One of the creeping revelations that has been stumbled upon in the wake of the Katrina disaster is the notion that the American government is no longer ours. It hasn't been for some time.
We are no longer citizens. We are subjects. The Government no longer protects us. It protects itself. It no longer serves us. It serves itself.
The leaders of the American revolution found that being subjected to a government that cared not as to local concerns or opinions except how much to exploit from the American colonies intolerable, and took matters into their own hands with a little known document called the Declaration of Independence.
The government they were subjected to no longer served them, they served it.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
And then our Founders proceeded to list every grievance that they had against King George III. We have our own list. We have our own King George. And he is as separated from his people as the past King George was from the colonials.
The Founders, some years later, as owners of their destiny and as governors of their own selves, subject to none, wrote down what their Government should do:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
And about four score years later, President Lincoln, while fighting to keep the country together, concluded at the end of his fabled Gettysburg Address:
[T]hat this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
If it were only true.
The American people are subjects today because none of the above is currently true.
Truths are no longer held to be self evident. With every truth, there is debate and spin.
Men are not created equal.
There are no unalienable rights but what the government gives and takes away.
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are malleable political concepts to be exploited and taken advantage of for party gain.
Our government does not derive its powers from the consent of the governed. It derives it from itself, and its financial backers.
Our government is destructive to the citizenry and our supposed unalienable rights, yet the affected masses do not alter or abolish that which subjects them. They cherish it. They support it. They reelect it. And they defend it.
Our Union is not. Red States. Blue States. Northern States. Southern States. We are as divided in mind and spirit as we were in 1861 and 1789 and 1776. And the government instituted to establish the more perfect union among the disparate states and peoples instead seeks to consolidate political power by further dividing us.
Our government does not establish justice. It seeks to obfuscate, spin, confuse, muddy and stonewall. It seeks to tarnish, attack, taint and Swift Boat.
Our domestic is neither tranquil nor protected. We are not provided for. We are not defended. The money collected from our wallets serves the government, not us.
All the proof you need of that is in the sunken city of New Orleans, where the people through their local governments and representatives demanded levee improvements and storm protection, but the taxpayer money sent to the Washington for that purpose was cut, and sent to the rich in tax cuts.
We are subjects. The government we established, that is supposed to serve us, that is supposed to be us, cares not for us.
Our government is not of the people, by the people and for the people. Our government only wishes our service to it, and in return we get nothing, except our deaths.
One wonders when the anger of our Founding Fathers will stir in our souls. I hope for that day.