Where have you gone, Jimmy Carter?
This editorial here at the LA times is a depressing reminder of how bad it's all become here in the U.S. Jimmy Carter, the last left President (was Clinton on the left?), writes in an opinion piece about the "host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations...[including] peace, economic and social justice, our environment and human rights."
Well of course I share his concern, but I don't know what U.S. history books he's been reading - hasn't the U.S. always produced social inequality, war and pollution?
Like most nation states the U.S. is far from innocent but it just seems now that the gloves are off. When the Vice President openly espouses torture, I would just like to say that the great American century is over.
It's not that, as Jimmy says, "This isn't the Real America." It's that the possibilities that the U.S. once embodied in the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Movement, and other progressive projects - even with all of their obvious failings - have now fallen by the wayside and are gone.
Last year when the country put that idiot back in the White House I commented to one of my students that many people I knew in the U.S. were talking about leaving and going to Canada. She had an interesting response. She said that it had never occurred to her to abandon her political agency.
What a smart kid. Now is the time, I guess, to find new forms of political agency and to draw deep down into the wells of hope to believe that something good can be salvaged in this country. Because frankly nothing less than massive protest on the p-art of the citizens of this country will ever redeem the U.S. in the eyes of the world again.