Once Upon a Time (About 15 Months Ago), Two Observers of the American Scene Looked Upon a Great Nation and Feared the Worst. We Still Do.

In the early fall of 2008, my colleague, Dr. Paul Kordis, and I promoted a new book idea to some of Madison Avenue’s top literary agents. Soon, we were being greeted every few days by a sound familiar to writers: a Bronx cheer.

In the book business, that translates to “Get lost, dullard!”

Reading our rejection notices carefully, it was clear that most of these agents believed (a) Barack Obama was going to be elected President and (b) this would solve most of the problems we proposed to address. So we dropped the project. And it came to pass, as most of the world knows, that Barack Obama did become President. Otherwise, nothing much has happened. The problems we proposed to address are ever more weighty on the shoulders of the nation and the world. Our suggested solutions—we think—are more valid than ever.

We have no book to offer you. But I thought you might want to add an “Amen” or two as you sampled our sense of concern, our passion and our outrage at what has been allowed to happen to the United States of America. Here are a few excerpts from our sample chapter.

© 2008-2009 Dudley Lynch and Paul L. Kordis

This is not a book about niceties. No “read” for the squeamish. Or for those who prefer the status quo. Because we are here to alert you to no less than an approaching national cataclysm.

We seek to make a near-airtight case that our nation’s continued existence as the world’s foremost beacon of freedom and opportunity is in severe jeopardy. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently, and be vigilant around anyone who tries. America stands at the edge of the chasm, teetering. The once-strong flame of state viewed from afar as that of a country and a people without historical peer, not even close, is flickering. An ill wind blows over the enterprise called the United States, and our country and our people are in serious peril. Make no mistake. If “business as usual” continues, the U.S. of A. is almost certain to go the way of the Titantic. Proud, boastful, mighty, capable and resting on the bottom. America, the Beautiful, will be toast.

This has happened—is happening—for the most part because much of our legacy, rights, laws, resources, strengths and trust is being steadily expropriated by powerful elites centered in big government, big business and big religion. It is an extraordinary set of puppet masters. One unlike any other oligarchy that has ever coalesced for the purpose of pulling America’s economic and political strings.

America’s most wealthy and most pythonic have been running this country like it was a Monaco-on-the-Potomac instead of the world’s most visible (and once most viable) democracy. They control our economy and corporations, our politics, our government, our media and many of our other institutions, including the so-called spiritual. We find the fingerprints of this hyper-powerful, hyper-wealthy clique time and again at the site of America’s economic disasters, great societal imbalances and crimes against the people and the republic, not to mention the rest of the world.

We ordinary folks understand what the “elite deviants” who have been calling the shots and squandering our national identity, integrity, heritage and wealth don’t. And that is this. Once upon a time, a parade of experimenters that stretches backwards into the mists of antiquity (and includes America’s founders) spent three or four thousand years trying to figure out how to make a society come together. And hang together. And thrive and strive always to do better for its citizens.

And figure it out they did!

They pretty much solved the big equations and argued out the fine points. They wrote it all down. As a consequence, an extraordinary place called America appeared on the scene a little more than two centuries ago. This neophyte of a polity across the ocean blue—this outlander to the world’s established orders—had its ups and downs. Its doubts. Its discouraging moments. Its brushes big-time with disaster. And yet, by the third quartile of the 20th Century, America had proved something more convincingly than any other major society before it. America proved that the great theorists and experimenters of human organizing over the eons had, indeed, gotten it right.

And then what did we do?

In a mere heartbeat in historical time, we promptly forgot nearly everything we’d learned! This is such an astounding demonstration of national amnesia and irresponsibility that it bears repeating: we humans spent thousands of years figuring out how to create the best large-sized, self-renewing, fairest-to-all-concerned society the world had ever seen. And then, in a few short years, we Americans promptly forgot nearly everything the risk-takers and civic savants of the ages had taught us!

Forgot it!

