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John Atcheson – Put Away the Fireworks… You Don’t Live in a Democracy Anymore

Within the last 30 years, while we’ve chased bogeymen overseas and here at home, our Democracy has fallen. We have been taken over; defeated; our voices neutered; our freedoms trampled; our democracy vanquished.

No invading force accomplished this; no jackboots echoed across our republic; no alien flag was raised above our lands. Not a single shot was fired by our vaunted military to halt this takeover. No, this was a quiet coup, accomplished from within, and conducted in stealth.

In the cult film classic, The Usual Suspects, Roger “Verbal” Kint says, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Just so, has the Oligarchy taken over the US.

Many of us continue with the delusion that we are free. We celebrate Independence Day. We vote. We express ourselves openly. We are not jailed for our opinions, at least not usually. We live where we want. We pursue the work we choose. We get our news from a “free” press. We engage in the pursuit of happiness.

And while all this seems true, we are not free.  Our votes carry no weight. Our news is a hollow monoculture in which six corporations own 90% of the outlets with most of the rest controlled by elitists who can no longer relate to the average person; in which infotainment has replaced information; in which a modern day version of bread and circuses keeps us distracted from the increasingly grim reality we are everyday immersed in. The jobs open to us are becoming increasingly exploitative. And the pursuit of happiness is marred by a lack of choice, increasingly desperate economic straights for the majority of us, and a feeling of impotence as we watch the American dream shrink before our eyes.

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