Experiencing the Exhaustion of a Dying Democracy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mental exhaustion and cynicism shadow my waking days, while nightmares of potential wars and unexpected brutal mortality shroud my nights. I am a hostage in a world gone mad. I am surrounded by the profanity of arrogance and greed, lies and betrayal.


By Al Garcia

Mental exhaustion and cynicism shadow my waking days, while nightmares of potential wars and unexpected brutal mortality shroud my nights.  I am a hostage in a world gone mad.  I am surrounded by the profanity of arrogance and greed, lies and betrayal.  When once I looked up and saw the beauty of the blue expanse of sky, I now see only the darkening clouds of uncertainty, and the chaos engulfing the whirling winds of change around me.  When once I looked upon the serenity of the Rio Grande, flowing majestically and welcoming, I now see only a river of despair, of heartache and disillusionment. 

In the land of the free, I feel constrained by the necessity to conform and adapt, or be labeled a traitor or conspirator for simply thinking and speaking my mind.  Already, our free press has been called the Enemy of the State.  Our former national leaders have been threatened with imprisonment and intimidated by spurious and shameful probes and investigations stemming from their political and/or personal activism and service.

And up to not long ago, I listened to the words and pictures each evening on the nightly news, and then I awaited the disclaimers to begin from the White House.  All fake.  All the time. 

We were constantly told to ignore what we may have been witness to ourselves, or what had been recorded on video or recorded on tape.  We were told to instead listen to the alternative and official interpretation, as seen through the shadows of deceit and treachery.  I used to be able to decide for myself the veracity of what I heard and saw.  Evidently, all this time I had been wrong, or so I am now being told by a Press Secretary standing at a podium at the White House, along with numerous others, who interpret the true meaning of what the now ex-President said or tweeted.  Everyone who questioned, contradicted or exposed the lies and deceptions was, and still is, deemed a traitor, turncoat, or worse.Everyone not swearing fidelity and loyalty to the then President, deemed a part of the “Deep State.”  The beginnings of a faltering and dying democracy.

I fought in a war long ago where I was told we were fighting for people’s rights to speak and think and live, in truth and freedom.  I was deceived then, and I continued to be deceived by our leaders and their minions. 

Now, I sit and wait for some official to stand in front of a red, white and blue flag, and explain to me what I should believe, and what I should discard as fake.  I am confused and flabbergasted by the knowledge that our worth and stature as Americans and as a nation has been diminished by our own elected leaders, who seem to be in tune to the tremors and vibrations emanating in distant, foreign and even outlaw lands seeking to disrupt and purge the American idea and the American Dream. 

My exhaustion and cynicism with what is taking place in our Republic drains my body and my mind.  The very essence of the American spirit and idealism set forth in the living document known as our Constitution, bleeds and cries out in agony, as the conscience, character and nobility of our Republic continue to be discarded and diminished by acts of cowardice and betrayal. 

Already, the casualties of zealous extremism are readily visible.  Debate and bipartisanship has been squelched.  Congressmen and Senators have bowed to the pressures of shameless and corrupt power, abandoning ethical standards for the sake of partisan political expediency or personal gain or personal power. 

Our Judicial system is rudderless and stifled, and on the verge of collapse – almost totally debased and perverted by unholy alliances and allegiances.  Our Intelligence Community has been demeaned and trashed, and forced to accede to the duplicitous thinking of dictators, tyrants and autocrats around the world.And, most importantly, there has been an unprecedented attempt against the American people to divide, factionalize, marginalize and diminish our spirit and our worth.  We are still here.  Exhausted and fatigued, but strong enough to endure and persevere against the evil that lurks in the minds and hearts of counterfeit patriots. 

No one said a democracy was easy.  And, as our history has taught us, and as we are learning firsthand from what is taking place around us today, a democracy can easily slip from the firm grasp of an unvigilant and unguarded people.  Yet, our American history has taught us that America will persevere, despite those who have chosen to betray or abandon their trust, their faith and their passion for truth, justice, equality and liberty – the very strength of our determination and commitment, which is embedded in our historical heritage and in our great legacy.  We may have taken our eyes off the wheel of state for a second or two, but the character and principles upon which this great nation is founded will once again triumph over chaos, greed and corruption, and we will correct our course, and our destiny.

I am mentally exhausted and fatigued by the state of our union, and by the rape of our nobility and the assault on our dignity and our character as a nation and as guardians of such a storied and dynamic human endeavor as our American idealism and optimism.  Experiencing the exhaustion of a dying democracy should be a moment of clarity and singularity for every American, regardless of social, cultural, ethnic, political or religious affiliation or association.  This is the moment of our truth.  This is a test of our resolve.

America is not, as our ex-President and his Republican cohorts see it, made up only of Red and Blue States.  America is a nation made up of ideas and passions of every kind and type that stirs the human imagination and human ingenuity.  America is a nation conceived in hope and swaddled in dreams that have inspired and stimulated our national conscience and our combined ambition.  We are a nation of developing and blossoming notions and emotions, each stoking the embers of our strengths, flaws and limitations – yet, all living, working and embracing the American Dream, under the same rainbow, and all walking on the same yellow brick road that leads each one of us to the same place – an America striving and thriving under the same red, white and blue flag, and the same America that shares the passion and the compassion that calms and soothes the human beast within, that seeks to breach the unbroken chain of hope that has weathered the trials and challenges of our past, and those adversities and hardships now before us.