Squandered our advantage, debased our achievements. Thumbed our noses at our planetary neighbors. Ignored our most vulnerable and poorest. Mechanized the “bio-cide” of our other earth-mate species. And then left our covenants and promises strewn across the commonweal of our once great land like so-much broken pottery.

We elevated corporations over individuals (by abandoning our anti-trust laws and watering down our laws and regulations and turning a blind eye to the egregious and never-ending misdeeds of giant companies).

We jettisoned fiscal responsibility (by letting Congress and the White House spend at will).

We sold out our workers and their families (by allowing our unions to be destroyed and our companies to be sold and opening our borders profligately to predatory importers).

We thumbed our noses at poor people (by cutting or failing to fund the programs they depended on to stay healthy and try to improve their plight).

We made higher education ever more expensive (by letting college tuitions and fees soar and refusing adequate public funding).

We permitted the dumbing down and debasement of our news media and what they report (by allowing extreme consolidation of ownership, allowing the media’s owners to meddle in the newsroom and removing requirements for fair use of the public’s airways).

We forgot what religion is really supposed to be about (by politicizing our religious institutions and building the walls between us and our neighbors of faith and unfaith ever higher).

We let our public places and shared spaces go to pot (by failing to maintain our infrastructure).

We saved nary a penny for a rainy day either as a person or as a people (by becoming the largest borrowers in history).

We poisoned the immense good will that many other peoples of the world held for us (by acting the bully and petulantly telling everyone else it was our way or the highway).

That, just for starters.

Can America be fixed?

Test the air.

Can you sense it? Can you feel it?

A stirring. A breeze amid the stagnancy. Your authors believe they can feel such a ripple. A zephyr that signals an awakening. If this promising murmur in the wind can be upgraded to a mighty blow, can be expanded and accelerated and soon, then it is not quixotic to predict the possibility of another kind of finish to the game of chicken America is playing with its fate. A marathon race to the checkered flag along the edge of the abyss that the good guys and gals can win.

Your authors believe such an outcome is possible. We also believe this. If this hopeful breeze becomes a mighty force, it will be because this we of modest footprints and ordinary wing spans—We, the People—have remembered our civics lessons. Our history lessons. Our spiritual lessons. All at a time when the puppet masters at the very top of America’s pecking order of power and privilege will have gone right on thinking they need a civics lesson, history lesson or a Bible, Torah or Koran lesson like they need a hole in their Pucci money bag.

You may question whether things are really as bad as we are claiming. Whether it really is much closer to midnight than morning in America. Whether as a nation, we are truly driving without headlights in the dark. Whether our country’s problems are realistically approaching irresolvable overload. Whether Americans have gotten it so wrong that we may never again get it right.

We are prepared to show you a picture of the jeopardy America is in so scarifying and ominous you may find it hard to fall sleep tonight.

We realize that we, as authors, must provide you with convincing answers. Answers based on the evidence. We also want you to feel and appreciate our own love for this country. Understand what we want it to be for our children and grandchildren. And share our unshakable belief that America is in great peril. Share our belief that it is worth saving. And come to see that only you, the “ordinary” people of this most extraordinary land, can save it.

Our one best hope is a radical and rapid return to normal. We must resuscitate the ideal. Remember the story. Restore the dream. Reclaim and refortify America’s soul. And we must equip We, the People, to unscrew a royally, totally screwed-over republic by taking back the memory, the promise, the foundation.

Because freedom isn’t ringing. Alabaster cities aren’t gleaming. Most Americans are no longer dreaming the dream. More than it ever has before, your country needs you in the driver’s seat, gripping the wheel and steering the people’s bus. America is badly broken. Only you can fix it. And there’s not a lot of time left to do it.

So Paul and I were thinking 15 months ago. In the interim, very little has happened to change our minds. As the New Year of 2010 approaches, whether a citizen of America or not, we invite you to do all you can to sense the stirring, find the breeze, encourage the ripple, fan the zephyr of what has been lost. And may your God or the operative force that animates your dearest hopes and dreams bless us all!

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