An American dissident sounds like an oxymoron; and in the country I thought I grew up in, it would be. This America I live in is wretched due to horrific domestic and egregious foreign policies.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “dissident” as: disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief. I have now become a dissident. Saying the word makes you feel out of place in your own country, a refugee even. Our government does not represent us, despite being elected by us. It is no longer “for the people, by the people”. It is fraudulent and corrupt. It brings to mind greasy used car salesmen and perverts luring children in vans with candy. It makes you fell dirty, like you can never quite get clean.
The war crime drone strikes massacring hundreds of innocent civilians, many of them children.
The illegal rendition, torture and rape of people grabbed off the street.
The perversion and subversion of the Constitution until it is essentially a useless document.
The complete lack of transparency; use of Stasi secrecy and spying tactics on citizens.
The inmates are indeed running the asylum.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” John F. Kennedy in a speech at the Waldorf-Astoria,”The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”
The great Mark Twain once said,”Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” Americans have confusion when it comes to this. Patriotism is often used as a means to suppress dissent through guilt and confusion of where true loyalty must reside. Thomas Paine stated, “The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.” If there has ever been a time to truly be patriotic, it is now. Aristotle, in Ancient Greece wrote, “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.” Lady Liberty, it seems, is indeed in her death throes. What will you do to help revive her?
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt