This is us

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Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast.

This is us.

So long as we continue to dehumanize minorities, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” “thugs,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would allow. Erect a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as the leaders of our nation think it acceptable to bully, threaten, tweet racist dog whistles, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we elect those who deride a Civil Rights icon on social media but silently accepts the endorsement of hatemongers, white supremacists and nationalists,

This is us.

So long as you falsely equate the child in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee with the ones wearing the white hood, cloaked in the sweater vest, draped in the Confederate flag, or adorned with the swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bain, Monsanto and Bayer and not Trayvon, Fatima, Colin, Mary and Tom,

This is us.

So long as we listen to the sources that broke the Bowling Green Massacre, but dub the one that broke Watergate as “fake news,”

This is us.

So long as we value profits over people, peddle snake oil over science and bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street,

This is us.

So long as we are persuaded by “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage,

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. We lobby that the 2nd Amendment is absolute and unequivocable, but tweet against and act to curtail the 1st and 4th,

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we declare “Mission Accomplished” all while knowing it has hardly begun,

This is us.

So long as we ridicule and deride the opposition, chill the whistleblower and eliminate independent watchdogs; so long as we reject diversity of thought and opinion.

This is us.

So long as we value haircuts, manicures and beers over the health and safety of our grandparents, the immunocompromised and the must vulnerable members of our society,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

Greed is the Word

The greatest threat to capitalism has never been socialism. That’s just a boogeyman to distract you from the real enemy, greed.

The insatiable appetites and desires of those who lust for unimaginable masses of riches and will go to any lengths imaginable to gain it. The gluttony of those who rig the system to hang on to what’s theirs and to instill artificial barriers to entry to prevent others from obtaining market share. The insecurities that lead those in power to legislate a permanent caste system to protect their future generations and insulate them from competition.

Make no mistake. The greatest threat to the “American Dream” is Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Koch brothers and the old money white aristocracy that makes up the majority of today’s GOP and Senate. The very people who seek to sow fear and marginalize Democratic Socialists do so with the worst of intent.

There’s a reason greed is a deadly sin. Ultimately it will destroy whatever it touches. A free market economic system based on merit and public value is no exception. That those who most benefitted from that system now sit back and cheer its destruction is hardly a surprise. It’s one thing for a talented tycoon to inherit his way to the top, it’s a whole other thing to stay there.

Hamilton and the designers of our capitalist system were aware of the danger of avarice and market manipulation. It’s why they so many legislative safeguards and checks and balances were designed to mitigate the risk of greed (not socialism). Unfortunately those guardrails were meant to protect us against individual beings, not political parties, corporate conglomerates, lobbies and unidentifiable PACs. When the courts extended inalienable rights typically reserved for those with flesh, blood and a pulse to these nebulous and nefarious groups they essentially short circuited our republic. Our checks and balances were not designed for the modern world. Our constitutional rule book no longer applies