Remembering those who serve.
They don’t know us.
They are our own government, our elected officials, our press.
They claim to speak for us and to inform us. But they don’t know us. Not at all. Not even a little bit.
We are not their sheeple to manipulate and lie to and send to die. We do not and will not endlessly respond with Pavlovian obedience to the bells they ring for us.
That truth is slowly dawning on the insulated and isolated minions who run our cable news networks, sit in our seats of power and claim they speak for us with absolute accuracy. We are not their toy soldiers they move about in a game.
How could they be so wrong about us? After all, they’ve been successfully lying to us and manipulating us for decades. They’ve convinced us to fight and die for no reason at all time and again all over the globe. What is different now?
Perhaps the difference is the price. Aside from phonied-up claims that “supporting our troops” means we have to keep them at war and in war in perpetuity, these people don’t know much about the price. They were beamed into their elected offices and sit in front of cameras that were paid for by beams of corporate money that comes from the same, or interlocking boards of the same, corporations that are making money off these wars.
Their world is not the world of paying the price. It is the world of reaping the benefits.
Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, fought on the ground in Afghanistan. But the moguls of our war machine did not send their young princes to the front. They were too busy getting the finest educations and living the best life, preparing to be the decision makers who send others to die in their place.
The “news” arm of this complex harangues us every night about the high cost of social security and how keeping our word to retirees is fiscal suicide for this country. Simultaneously, they batter us with constant calls for ever higher “defense” spending.
We are armed past imagining. We have more aircraft carriers and all that goes with them than we did when we were fighting the Germans and the Japanese combined. We buy weaponry that actual combat soldiers say fails in the dust, heat and impact of real warfare. But we don’t buy enough body armor for our troops. We don’t provide returning soldiers with adequate medical and psychological care.
And we can’t rebuild our roads or put together meaningful public transportation. This same country that built a railroad that went from coast to coast in the 19th century, that created a national highway system, suddenly cannot spare the cash to develop a national public transportation system that would lower our dependence on the foreign oil that drives these wars. It appears that the same companies that build the bombs can no longer build the roads.
We do not make the goods this country consumes. We import them. Our industry is weaponry. Our export is war. We are breaking our own backs as a nation to feed a war machine we do not need to keep us safe. We are endangering the future of this nation to enrich a few by engaging in endless random wars that enrich a few and impoverish the rest of us.
Maybe it goes back that those beams of money that beam our elected officials into office. Maybe it has its roots in who is signing off on the enormous checks those talking heads are pulling down.
While our standard of living declines, they are living large.
While we fight these wars, they incite them.
And that is the reason why now they are so gobsmacked to find that We the People don’t want to make war no more.
They don’t know anything about the price that we’ve been paying for their wars. Because they don’t know anything about us. We are another country to them. They manipulate us. They patronize us. They don’t respect us. In fact, all they know about us is what they learn from reading polls.
It’s time someone tried to explain this to them. They need to understand The Price.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.