Op Ed Commentary –
Webster’s defines vanity as ‘ Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments.’ Our American empire has always been a vain one, from the first time it entered into the fray of what Washington himself warned as ‘foreign entanglements’. What our empire did to the peoples of the Philippines or Cuba, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador , Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq (to name but a few countries) can be deemed as outright criminality. But, then again, who in the hell cares what others may think of us… we’re the good guys, even if no one else says so! After all, we are America, beaming torch of democracy, and so we are exceptional- thus the phrase American Exceptionalism fits us so well… if we do say so ourselves!
So, if you agree that our American Empire, the good old Military Industrial Empire at that, is special, then that makes our people (the ones who go back at least a few generations ) special. Just look at that sea of 20 and 30 something young folks who pass you by in the gym or at the mall or in their cars. How many of them spend even a few hours a week helping out the less fortunate? Check out who delivers meals on wheels and you will see the average age is over 65. Check out the volunteers at the local libraries or food banks, or homeless shelters. For every 20 or 30 something doing their good deed, there will be a myriad of older folks pitching in. Where are these young folks when they are not at school or at work? Well, you can catch many of them at the local gym or pub or mall. How many of them really focus on what our empire is doing abroad in their name? Do they care that drone missiles are committing collateral damage on innocent civilians in the Middle East? Do they care that over half of their federal taxes are going for military spending, and not for schools and roads and libraries… or for better healthcare for them and their families? No, they have their I-pads and other gadgets to text each other and listen to the music plugged into their ears as they ‘zombie about’ in public. Like our empire, they too are exceptional!
One cannot blame these kids (from a baby boomer like me, they are just that) for not following our political system too much. I agree with them on that fact: It is all bullcrap! The four year cycle of presidential horse races has always been the ‘Tweedle Dum and Twiddle Dee’ con job. So, the kids are ahead of the curve on that score. Yet, to tune out all the issues facing them and their families for their very survival is tantamount to letting the empire dictate their ‘who cares’ behavior. The party must go on… and it will until these kids find out it is too late to affect change. Sad, but those who succumb to the sin of vanity become so transparent, with nothing and nowhere left to hide!
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on World News Trust, Nation of Change Blog, Truthout.org, TheSleuthJournal.com, The Intrepid Report , The Peoples Voice, Information Clearing house, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at PAF1222@bellsouth.net