by David Bruce
Citizens of Egypt asked for change and then demanded change. When change did not come, the citizens of Egypt forced change and forced former President Muhammad Hosni Mubarek from office. In turn, and almost in unison, other countries in the Middle East and northern Africa demanded likewise of their leaders. Protestors in Libya seek to remove Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi from power, opponents of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh are demanding that the leader relinquish his power, and thousands of protesters march in Jordan to affect political and economic change long planned for and summarily forgotten.
Meanwhile back in the United States, the Democratic and Republican parties continue their ongoing political sparring at the expense of the American people. Current legislation threatens to eliminate funding that will ultimately lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Proposed cuts threaten job training for unemployed workers, teacher training, community health centers, and assistance for low-income families and children. The billions of dollars saved are coincidentally offset by the extension of the Bush Administration tax cuts.
Across the states, the impact of government intervention, spending (or lack thereof), and legislation affects citizens to one extent or another. People are still losing jobs, homes are still being foreclosed on, and food and fuel prices continue to rise. At the same time, the government is proposing cuts that will threaten those least likely to compensate for the rising prices. The changes proposed by the Obama Administration over two years ago have not come to pass, either as a result of political obstruction or executive incompetence is immaterial. The end result is the same and affects the lower- and middle-class citizens of the United States adversely and often irreparably.
At what point do we get so fed up with the dogmatic assurances of change and the continued erosion of hope for a future that at least allows for the average American to maintain an unpretentious existence that we march in the streets in front of our state capitals, demanding from our governors and representatives a true change that works in favor of the citizens of the country and not the political and business empire that dominates our nation?
We have become so focused on reality shows that we have overlooked the reality outside of our homes. We have become so enraptured with the latest electronic toys that we forgotten what the idea of freedom is, having become slaves to advertisements, big screens, and bright lights. We are mesmerized and hypnotized, becoming blind to what our leaders are doing. Will we wake up when it is too late, or will we take a page from the book of those peoples in Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan who have said enough is enough. The change must come from us, or change will not come at all.