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Land Where My Fathers Died

Land Where My Fathers Died

(Personally, I believe this is Pulitzer material. I say this because I want you to read it. It is not about me. It is because the problem and the answer are here and not elsewhere. This will be a rare and useful read in your life. If anyone knows where to send such an article that may do some good, please feel free.)

I have often mentioned the sneaky dirty little word (evolve): To develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form. This nasty little word is the key reason why a country that has evolved respecting human life and human justice need take great note of the seeds of evil that have clearly rooted. Evil also evolves. It creeps and you wake up one day and it is staring you in the face.  

In America the seeds of evil were planted long ago. Long before Trump. The greatest being no protection against the forces of greed consuming the common interest. Up front when I speak of Trump, I want his supporters to understand that historically many lands that became habitats for evil began with policies pleasing to many. When evil begins to lurk, the message is values. First you protect the soul of your land. Then, in a land of goodness and values you work on policy.

E-pluribus-unum, “out of many one” is the heart and soul of America. It is the belief that no one race or nationality is superior to another and all from everywhere are deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Donald Trump leads a scourge of un-American ideals that are devouring the integrity of our institutions and our concept of decency, and left unchecked will divide us beyond peaceful redemption. By opposing all opposition with vengeance, he is destroying respect for individual thinking. He has the American Government and everyone he deals with afraid of their thoughts, less they may accidentally slip and speak. This is how countries fall. We are already fighting, not with love and understanding but with anger, at our very family dinner tables.

It is vital to note that Greed consumed our land long before Trump. Greed in a failed bribed system decimated our Middle Class. Greed brought 90 percent of our bounty to the top and decimated the wondrous intent of our Founding Fathers. Greed altered our course from the finest humans can be and gave birth to seed after seed that grew and accumulatively downgraded the quality of the greatest experiment in human fairness in history.

As the wealthy few became economic behemoths, so too did their power and the American dream became for most, just a dream. What they did was buy our leaders. The Public Relations game was to deregulate under the guise of their freedoms being violated. When in truth the removal of regulation allowed them to decimate the economic well-being of the heart of our strength and power, the Middle Class.   

I have been baffled as to why so many do not see that the following analogy clearly depicts the grave wrong of taking all you can: Imagine a pie cut into 10 pieces. One for each of 10 people. One individual is strong intimidating, and manipulative. He decides to take 9 pieces for himself and to let the rest fight over the remaining 1 piece. This is what has happened to our Country. The strong, intimidating and manipulative unregulated 1% (3 1/3 million people) have taken 90 percent of our bounty and we, the rest of America, (326 2/3 million people) squabble over the remaining 10% with far too many of us believing this is the path of freedom. When in fact it is the path that destroys freedom and leads to the devastation we are in the midst of today.

The people did not catch on. They bought the freedom story. Too many believe that if you earn it you keep it and what you can earn is endless. They fail to see this is not “earning” it is systemic failure. This foolish interpretation of freedom allowed for an environment where Corporations made their own rules. To this day they gouge the people in every way imaginable. They write their own law and literally pay for legislative signage.

Not long ago, we were a land of plenty with work everywhere. Wealth willfully and collectively and without interference decimated the American workforce. They did this for the purpose of exploiting other lands and not paying Americans a fair share. A balance could have been found between Capitalism and protecting our people. But the people mean nothing to a corporation that seeks only profit. Government was meant to provide the balance of fairness that insured the well-being of both. This systemic failure brought on by bribery within the campaign finance system within a leadership without the values and courage of its founding, its Constitution or its Crimson Sacrifice, is the root cause of the downgrading of America and the quality of life for her citizens.

The greatest failure within human pursuit is the failure to protect against greed. We have failed miserably. Our epitaph will likely read: “Greed Won – Humanity Lost.” So, long before Trump, the framework far worse than he, that would allow a bigoted, valueless, self-serving, cruel, unfair and vengeful fool to rise to power, was indeed in place. That being said, on one side he is to America like giving arsenic to an already poisoned person. On the other side, he is all the people had to defy a Government far worse than he. Unfortunately, in desperation Americans wantonly raced into the spider’s web.

Before Trump, rich, greedy people managed to sublimate the answer, which is to address the difficulty that allowed their rise to power: Bribery. As without bribery we would have been governed by the best that humans can be rather than the greatest poison (greed) that lurks within us. Our people, mostly our decimated Middle Class, do not understand the gravity and real existence of bribery in our land. So, they groped among hopelessness for another answer.

Along came a clear blowhard with a strange myriad of appeal to the dark side of humanity. He had appeal to the bigot, (those intolerant toward those holding different opinions) the racist, the rich, the greedy, the selfish, the uneducated, the desperate and –most damaging– the disenfranchised American. The dark side and the foolish voted for Trump. Most others did not vote for Trump, they voted for a monkey wrench, a lesson, and they voted against the system that ruined their futures and the hope for their children’s futures. The very fact that he would become President, is the urgent clarion call to fix our system or all that our land is about will dissolve.

It is so damn simple. How on earth did anyone think the common good could be protected in a system that allows pure greed that creates wealth at any cost to buy and own the leadership that was meant to keep them in check? In America, Big Oil, Pharmaceuticals and Tobacco are the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost of Evil. And Corporate demons abound.    

I often write about the cowardice of American Leadership (the 546, i.e. Legislative, Judicial and Executive). I had a Military experience that kept me alive. After serving 18 months on Okinawa with the 173rd Airborne Brigade I transferred into the 7th Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C. Three weeks after I arrived at Fort Bragg the 173rd was sent to Viet Nam and fought more than any outfit since the revolutionary war. Mike Minahane took my place and was shot in the leg.

The 5th Special Forces had been in Viet Nam for years and they went to and from Viet Nam through my Group, the 7th. I was never in danger yet I was surrounded every moment by battle hardened heroes of the finest kind and they were my friends.

Once you know such people, especially so many gathered in one place, it becomes very hard to suffer Patriotic cowardice. -And that is what we have in Washington, D.C. A bribery system that attracts power hungry cowards –bone spur types– those with a puke inducing sense of false superiority that cower at the thought of offending anything that can harm them. My friend Mike Thompson’s body parts did not rain out of the jungle sky after his jeep was blown to bits for this system of bribery. My friends Roger Donlon (I saluted my Beret off my head when passing him in the rain one time – he picked it up) and my drinking buddy, Staff Sergeant Vernon Beeson who fought in the same battle as Captain Donlon, did not fight for this system of bribery. Captain Donlon won the Medal of honor and Staff Sergeant Beeson won the Silver Star. -(This is a great google.) No, those I mention (and men and women like them throughout our military) that fought and witnessed the death of their own, did not fight for this system of bribery or the power-hungry cowards this system attracts.

I have not mentioned Flanders Fields in a while. It is by John McCrae. He wrote it on Flanders Fields during an unreal serene juncture that followed the grisly carnage of days before. It is a poem that captures war and the obligation of those that follow to remember and conduct themselves in keeping with the great sacrifice that gave them opportunity.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

We are learning the price is very high when your leaders carry no torch. We are learning the price is very high when ye break faith with those who die. 

Bill McClellan