When the twisted fiends felled the Twin Towers on 9/11, Internet chatter as well as direct messages seeping like toxic waste out of terrorist camps indicated that they’d accomplished more than they’d hoped for (they had not expected the total obliteration of both structures). In their wildest and sickest dreams, the terrorists could not have anticipated the fallout from the blackest day on American soil.
This fallout runs deeper than the subsequent crisis on Wall Street, our military’s hunt for Bin Laden in his rat holes, escalation of our forces in Iraq, and the current recession. For the love of God — and if you don’t love God, then for the love of our country — please read my last statement again, carefully. Let it go through you like slow ice. What could possibly be worse than any or all of that? The dismantling of our tenets underpinning our Constitution is the absolute worst that can happen — and it’s been happening, because in our fear and anger and apathy, we have allowed it to happen.
Viewed impartially, the Constitution is nothing more and nothing less than a soul pact. It’s the pact that our forefathers made with each other, and with all future generations born upon this soil, and those immigrating to this soil to take the oath of citizenry. It is an agreement that all men, women, and children are born into this world via something greater than themselves, with unalienable rights bestowed upon them by that God. God is and must remain an essential part of our national equation because without a higher authority, to whom are we accountable as a nation? And we must be accountable as a nation, to ourselves and to the Constitution.
The treatment of confirmed and self-proclaimed terrorists in Gitmo Bay, the Federal edict to try the terrorists in civil rather than military courts, the potentiality of a national healthcare system, jobs going overseas, corporate scum bailed out to the tune of billions on the blood, sweat, and tears of private citizens, the war in Iraq — all of this has plunged us into a socio-political and economic crisis more intense and even more trying that what we had endured in the ’60s’s — and that’s saying a lot. Our President’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize with one hand while escalating the war in Afghanistan with the other should not have stunned anyone. It is perhaps the most glaring example of how torn our nation has become.
No matter the winds that buffet us at home and from abroad, we must hold tight to our freedoms as citizens, and honor — not just give lip service to — the principles upon which the Constitution is based. There must be no double standards here, and since there are, we must work to rectify them. The world still watches and waits to see what America does; what will we show them?
We will show them what we are made of. We will show them what has kept us intact and what has strengthened us thus far. This is not the first time that we’ve been tossed upon the churning waters of national flux; not the first time that our envelope was pushed to its limits.
Blood ran in our streets in the 1960′s, and for too long (even one day is too long). Entire families were forever fractured over the long bloody war in Vietnam. Women emerged as an inarguable and permanent factor in the work force. Men walked on the moon for the first time in history. Eastern theosophy rose slowly on America’s shores, illuminating the Golden Rule, as God knows, we needed illumination. Three of our best and bravest were cut down before our eyes: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Jack Kennedy, and his brother, U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. They did not die in vain but rather, inspired and instituted legislation that solidified the canons stated in our Constitution, far beyond mere rhetoric. These three men and those who supported them strengthened the reality behind the concept that we are all of us in this together (“E pluribus Unum”: “Out of many, One”).
Like those who tossed the tea into the Boston Harbor more than two centuries ago, and those who marched on Washington and through local streets forty-plus years ago, you must exercise your rights under the Constitution in order to keep that Constitution alive. If something troubles you — an elected leader, a corrupt or inhuman and inhumane organization – speak out. Now is not the time for burying your head in the sand; nor is it the time for indulging in self-pity. And nothing that impacted the common good was ever gained through silence and indifference. Much, however, was gained through peaceful organization, the raising of communal voices, unmitigated pressure upon our elected leaders, and the passage of true and lasting change.