Recently, my father was explaining the Lebanese diaspora protests and the Lebanese revolution to a New Yorker.
Her answer: “Why aren’t we protesting?” My father laughed.
But the question haunts me. Seriously, why are we not protesting?
The US is at its lowest: not unemployment according to several professionals. Enfin, si as we say in French. A depression is at work. And the rest. A Congress, which refuses to work as it should. [Yes, no we are not going to rant about the criminal activity of Mr. McConnell. And yes, what he did is criminal. Period.] No healthcare, or, if there is, it is so expensive, citizens ruin themselves in less than a month. Horrible or non-existant public transports. [ Please if you have another info, we’d love to hear more from you. It is a very shady sector. ] A war on women’s rights. A war waged against immigrants, even those here legally.
Depleted 401Ks because, well, retirement anyone? What’s that? Costs of living through the roof. Bush’s legacy still around, front and center, because veterans do not receive the respect or care they should be getting. The infrastructure lacks terribly; not only about the potholes but the entire network of transports and communication.
And to top it all, 4 years of a man, who has yet to learn the art of business, let alone the notion of honesty, transparency, and respect. His words at the last State of the Union: the usual talk [insert “garbage” here] from the white elitist, white supremacist, and, frankly, the 1%.
So why are we not protesting?
It’s not clear. Maybe it’s the fact the US never revolted against itself. The Prohibition period does not count. The Civil War was just that: a civil war, one which never really ended but became silent in plain sight.
Women’s march : check.
March for climate change: check.
March for science: check.
“March” on Wall Street (commonly known as Occupy Wall Street movement): check.
But a national uprising against the establishment’s degradation: ______________________________________________________________ Silence.
A national uprising against the failings of a democracy: __________________________________________________________________ Silence.
The past few weeks were the worst. Many don’t realize it. History is not taught the way it should be. Civics is neither taught nor discussed. You’d think a democracy like the United States would teach its children civics. You’d think. You’d be surprised.
[ I began protesting at 13 by not standing during the flag salute. Because apart from that and the national anthem and repeating freedom of speech times 10,000, civics is not taught or discussed. ]
But the past few weeks are proof that civics has gone out the window. Entirely. The constitution burned. Burned! Not just thrown away. But burned.
A trial is a trial. No matter what. No matter who. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand what crime was committed by the Senate in the past month. The final decision was the result of
- blocking procedure.
- blocking incriminating evidence.
- blocking witnesses.
Procedure because a trial is the result of an accusation and its presentation. A trial is conducted by looking at the facts, reviewing the evidence brought to light, and hearing out the witnesses. A trial is not without discussion. No witnesses or people with knowledge on the situation – no discussion. Except that is what happened. And so, politics went out the window too. Goodbye!
This is about ethics. This is about sovereignty.
Let me explain. The United States, Russia, Mexico [if you want to go down that road], and Ukraine are all independent sovereign states. Independent = sovereign. Concerning Ukraine – because it is a state in civil war, its’ sovereignty is at risk. Especially when other countries get involved. A situation exploded and then turned into something bigger as the years went by.
Excluding Mexico [evidently], these countries are connected. Russia wants Crimea, a region of Ukraine. Part of Ukraine supports Russian intrusion. So why the scandal in the US, you ask. Read our earlier analysis here but really it’s the world sucking up to the US and US politics sucking up right back. Crude language, we know. But I’m not in the mood for seriousness.
Foreign policy 101: everyone needs something from everyone else. All you need to know about foreign policy for a start. Ukraine is no different. The US threatened to cut military aid to Ukraine to get dirt on a business alliance from the Obama administration days [and investigated at the time, may I add]. The mere fact that vital military aid was withheld is a problem. The mere fact documentation exists is huge. The mere fact that the current Russian government holds power with the current US administration is a problem. The documents exist.
When a Senate rejects every piece of evidence, what do we call it? When it creates a problem, which followed procedure, what do we call it? It has nothing to do with politics but legality. When do politicians become politicians for their own interests and not ours? When they have a lot more to lose for themselves than for us. That matters. It matters because it’s no longer about taking care of the citizens.
I wrote it here before: democracies are in crisis. 2019 showed what can happen when the people have had enough. US democracy is in crisis; has been for years. Maybe decades. Not only is it one of the oldest contemporary democracies, it is the democracy by excellence with its closet full of skeletons. Oh those skeletons! Full of demons. Every country has them. We see it with the Brexit machine. We see it in Latin American countries. We see it in Turkey (yes, yes, Turkey). We see it everywhere.
However, the US’s skeleton closet has always existed since the 13 colonies. Its democracy is at breaking point. Its foreign policy is broken. Its national security is at risk. Yes, with multiple scandals, it is at risk. With politicians of the likes of Mr McConnell, it is at risk. Its politics are completely lost.
More to the point, its society is divided, at its best, just like its politics. Is it time for a change? Yes. Then why are we not protesting?
Maybe because deep down, 1. we are too comfortable in our set ways, or 2. we don’t know how.
And that is the sad sad sad truth.