One Nation, Under Siege
By Michael Kleen
April 22, 2009
Rock River Times
In 1927, just days before Andrew Kehoe detonated bombs that killed 45 people in Bath Township, Mich., he left an ominous sign on his fence that read, “Criminals are made, not born.” The problems that plagued Kehoe are familiar to us today: tax increases, overwhelming debt and property foreclosure. Unfortunately, his choice of “expression” is also familiar.
This March, a gunman drove through southern Alabama murdering 10 people before being killed in a shootout with police. In East Oakland, Calif., a man killed four police officers before being similarly gunned down. Later that same month, another man went on a rampage at a North Carolina nursing home where his ex-girlfriend was employed, killing eight. Around the same time, a husband in Santa Clara, Calif., murdered five members of his own family before turning the gun on himself.
April has hardly begun, and already there have been three high-profile incidents. April 3, 15 people, including the gunman, were killed in a mass shooting in Binghamton, N.Y. Not a day after that tragedy, three police officers were killed in a shootout in Pittsburgh, and a father murdered five of his own children in a trailer park in Graham, Wash., before killing himself.
Fifty-four dead in 30 days in just these incidents alone. That’s more than our combined casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan for the same period. These killings cross demographic lines. The perpetrators have been middle class, poor, black, white, immigrant, and from all areas of the country.
With unemployment creeping toward 9 percent, foreclosures on the rise and government unresponsive to the cries of her people, America appears to be a cauldron boiling over with rage and disaffection.
The last time public anger reached these heights, a truck bomb destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But the America of the early 1990s is not the America of today. Things are much worse.
As of this month, more than 13 million have filed for unemployment benefits, with a fourth of those having been unemployed for more than six months. Another 32.2 million receive food stamps. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which was supposed to solve the economic woes of the 1990s, devastated our industrial and manufacturing base. Jobs that formerly paid a living wage have been replaced by part-time employment at retail stores. The national debt has reached $11 trillion.
President Barack Obama, while in Europe with the other members of the G-20, called the recent mass killing in Binghamton, N.Y., an “act of senseless violence.” But if Andrew Kehoe was right, and criminals are made, not born, these killings were not random. The roots of this rage are nourished by the economic chaos caused by the federal government the the machinations of politicians who care more about their pocketbooks than their own constituents.
Democrats and Republicans cannot afford to play politics with the suffering of the American people. The average American no longer has the security of knowing that the future will be stable and prosperous, and he knows that the federal government is no longer responsive to his distress. Last October, when 85,000 out of 91,000 concerned citizens called Diane Feinstein to demand she vote against the first bailout, she responded by dismissing the will of the people, saying, “there is only one vote, and it is yes.”
While millions of Americans continue to lose jobs, homes and any sense of stability, our president clinks champagne glasses with bankers and world “leaders” at the G-20 summit, Congress shovels tax dollars into failed institutions, and Bernard Madoff was allowed to stay at his Manhattan penthouse while awaiting trial for stealing $65 billion.
So far, the United States has been immune from the same kind of rioting that has gripped Europe since the recent global economic crisis began. The protests against the bailouts and tax increases have been largely peaceful, while individuals have taken their rage out on police, ex-co-workers and even their own families. How much longer will it be before that rage is pointed toward Washington, D.C.?
National politicians can no longer continue telling us to “eat cake” while they pursue their corrupt policies leading us toward national bankruptcy and the collapse of the dollar. When people believe they have a voice in the affairs of their country and a bright future, they are far less likely to commit acts of violence. How many more people have to die before the message reaches the steps of the Capitol?