So I’m reading a book called “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” by Naomi Wolf. I’ve only read the first chapter and already I am scared. She describes the ten steps any nation has/will take to change from a democratic society to a dictatorship or fascist society. She also points out where she is seeing these ten steps taking place in the current US. It really makes me shudder to think that this is happening to us but that we are not fighting to get our rights back…let me explain:
“The turning points can be mapped as vertical lines – the point at which prisoners lost the right to habeas corpus, for instance, is one – which then plateau into the nation’s new normal. The nation acclimates; then this process begins again at that greater level of suppression.” (Wolf, 2007, page 14)
Think about it for a moment – Just as we acclimate ourselves to a new environment – even our present day environment that is gradually getting warmer (due to global warming) – most people are not getting upset because it is gradual. Sure this year we broke heat records, but not by much. But what about next year when we break the heat records by a few degrees – that means in two years time we have raised the heat 5 degrees or so.
Look at airports – 1st we had to remove our shoes, sometimes, to board planes – then we had to remove our shoes every time. Now they are restricting how much liquid and fluids are allowed on a plane and how we can take it on the plane. On some flights people were not even permitted to bring there carry on items – AT ALL. When these changes happened some people thought, oh it’s temporary – but none of these things have been rescinded. In fact they are now moving to new screening devices that actually x-ray you and take pictures of your NAKED body. They are slowly changing the temperature in hopes you don’t discern the changes.
Another law that has been passed is the Military Commissions Act in 2006. “This law gives the president – any president – the authority to establish a separate justice system for trying alien unlawful enemy combatants.” (Wolf, 2007, page 15). However, those deemed “alien unlawful enemy combatants” are not given any guidelines to determine if someone is a such person. The president could look at me and decide he doesn’t like the way I flipped him off, or gave him the cold shoulder and deem me an enemy combatant – I would then be taken and tortured, with limited contact with my lawyer (in some cases the lawyer was not even ALLOWED in the Courtroom for the Case!), as well as being forced to stay jailed with no promise of a speedy trial – I could be in prison for years before they decided to try me. It makes me shudder at how easily this could happen. I always get nervous when we go through the airports because I’m afraid my traveling companion my get upset and yell at a guard – that would be grounds for an enemy combatant – just like the woman a few weeks ago who died in custody because she was upset about her flight and was screaming – she was arrested and treated like a terrorist. And if something did happen, there would be no assurance that I would have – I would even bet money that I wouldn’t be allowed to see my lawyer. Scary!
And yet, even with all this scary, bad change going on, I don’t even feel like I can do anything about it. If I decide to fight the president, protest, speak against the government – I will lose my job. Literally – I had to sign a paper saying I was not associated with any groups who were considered terrorists – and remember, a terrorist could be the person who doesn’t pick up after their dog…. How sad is it that I fear OUR government over other governments/groups of people.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying I don’t support our troops, etc…etc… – I’m just saying things are changing and not in a good way – liberties are being taken away from us and we are failing to acknowledge that until it happens to us. It definitely makes me shudder. But I will continue to read the book, in hopes that Wolf gives us more information on how to “fix” it.
Okay that’s all for now – if you’re interested in the book, check it out at your library or buy it from your local bookseller – it’s a small book (156 pages) and reads quickly – The ISBN is 978-1-933392-79-0.