Courtesy of MLusk, Weather Records
One problem with the American political culture, the American culture in general, is that we still buy into that Wild West, Manifest Destiny, Frank 'n Beans in Every Cupboard, Made in the USA mentality.  We think that's still valid, still happening.  There are those who are so good at tapping into that ideal, equating personal freedom with owning guns, shooting bears and keeping the taxes off Jesus, that the reality hasn't set in:  that we live in an increasingly top down disenfranchised corporate society thanks to our inability to make our public wealth work in the hands of the majority.  Of course, the majority isn't there.  The majority apparently buys into an idea that one need not vote; that the powerful will use their power wisely to guarantee some bizarrely idealized, outmoded sense of unhinged entitlement; that there is still a chance that you, yes you too, can be one of the winners, through your own power and hard work.
We have long been the children of Western Europe and have drafted behind their obsolescence to manufacture our success.  And in the same sense, as Western Europe realized the pitfalls of the corruptible top-tier wealth conglomeration thanks to a long history of feudal, aristocratic and de facto aristocratic regimes, they corrected earlier to establish a public consciousness that allowed the freedoms of a more socialist society. As they over-corrected, unable to sustain such an openly liberal net of safe-guards without due taxation and management, America can again learn as little brother.  There will be a moment when we realize we have our own entrenched ruling class. We can look to the missteps of Europe's previous attempts ensure liberty to guide us in how to fix the problem.  Namely in the forms of education and health-care, due taxation used to maximize freedom, while keeping a progressive eye towards the necessary liberties and restrictions of an actually freeing free-market economy.
But until we realize that freedom comes from truly owning governance, of taking part, not from some archaic sense of disembodied atomic freedoms, the necessary steps to guaranteeing liberty is out of reach.

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