“This is a lecture and you do not have to read it. I just want to say something about dictators and dictatorships.
Dictators get in when democracy sucks. The elected governments do a bad job, one after another, or they are so crooked the elections no longer matter and nobody cares. Are dictators bad? Sure. But some are worse than others. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were about as bad they come, but there have been a whole bunch of others. They were bad, too, but look at the governments they replaced and the governments that replaced them.
If you do not want a dictatorship here, vote. But be careful who you vote for, and be careful about who gets on the ballot. Democracy means rule by the people, and if the people will not do the job – well, somebody is going to step in and do it for them.
Spreading democracy is a really good idea and I am all for it. Just keep in mind that ruling is work. It means staying informed and making the tough choices. And if the people do not want to do the work of ruling, democracy will not work. It is a lot easier to shoot a dictator then it is to replace one with something better.”
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All my life I’ve been proud to be an American. Every time I saw an American flag, my heart swelled with pride to be an American. I thought America was the best of the best. We had freedom. We had wealth. We were a society of diverse people. And other countries envied everything we had.
Now, I’m not sure about the flag. I no longer see the flag in red, white and blue. Most of what I see now is blood. Blood shed by American men fighting wars all over the world. They’re fighting supposedly to keep America safe, and bring democracy to those who have never had any freedom. When all is said and done, the soldiers are not fighting for democracy elsewhere. Most of the fighting seems to be over oil, world domination, and keeping the American élite happy. So a big disappointment on that score.
And now, the America I know has become an abuser of human rights. I’m a prime example of someone who is suffering human rights abuses. Government flunkies follow me everywhere I go. I cannot get away from them. They’re hired by the U.S. to keep track of me and report back to the head man. Every little I thing I do is reported: what kind of clothes I’m wearing; what color; where I am; to whom I’m speaking; what I had for lunch; what I bought; that I’m taking a walk, etc. All silly nonsense. Everyone’s told I’m a dangerous person. Why am I a dangerous person? I have no idea. I’ve never committed a crime; been arrested; been in prison, nor done any harm to anyone. For whatever reason I’ve been chosen is beyond me. I can venture a guess, but I have no real proof of anything.
So the America whose flag gave me chills, no longer does. I’ve lost respect for the flag and the United States. I don’t think I will ever stand up for the flag again. I will stay seated from now on. I only stand for those I respect. And America is a place I no longer respect.