A friend of mine wrote on Facebook after the acquittal tonight: “America is truly lost.” And his words prompted this response from me:
“Yes, you are sadly right. America is lost. But it was lost when it killed 3 million people in Southeast Asia when I was a boy. It was lost when Nixon obliterated Cambodia with an illegal bombing campaign and paved the way for the Khmer Rouge to kill millions more. It was lost when Ronald Reagan cracked jokes about “queers” and did nothing while tens of thousands died of AIDS, and when he armed genocidal dictators in Central America who killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
It was lost when Bill Clinton imposed sanctions on Iraq for its non-existent WMD program (the US and UK knew the WMD program had been dismantled in 1993), sanctions which the UN determined (and his own secretary of state admitted) killed 500,000 children. It was lost when George W. Bush invaded Iraq with lies about that non-existent program and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and gave rise to ISIS and the destabilization of the whole world.
It was lost when Barack Obama expanded Bush’s “death squads” and drone bombings, when he greenlighted a fascist coup in Honduras that resulted in thousands of deaths and social collapse, when he partnered with Prince Bone-Saw of Arabia to kill thousands upon thousands of children and other innocents in an aggressive war in Yemen. It was lost when the slave-owner’s wheeze of the Electoral College made a slobbering, two-bit gangster like Trump the president. And yes, it’s lost now, when that same gangster sends fascist goons to sack the nation’s Capitol then walks free to keep spreading his fascist, racist poison with the help of the Republican Party and that toxic monstrosity of our age, Rupert Murdoch.
America has been lost for my entire life, and I no longer have the slightest hope that it will ever be found again. It only exists in our dreams, in old movies and books and the music it created out of slavery and oppression. Good things have happened in and come from America, just as good things arise in every single godawful system and culture human beings find themselves in. But the idea so many of us had of America was lost long ago; or rather, it was never real. It was sham, and a hope, and a cheat, and a desire, and a dream of what could be but what never was. Perhaps this acquittal will be one more disillusionment that will help us to see where we really are – and how far we have to go, and how hard we have to fight, to be where we want to be.”