History will not be kind to this episode in our nation’s chronicle.  But history will also record the names of those who stood up, spoke up, and demanded a return to civility, decency and the pursuit of truth and justice.

I have learned that we have but to listen to the song of time, as it beckons memories, fantasies and dreams of yesterdays and of tomorrows.

Let us listen to the song of time, as it reveals the innocence, the hatred, and the bewilderment of lost and roaming legions of humanity.  Listen to the silence of the slaughter of freedom and democracy, as men once hung from blemished trees, lifeless and alone, in crowded fields of watching silent men concealed beneath white-hooded robes, with downcast eyes in shame. 

Let us listen to the song of time, as it tells of clashes and of struggles -- Indians slaughtered by settlers, and legendry tales of massacres and slaughters, all endorsing and sanctioning the expanding boundaries of our emerging realm. 

Let us listen to the song of time, as it tells of flags flying triumphantly above defeated grounds, with echoes of agony and heartache left in its wake, teaching us that no freedom is just obtained or handed out without resistance.  In wars between the states, between families, between colors, and even between beliefs, ideas and thoughts, America continues to fight and to suffer with its conscience and itself, for completion of its solemn oath that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Our Stars and Stripes continues to fly with pride and compassion for the struggles and voices silenced by time -- voices that did not know where their struggle would lead, or what their suffering, their marching, or their protests would ever achieve, or even be remembered. 

Let us listen to the rhythm and harmony of time, and raise our heads and our voices for the champions of the past, and for those that still toil and march today.  We hold our hand against our heart to feel the sense of life beneath our human shield, and to feel the life of those before us, and those who cared enough to seek a better way of life. 

Let us hear the voices silenced by hatred and mistrust, and let us recall the lives destroyed and those enslaved, simply because they were not accepted, or simply did not fit into what was then acceptable to a few. 

Let us listen to the song of time that tells of lives of innocents, dispatched to battles across the globe for causes and objectives not stated or conveyed.  Some to perish, many to suffer, and all to return damaged and scarred with the sights, sounds and pain that never fades away.

Let us listen to the song of time, as blood is spilled on our city streets, with tortured wails of agony and exhaustion emanating from the souls of brothers and sisters of every age and every color, pitted against hate and injustice – the Red against the Blue, like once there was the Blue against the Gray -- with each moment drenching the ground beneath us in crimson and in tears. 

Our freedom, our democracy -- it cannot be exported across the world.  It is unique.  Our flag a symbol of the struggles, the courage and the audacity of our ancestors -- white, brown, black, yellow – a rainbow of humanity -- who questioned, who stood up, who made the choice to walk tall with heads held high, because they heard time’s ageless song before it was acceptable or respectable. 

I am experiencing the exhaustion of a dying democracy, as I listen to endless debates about building a wall to keep people out, about DACA, and about White Supremacists and Nazis in our midst.  And it is only when I listen more intently to the song of time and bow my head in awe and wonder at those who gave us the freedoms they never had, but only longed for, that the melody of time begins to give me peace of thought and mind, and hope, that we may yet again, aspire to the greatness that we once had.  . 

I am my father’s son, and the son of time itself.  This makes me a part of the wondrous song of time that others will someday hear.  Hopefully, they will take the time to listen, as those before them did.  Our democracy and freedom is not just a legacy, but a celebration of life shared and earned by the melting pot of humanity that makes up our great America. 

Now, listen to the song of time, and let it inspire you, astound you and amaze you.  Freedom and democracy are not just a pledge of allegiance to a flag, a party, a cause, or like in our recent past – a man – but rather, a celebration of faith and dedication to principals fought for with blood and sweat and tears.  It is personal and most profound. 

Let the sound of freedom ring, loud and clear for all to hear -- even those who never got to see, or taste or feel, the harvest of their endeavor.  And this is my wish for what is happening in our American today -- just take the time to listen to the song of time, and know that we will pass it forward without diminishing the heart and soul of every life, every word, every hope that has made this country great. 

We are a tapestry of the world that surrounds us.  Let us embrace the legacy we have been given, not hide behind a wall, or place our trust in the delusions of one weak and solitary man, or political Party turned cult. 

It is time to stop the madness of experiencing the exhaustion of a dying democracy.  It is time to reignite the flame that has kept alive a dream.  It is time to take off the red partisan caps and return them to their rightful place in our history -- alongside the chronicles of the Salem Trials, the blue and gray uniforms of the Civil War, and the white sheet robes and lynching ropes of yesterdays.  I want to look towards tomorrow and the wonders that await us. 

It is time to let in the fresh air of liberty and justice, and allow the bright light of truth to restore our American spirit, passion and nobility. 

I want to stop experiencing the exhaustion of a dying democracy.  I want to dream again.  I want to experience deep down inside of me again, the hope that keeps alive my dreams.  I want to feel again, that I am a part of America, and that America is a part of me.

Submitted: May 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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