Saturday, December 29, 2007

National Treasure

We went to see the pop movie National Treasure last night. A fluff piece to be sure but a good cure for jetlag. Anyway, while watching the cool, real and fake intertwined history, bits of Resolute desks, and statues of liberty, I was struck again by how much we have lost under this presidency. And not just us, but the world.

While I was traveling in Germany, I stayed at a small indie luxury hotel called the Drei Raben, or 3 Ravens. While there, I had some very interesting discussions with one of the manager/owners of the hotel. After I had been there a few days, he gently broached the subject of the media, and politics. Once he realized that I was not some right wing, missionary, nut job, we both really got into it.

Raulf talked a lot about how closely he and his 30 something friends were following the American political situation. He said that he thought most Americans would be really surprised at how much folks in the EU were paying attention. He asked me who I wanted in the primary, who I thought the rethugs would choose and what I thought would happen. He expressed his deep dismay at CNN and the media in general.

He gave me chills though when he said, “I don’t really think people in the states realize how afraid we all are about the direction your country is headed.”

After that we got into a discussion about Katrina and he said that lots of groups in his neighborhood sent blankets and money to the Katrina survivors and that it was totally unbelievable to them that America, such a rich nation, would let her own people suffer like that. And then to clinch the deal he said,

“You know, you had it all… When people talked about freedom and democracy, we all thought of America. Not so much anymore.”

And there you have it.

The promise of generations, bought in blood and suffering 230 some years ago—The idea scratched out with paper and quill in Philadelphia-- brought to it’s knees by the likes of George W. Bush. It is a heart-wrenching tragedy, and we are not the only ones who think so.

God help us if the dems don’t manage to win in 2008… if one of these psyhcho-racist-conservative-freaks from the right is our next president we are finished.

Raulf really made it sound like the world was waiting in anxious stress and fear, to see what we would do next and if the promise of our nation would finally die in the coming year.

It was sobering to say the least.

And as I went back to my computer I thought—national treasure, indeed...
If we don’t stop this run-away-train of neocon madness, we will have wasted so much, squandered our future, and we will have broken hearts around the world.