Americans Behaving Badly

 
 
Slowly the mist of the hypnotic dream world dissipates.  
 
Now awake and alert, our eyes see the real world, the hypnotic dream world competes only as a memory with the reality of here and now.  
 
Here and now, awake fully at last, we find ourselves as a nation mired in or coping with the most destructive global acts in decades. 
 
While we’ve slept, driven by greed for power and wealth, liars have been busy deprecating our good name, sacrificing our children’s blood to false causes and fumbling their way to the economic ruin of our country.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
9/11 generated fear and anger. The more we pondered 9/11 the more our fear receded and our angry outrage came to the front. We united one with another, found our resolve and responded to a president who spoke to our tragedy and our inherent national strength of will.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid, he started saying.  
 
We began again moving forward with our lives, grounded in our new resolve and outrage. Be brave, but be afraid, he continued to say. Our president continued the tough talk and we responded. Yes, yes … we will do something about this.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
Then, curiously, the more he talked the tough talk, the more we began to hear how afraid we should be. Tough talk from our protectors coupled with should-be-afraid talk from our protectors.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
Soon we became used to a double menu of tough talk and fear talk.  
 
Be brave …. be afraid…  
 
When finally the blend of be brave and be afraid had reached its culmination in war, we saw first hand what happens when tough talk and fear talk are blended. We saw how we had – by remaining silent in the face of tough talk and fear talk – gone along with our leadership’s stampede application: It’s right to be brave, but better to be afraid.  
 
Driven by tough talk and fear talk, we watched as our sons and daughters became the instruments of manipulation of our toughness and our fear.  
 
We watched and gave silent consent as tough talk was replaced by the kind of talk that stampedes voters – authorizing the biggest mouths to take drastic actions that serve the mouth more than the body.  
 
Be brave, but moreso be afraid.  
 
We suffered more attacks … we looked for leadership … our leaders jumped around what they pretended was the empty seat on the lead horse and to this day are still riding off in all the wrong directions, lying all the way. 
 
We are left to confusion about whose hat is white and whose isn’t.   
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
It’s time now, in the light of truth and the obvious, to bring the stampede to a halt. The big bulls up front are liars and leading us in all the wrong directions. Too many of us see the lies, see where liars have taken us, see what has been done in our name.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
Too many of us now see the kind of “credit” we have earned as a nation by the actions of the stampeders.  We are now being asked to support the bigoted cowardice and grand-stand decision-making of politicians who have little if any hands-on experience in global reality
 
It’s time to rein them in.  
 
Be brave, but be afraid.  
 
It’s time for us to get out of our stampede mentality, tell the liars to shut up, take away their clout and call on each other to do the right thing.
 
It’s time to fire the stampeders.  
 
It’s time to stop being afraid.  
 
It’s time to start being brave.  
 
© Arthur Ruger 
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