All things considered, and given the current political climate the last couple of years…let me take a step back for a minute to say something here. When I was a kid, some of my earliest memories anyway, I remember believing in the patriotic public relations image. The idea that the United States of America was the greatest nation in the world.

That we were the “good guys”, the nation that came to the rescue of other nations swallowed whole by fascism. That we stood up for things like human rights and human decency; that Civil Rights and Civil Liberties were things we practically invented and wanted to share with the rest of the world. History classes strongly promoted this view.

Captain America
If you would have asked me at 10 what America personified looked like, I would have pointed to Captain America. Ignorance was bliss.

But little by little, as I got old enough to read news papers, listen to the news on the radio and watch it on television, I started to see the cracks in the facade. That there is a facade to our social reality, things we are not told, or we are told in ways that make it seem totally acceptable; this was a slowly dawning realization in my early teenage years.

I was indoctrinated to always tell the truth, to always be respectful and courteous, and to always be fair with others by the adults in my life. I am not sure which came first, the cracks in the social facade or the realization that the adults that conditioned me to always tell the truth were some of the biggest offenders when it came to deception.

So little by little, as I grew older, I realized this country is not personified by Captain America, not really. It has a ugly, bloody, terrifying, and cruel history. It did seem to be trying though; trying to do better, making progress; making a lot of progress if you consider the conditions that led to institutions like the Food and Drug Administration.

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Facades are masks for buildings; people can wear professionalism like a mask, people can gentrify a neighborhood. A person can hire a good publicist; an organization, a good marketing public relations firm. It doesn’t change anything, it just dresses it all up and makes it all pretty. But we need to see the ugly too; so we can change it or at least come to terms with it

It wasn’t until I started reading history books written for university level history courses, and actually attending such classes that I realized the depth to which I had been utterly and horrifyingly deceived by public education. The history of this country, suffice to say this is not the worst to which we have sunk in the past but it is damned close. Too close.

The Democrats are useless; they make a big stink but they don’t listen to their constituents much; and the Rethuglicans don’t listen at all (I’m looking at you Portman, you incompetent, brown-nosing, boot-licking toadie). They just want money; they always need more money. You’d think they were buying elections with all the money they need.

My email from the DNCC reads like extortion threats on a daily basis because the opposition is acting like they are wearing Nazi swastikas under their coats and there is an evil clowning Pied Piper in the White House handing out grape flavor-aid to his zombie horde of malcontents. And right now you are wondering where’s the gratitude?

Today, my gratitude is with the armies of lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I feel like the only real headway there has been at all in this nightmare, it’s been spear-headed by the lawyers and the courts; but we may end up losing the Supreme Court to the zombie cult soon.

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As a hero archetype, I have to wonder what happened to the idealism this particular hero archetype represented? Where are all of the Captain America’s? Are they only in the Military and within the ranks of the ACLU and the SPLC now? 

There hasn’t been much headway but the ACLU and SPLC have been managing to more or less hold the line. There are some other elements that are managing to hold the Government together, but they have their hands full and their work cut out for them. There are other elements that seem to have embraced the chaos; and that sickens me.

But the ACLU is on it; so is the SPLC and I am beyond grateful for both of these organizations for all that they do. They would say they are fighting to uphold the Rule of Law, Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, but it is also thanks to them that I know there is resistance to the madness raging in this country right now. It’s not lost yet.

We’re not lost yet.

American Civil Liberties Union

Southern Poverty Law Center