Is Our Democracy In Trouble?

I feel very fortunate to live in a place where so many interesting people come and give talks. Many of these talks happen at the Boulder Bookstore and they are free and open to the public. Maybe you have a resource for inspirational speakers in your community? Writing a blog every day means I need to keep my mind active and my heart open so I can bring to you ideas and inspiration that will help take your and my life higher.

Last night I heard an incredible speaker. Naomi Wolf is a bright articulate woman on a mission to make a positive difference in this country of ours. Her book, The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot is a must read for anyone concerned about the direction America is heading. Naomi believes our democracy is in trouble. She has done her homework. Her extensive research of past repressive regimes (Germany, Italy, Russia and many others) points to a clear roadmap of the steps taken to close down a democracy.

The USA under this administration is following that roadmap in ways that have to be a concern for every citizen of this country. Noami spoke of a number of these steps along the roadmap to a repressive government. Here are a few of those steps and unfortunately they look awfully familiar:

• Promote the idea of an outside terrorist treat – Since 9/11 this administration has been promoting fear of an outside threat. When people are afraid they a willing to give up their rights.
• Create a separate prison system where legal rights are compromised – Guantanamo, military tribunals, CIA run torture prisons in other countries. When people fear they can be labeled an enemy combatant and have their legal rights taken away, they stop speaking up.
• Create a private army that can be used by the government to control people and situations – Blackwater and other security companies are already in place. Blackwater was in New Orleans and was reported to be shooting at American citizens.
• Set up an internal surveillance system – that is now in place with our government spying on us. When people feel watched they tend to avoid getting involved in demonstrations against the government.

The book goes on to cite many more examples of things we should be aware of as informed members of a working democracy. This is not a book based on unwarranted conspiracy theory; it is a book based on history. Isn’t that why we study history, to learn from it?

This is not one of my political rants. I wrote this because I too am very concerned about the growing government presence in our lives. I also know that another way to manipulate people is to continually lie to them so after a while we are confused as to what the truth is. This happens every day in the present government, Congress included. We need to be informed citizens and find out the truth as best we can.

Since the Patriot Act (which would have our founding fathers in an outrage) this administration has moved more and more towards repression. Opposition is being repressed. The White House recently said they had 800,000 people on their watch list. Naomi is on the list for her questioning what is going on. Are you and I next if we speak up? I know the founder of Peace Doves and he is on the list. Fear is the ultimate controller. We cannot let fear stop us from keeping this democracy alive and vibrant. This must be a concern for every person in this country no matter your political orientation. Check out an organization that Naomi is involved with called The America Freedom Campaign.

People in power seek to gain more power, that is a given. We need to take the power back the power and reassert that this is a government by the people for the people. Get involved even if you tend to avoid politics because politics is not avoiding you but in fact impacting your life every day.

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