth supporting – because the government is something to be feared. You wonder….and yet, perhaps it could all just end. Perhaps this is a dream. This just cannot be real.
Soon, you find yourself going about your daily business in misery – no longer enjoying life. No longer happy. And you remember that little bit in civics class so long ago in your childhood classroom about “the pursuit of happiness.” And from that point, you know that you’ve been betrayed. Acceptance begins to loom and you know that life has drastically changed. You are now living in The United Soviet of America.