Does anyone remember the film, Wag the Dog? It starred John Travolta and was about a President who, to deflect public criticism of him, started a war overseas witha third world nation>
I remember a film in the late 90s starring John Travolta called, "Wag the Dog". In the film, Travolta, playing the President of the United States, starts a war with a Third World country to divert the country's attentions off of the real problems being faced within their own nation.
A huge comparison can be made between fantasy as portrayed in the film and the real-life actuality of today.
We are the world's largest and oldest democracy and we are faced with a myriad of problems:
1. Our schools lag way behind other 'first world' nations in education. Our children cannot read, write or do mathematics at a level consistent with other industrialized nations. Our school children lack discipline and have become more akin to 'Fort Apache: The Bronx' than they are educational institutions. These are not places for learning. They are a place for drugs, violence and teenage pregnancies. Teachers no longer can discipline the student and some no longer care to. Teachers and parents are both complacent and guilty for the failure of our schools.
2. Our health care system is crumbling under the weight of corruption caused by escalating health care costs being driven by pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Medicines are so expensive that people are forced to obtain them through mail order catalogs and the internet. Hospitals are so full that patients are released before they are fully well.
3. We are losing our industries, our economic strength, to overseas locations where the promise of cheap labor and low costs attracts corporations. Labor laws in this country, protecting the rights and wages of workers, are being violated while Unions remain silent. Anytime a Union does complain, the company threatens them with firing employees or moving their company overseas or both. Hands-tied, and receiving no help from the government, they watch helplessly as wages lower and benefits are hacked to pieces.
4. We've watched with apathy as our government has defied both the Constitution and Congress and acted contrary to law. We've sold our liberties for a tiny bit of security.
5. Apathy is so rampant that people care more for the spoiled antics of Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Spears and Oprah Winfrey more than they do for that homeless man living in the shelter of a doorstep on the corner of Main Street or the child who wears dirty clothes, lives in a crime ridden neighborhood and lives off of scraps of food. We care more about sports heroes than we do about pregnant teenagers who are addicted to drugs and exposed to the violence of gangs.
6. The morals of our society have fallen so much that our children believe that it is okay to cheat on exams, betray their friends for advancement or money and that love is something outdated. Cruelty, teasing, ignorance, and disrespect towards our neighbors is considered to be funny and entertaining.
7. The value of life has fallen so that people worry more about the whales and a tree frog in the Honduras than they do about the treatment of our elderly or the life of an unborn child. An unimpregnated embryo holds more value to some than the elderly and sick people left to drown in a hurricane.
8. Political correctness has run amok. People are afraid now to speak their minds for fear of being 'labled' by media and interest groups.
9. Our criminal system has deteriorated so badly that one is now considered guilty before proven innocent. Our jails are overcrowded, and like our schools, have become cruel jungles not institutions for reform.
10. Our Christian values have become forgotten and have come under attack by atheist and New Age groups alike. Monotheists are being replaced by Eastern philosophies, pyramid power and cults who create their doctrine as they go along. Seeking self satisfaction and pleasure in this life has become much more important than obtaining Heaven in the next life. God has been portrayed by his attackers as cruel, unforgiving and distant. He has even been made into a She. Jesus has been portrayed as a homosexual, slept with a prostitute or both.
11. We are no longer the 'melting pot'. Each of us now wish to safely guard our own cultures and refuse to even acknowledge others as having their own right to exist. We have become xenophobic instead of open minded.
12. We vote our politics by what we feel is right for us; not for what is right for the nation.
So, instead of dealing with these problems, we have distracted ourselves from them by engaging ourselves in a war which has no meaning. Of course, this will not avoid the inevitable. While Nero is fiddling, Rome is still burning. While we put our finger in one leak, several others are appearing. Eventually, the dam will burst and our Western society will crumble.
Perhaps it is right that it does fall. We have had our triumphs, but we have also burned our candle too quickly and from both ends. That wick is near extinction. Can we save it before it burns out forever?