An Open Letter to America
Transmission, third World War, third round
A decade of the weapon of sound above ground
No Shelter if you’re looking for shade
I lick shots at the brutal charade
As the polls close like a casket, on truth devoured
A silent play on the shadow of power
A spectacle monopolized
The cameras eyes on choice disguised
Was it cast for the mass who burn and toil
Or for the vultures who thirst for blood and oil?
Yes, a spectacle monopolized!
They hold the reins, stole your eyes!
All the Fist-a-gons, the bullets, and bombs
Who stuff the banks
Who staff the party ranks
More for Gore or the son of a drug lord
None of the above. FUCK IT, cut the cord!
Rage Against the Machine, Guerrilla Radio, Battle of Los Angeles, 1999
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” It truly is. It’s funny, I’m sitting watching my twitter and there are a billion comments on the election. Every one of them from a fellow Canadian. My American follows are talking about poker and work and honey dipping. But not the election. Which may seem odd to you. But not to anyone outside of America.
You see, what happens today in your home country has the whole world on edge more than any election in your history. How you vote today doesn’t just affect your taxes and your abortion laws and your nephew coming home from Iraq (all of which are utterly important things of course); it affects the whole world. The past 8 years have created this. You put a self minded semi competent administration in control of the biggest single economy and biggest single war machine in human history. And they broke it. They lied to the world. The buried their head in the sand about impending economic chaos. They could have bettered the world but in their thirst for riches did the opposite. I’m not saying I could have done better, but then, 280 million people didn’t put their trust in me to do so.
The world today is on the brink of a massive revolution the likes of which no one alive can probably say they’ve ever seen. The US’s credit based economic foundations that have thrived for 60 years are collapsing. This alone is magnificently frightening to the world; never mind the little bit of a war for oil and God that’s going on 4500 miles away. Since world war 2 the US has thrived on a consumerist economic model that relied on credit; soft money, if you will. I don’t condemn it, heck I’m part of it; we all are. But, the soft money outgrew the hard money and became a snowball of credit notes and IOU. Well, the snowball got too big, and now it’s rolling down a slope picking up speed. This is concerning for everyone. We are teetering on the brink of economic changes so profound and it scares the living shit out of everyone. Even tho we know it will all be fine eventually, it’s the getting to ‘fine’ that scares the world. And you, of course. Will the free enterprise system be alive when this is done? Will it be different, the same, completely new? No one knows.
So now you have the ability to affect change a bit. The policies and strategies voiced by your potential leaders are important, not just to you but to the whole western world. How we get through the next few years will depend a lot on what steps the American leadership takes to fix things; it’s not just a question of giving poorly managed companies a few hundred billion dollars to keep them afloat, it’s a question of creating a culture of ownership and responsibility at the top of these. Didn’t one company take their bailout money and throw a multimillion dollar party for themselves? This CANNOT HAPPEN America…you know it as well as I do.
And of course it’s not just about finances, it’s about foreign policy and the threat of retribution/action/war as well. Your last administration broke international law to stage a fake war and basically invade a country that was innocent of the charges against it (tho definitely not completely innocent) for access to oil. The foreign policy has created in your nation a culture of fear of the unknown and a nation of hate. It’s not completely dissimilar to another nation a few decades back, only it’s obviously less extreme. The Bush administration did a hell of a job in creating hate and disdain for hundreds of millions of people due to the actions of a few thousand extremists. It’s like starting a holy war against Christians because of the words of some white power crazies.
By now most of you in the East have probably already done your polling and probably even a good portion of you in the west too. If you haven’t voted, please do so. And please please please think beyond just your taxes and your stand on gay marriage or whatever, because there are so many more things at stake here. I feel like I’ve been watching the decline and fall of the American empire of late, and the choices made today can either slow that slide or accelerate it. I’m not suggesting who you vote for, although I have my personal opinions, just that you do it and do it with conscious thought not just raw emotion. Today is the first day of the rest of your life; and today is an opportunity to do some good.