When the Swiss are rioting, you know American apathy has hit another low. So low that we Americans could do hands-on geothermal energy research.
The Swiss, who are usually neutral, are pissy because their People’s Party, a conservative group, has distributed a hate-filled ad against an ethnically diverse country. The issue is a large influx of Rwandan and Kosovo refugees.
The Swiss protests against this racism was met with clashes from authorities armed with tear gas.
When was the last time Americans stood up to authorities with purpose? My last recall is the immigrant marches for citizenship. Nothing stands out in opposition to Iraq.
The contrast is Norman Mailer’s “The Armies of The Night,” a Pulitzer Prize winning book about an anti-Vietnam protest in Washington in 1967. He wrote about the resolute, yet conflicted, nature of the protesters in the face of soldiers. Civil disobedience for a cause. Standing up for what is right.
Mailer wrote about youth burning their draft cards. If the youth didn’t burn the card, it would burn with guilt in their pockets. Every time they would open their wallet, they would read “coward” on the card.
In the October Playboy, Keith Olbermann said a draft today would incite a riot.
“You would have rioting in the streets within 48 hours. And it wouldn’t be the kids rioting; it would be their parents.”
What happened to America’s youth? I try to be aware of current events, but I have little personal action to cite. I’ve made zero sacrifices since the war started. Meanwhile, over 3,800 Americans have died in vain.
Esquire’s Tom Junod recently described a publisher-sponsored event for Mailer with many young people as:
“The only apparent culture was professional culture, careerist culture, and most of these people wouldn’t deign to speak to one another, much less argue an idea, theory, or a book.”
I agreed with New York Congressman Charles Rangel when he vouched for a draft. I think it would wake up the masses. People would be forced to care. I’d love to see the debate, the outrage. I wouldn’t fight; I’d burn my card.
“If draftees instead of volunteers were dying in Iraq, I think Bush would have been impeached by now,” Olbermann said.
I know my next comment is fascist, but … We should also repeal the tax cuts and install rations. Make people on a daily basis have to think about the sacrifices of others. When people fill up their gas tank, they don’t think about the tallying digital dollar bills on the pump, but the Iraqi civilian death toll (estimated at 74,691-81,405 by Iraqbodycount.org). When Americans get only two cups of sugar, they think about the number of Americans that return home missing a limb, with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Maybe then we’d change.
G — Which stands for, as Guilty as the rest …