Despite the best efforts of the media to keep everyone in this country quarreling amongst ourselves, there is still one thing that a large number of people in this country agree on: We're fucked. Here at home and throughout the world, America has lost ground, and it is not getting any better. It is tempting to blame the woes of the nation on our elected officials; However, that is a cop-out, and hides a far more unpleasant truth: It is not really the fault of our elected officials, the blame belongs to the people.
We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect view of the television have sold our soul to non-involvement. Sure, you can walk into any bar, barbershop, or coffeehouse, and find someone in there that will tell you “what the problem is,” but aside from these boisterous individuals, when was the last time anyone ever saw someone in this country actually do anything?
During the 1960's, masses of people in this country did sit-ins, marches, and protests for civil rights, because they were against Vietnam, and sometimes just because it was Tuesday. Citizens would pack the streets, college campuses, and business establishments, to make their voice heard on a cause that they believed in.
Occasionally we still see a march or a rally for a cause, but they are ceremonial for the most part, and are too few and far between to carry the impact that is needed to really facilitate any kind of change. People attend these demonstrations as a status promoter, and leave the message at the rally when they go home to be picked up by the sanitation department that is also cleaning up the half-empty (full if you prefer) bottles of imported flavored water from the South Pacific that was filtered through a lava rock dipped in lemon juice.
Detractors will say “that was a different time.” I couldn't agree more, and that is part of my point. It has been forty years since we stopped doing something about anything that we didn't like, and started allowing ourselves to be distracted and placated by Atari, jelly bracelets, and trying to figure out who shot J.R. There are those who say “the country just doesn't operate that way anymore” (and I'm the pessimist?). Again, I agree. It doesn't operate that way anymore, and it probably should start.
We now live in a time where mass communication is at nearly everyone's fingertips. With a text, a Facebook update, or a blog, people in this country can reach out to anyone and organize a movement from the comfort of their double stuffed, heated (with the optional massage feature) Barcalounger. We can, but we don't. We have allowed ourselves to become passive to something we know is wrong for the sake of comfort and the misguided thought that nothing we can do will matter. We are wrong.
We do not actually need to look back forty years to see what the power of the people can do, we just need to pick up a newspaper or turn on a reliable news station today and read or watch what is happening in Egypt. The citizenry in that country became so fed up with their corrupt non-representational government taking away larger amounts of their already miniscule rights during a time of economic concern that they took to the streets, overcame the inconveniences of leaving their homes, and actually affected change...and I thought we were supposed to be the beacon to the world for how things should be done.