|(Execution after Nuremberg Trials - 1946)|
Yet others are simply straight-up afraid. And for that, too, I am ashamed.
Our parents had participated in a world conflict which had ended some ten years before most of us were born, and we knew that there hadn’t been much choice – our national survival was at stake, and that of many other countries which had simply gotten in the way of a handful of dictators.
While I still believe in that, I’m also not blind. The ongoing programs have had their budgets slashed in favor of spending nearly 70% of our tax revenues on the military. Terms like ‘extrajudicial assassination’, ‘enhanced interrogation’ and ‘rendition’ have found currency in everyday vocabulary.
And for that, too, I am ashamed.
I know who did it. I only have to look as far as a mirror. When my vote ceased to count, I could have taken to the streets, as I did in the early ‘70’s. I could have made my voice heard, and encouraged others to do so. I didn’t. The Germans didn’t say ‘no’ when they had a chance, either – they traded temporary prosperity for permanent enslavement.
No, the two countries weren’t the same – I know that – which makes our situation all the more damning. We ceased to teach basic Civics in high-school, preferring to bow to the pressures of parents who didn’t want their kids exposed to ‘politics’.
To paraphrase Trotsky – the kids might not have been interested in politics, but politics was certainly interested in them.
And I don’t want that. But I don’t want to live in a nation where I have to be afraid, and where I have to apologize to the rest of the world for the actions of my government. I no longer want to be ashamed of what the United States has become, and of what it does in my name.