|May 12, 2006|
The Most Treasonous Words in America
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Please don't say, even to yourself, the most treasonous words in America. These vile words make a mockery of our country's ideals and proclaim our abandonment of democracy.
Any obscenity is preferred, any four-letter curse, to our emotional allegiance to this brusque and pathetic proclamation of only four words.
Sometimes we mutter the words in a nonchalant way, casually aware of doing so. Other times we commit this disloyalty in the recesses of our mind where we can deny our treachery. The words can be hidden behind a curtain of repression, the odious sentiments of our disconnection from ourselves and the higher values and pursuits of duty, honor, and glory.
We scurry about taking care of business, coping in this time of national crisis through the narcotic effect of these four words. But anxiety and fear break through our cover-up when more violations of the Constitution are headlined in the news. In desperation we repeat the words more fervently, like a slogan or a proverb, forcing ourselves to believe them because of their soothing effect.
But these words grant license to injustice, corruption, and evil, and we are very likely to pay a great penalty for abetting this tyranny. The law may overlook our passive complicity but our descendents won't.
Emotionally, the words cause us to revert to childhood and infancy. In a psychological sense, we are willing to be children again, at the mercy of dysfunctional parents, awaiting salvation in our dreams, rather than adults casting off the comforter of helplessness and ignorance. An old memory of non-being, of feeling secure by keeping quiet and pretending all is well, guides our retreat from the frontline of citizen involvement and responsibility.
These treasonous words -- my voice doesn't matter -- tumble like dead leaves in the hollow of our heart, and now they are written on our soul and blind our nation's vision. In such a state of non-being, why should it matter if we live or die?
Just when our allegiance is needed most, many of us revert to those words that deny the call of spirit and decline the adventure of heroism. We refuse to grow into our authority and our sovereignty. Our self-betrayal is hardly registered, like asphyxiation by carbon monoxide. Our epitaph will be written: Oblivious, they lost it all.
Do we really think anything or anyone is more valuable
than each of us? If our voice doesn't matter, then what does? Democracy
and self arise. We don't need to be told more than that.
Peter Michaelson is a psychotherapist and author in Santa Fe. Excerpts from his latest book, Democracy's Little Self-Help Book, can be read at www.petermichaelson.com.
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