What America Really Means:
“I've Got Your Back!”
[If you have ever been in the military, as I have, you know what the phrase “I've got your back" means. The “chain of command” is not one of ascendancy, as the aristocrats once fabricated it to be; but one of responsibility and service to all below – everyone above had the backs of all those below them. We were a Nation founded in this very same spirit – every citizen had the backs of all others – we left no one behind! But today, everyone seems to be leaving everyone else behind! Why? That is what we will touch on in this essay... ]
If there is a God, He made us ALL! And, unlike the religious club, that divides us into judgmental groups, he built certain tools into us, to show us how to make this world the best possible place for our species! A brain, which held the gift of rationality; a conscience that keeps us in tune with the rest of our kind; and, the greatest gift of all, a part of Himself, love, that makes us discern the minds and hearts of others, with a loving understanding of their plights. And, that is what the “human” in humanity truly means: “We, all have each others backs!”
The early inhabitants of this country began to understand this, when they broke away from the monarchies in the rest of the world, and began to understand the bounty and responsibility of true freedom and independence. It took them a while, to view all their citizens the same way; but they finally did, even though it took a Civil War; and, they built a country that worked along those very same lines: “Everyone had each other's backs!”
But people got greedy; freedom showed them a way to take advantage of the other guy's needs; they even built an economy around it: free enterprise. But the word “free” started to mean a way to take advantage of the other guy, not help him with those needs. And, once again, that monarchical ascendancy began to show itself. That “freedom” brought riches, fame and glory – ascendancy over others – and, suddenly, we were right back, in the same position that we were in 1776! They called it: disparity! And, it grew without bounds, because of the monopolies, and their power over the populous.
And, meanwhile, people sought out groups to alleviate this growing disparity; and the interpreter's of God became once again the trend in religions that brought some peace to the growing inequality, with charities and the promises of an afterlife of unending pleasure in Heaven. Yet, this life was becoming a Hell for many, even here in a country that always talked of the bounty of ALL! The homeless; the poor; and a lower middle class that could barely make ends meet, with rising car, home and rental prices; and exorbitant health care, higher education, gas and oil prices – and taxes on everything!
But, the downside was the growing divisions – in a country where division was suppose to be a dirty word! Spatial divisions – like ghettos, suburbs and gated communities; ethnic divisions; racial divisions; religious divisions; educational divisions; class divisions; prosperity divisions; immigration divisions; even gender and LGBT divisions! Suddenly, a country, where division was anathema, had become the country of division!
We had come full circle: the ALL, in that country of, by and for ALL, had instead become a FEW that prospered on the backs of ALL! But the biggest problem was: “We no longer had each other's backs!”
Even technology brought about divisions; the information super highway, which supposedly heralded the freedom of information, became controlled by the FEW, at the expense of the MANY – just like the media monopolies, the internet brought about a technology monopoly, and even the word “freedom” took on a new meaning – the freedom to hurt, arbitrarily, at will. Now, instead of covering each other's backs, we began hurting people, behind their backs, with all kinds of vicious lies and hurtful pictures that took situations out of context, and gave different meanings to various situations. Division began to spread hate and bigotry in a country, where the ALL, no longer meant ALL! Once our privacy died, on “personal” computers that were no longer ours, but the fodder of the monopolies and their trolls; privacy became extinct, and it was literally, “every man and woman for themselves” instead of “We the people!”
Yes, trust had died – and with it, the meaning of “United” in “the United States of America” became almost meaningless! So, as the 2016 Presidential election shows, candidates are no longer chosen by us, but by the money of the new aristocracies, we have created, with the freedom that money and jobs confer! Instead of covering each other's backs, we are at each other's backs, with slander, defamation and judgmental views that religions and divisions have bred! We are the opposite of the very things, we created this Democracy to accomplish. Choice, the backbone of Democracy, no longer exists!
So, with half the world in poverty; and a few, with enough to found their own countries, we have gone right back into the very things, we founded this country to avoid. But, plenty is not the panacea, it was promised to be for many; as alcohol, drugs, hopelessness and worthlessness swallows more on the top, than at the bottom. For riches do not create the surety of happiness; and in a world, where no one's back is covered, affluence builds many enemies. Most of the poor develop “thick skins”; but the rich are very vulnerable, because they cannot deal with being without!
In a way, trouble makes us stronger; we are creatures created in this very way – that is the only prayer, the human species knows – evolving new ways to defeat adversity through unity, foresight and watching each other's backs; using the very tools that “God” gave us to do it!
If we create our own problems, then we should be able to fix them. Solutions do not lie in the same methods that continue to create the problems, but in fixes that eradicate those problems. Beliefs keep the same methods alive, because those implementing those methods never experienced the problems first hand. Poverty is something curable – and, its cure lies in creating governments outside the limited scope of the economy.
It is up to us to create solutions that rid us of the division and the disparity that make us no longer trust each other. We are the United States of America, let us once again make that title mean something to every single one of us by letting us know: “...brother, sister, don't worry... I have your back!"
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Originally Published:October 16, 2016
Revised:March 24, 2017