Today is July 4th, 2013 and America is supposed to be celebrating our Independence Day. Our Independence Day is supposed to represent our freedom to worship and live in a manner that makes us happy while not bothering anyone else. It is also supposed to be a celebration of those who have fought-and died-for that freedom, but with all the media coverage of American political cover-ups and conspiracies, I question today how free we really are and how much we know of our government. Are we truly the free America that our political leaders have given the appearance of to the world, or are we only as free as our government wants us to be, when they tell us to be?
Speaking with my father gives me no easy answer to this question either. Being one of many veterans in my family, he has also fought for that freedom, but as our conversation turned to politics-one of my father’s favorite subjects to speak of-the recent skeletons of our government becomes the main subject. “It is good that the American people hear some truths about our government” he says in between bites of his homemade raison-chocolate cookies while gulping down sun-made tea. “Now maybe the people will see why the government shuts so many people up and I hope that ol’ boy stays hidden.” I try not to take this subject too far, as I know that media coverage of said “ol’ boy” is abundant and highly volatile, but I can’t help but just listen to my father as he explains how history is repeating itself and how America’s truths are finally coming out. One question I want to ask is how do we know this is all true? It is a question I avoid however, as it is a loaded question for my father and one that I know will elicit a multitude of answers leaving me more confused.
The question of truth behind recent revelations is one that can’t be answered easily. The actions of our government do suggest that there is truth behind it. Exactly how far will you go to shut someone up if it isn’t true? If all of what has been said is a lie, then logic would suggest that the government would write him off as certifiably insane and think nothing more about it, but with the recent news about how reporters are facing charges for speaking with him and reporting what he has to say, I think that our government might be stifling our amendments. I also think our government is lying a great deal more than what they want us to know about.
Social media has also taken to this debate by passing around reports of how the government is lying to the American people and keeping us herded together like meek herds of animals, with counter reports of how there are people attempting to turn America against its leaders. With comical characters, ‘memes’ and political stories from various places around the internet, a person could be confused quite easily. Which of these can be true? Are the political leaders of America keeping things from us? If they are, do they claim it is for our own good, as in trying to fight terrorism? Or is it simply because the government does not want an uprising as what has happened in other countries recently?
I have found from personal experience that other countries do not exactly welcome Americans anymore due to the media coverage of America and the actions of our government. Recently, as I sat having dinner in an Austrian restaurant in Berlin, Germany, I overhead two British couples speaking of America and its role within the world. I could feel my blood boil as they incessantly claimed that America was a super power for nothing more than its military use of force. America was this awesome country not for the standards that we were founded by, but for the ability to go ‘blow things up.’ Unfortunately, American people are mixed in with this assumption as well, even though many Americans are looking to the government and wondering what exactly is going on in Washington, D.C. What many do not understand is that the American government is the one who gives the orders, which, again, makes Americans look like meek sheep being led around by a big, bad wolf. It is revelations like these that cause me to question the truth that our government speaks, or hides, from us once more as we were vaguely, if at all aware, of citizens from the European Union disapproving of all American people for what our political leaders do. We are born in America and as such bear the tag of being an American–a tag which has made us nothing more than a target instead of a person.
One thing I do know is that nothing is black and white anymore. Everything has become completely complicated and the pursuit of happiness is no longer a wonderful dream that happens in America. Will there truly be an uprising as a few minor political leaders and many outspoken citizens claim? Or will we continue to be led around like helpless infants, believing everything our government has to say to us? At this point, I question my countries political leaders. The path that we are on as a country is not one that I agree with, nor have I helped make. Our country is not the same country that I was so grateful to be born and raised in. Our country, from what I see, has changed so drastically that I question the day when everything will finally come to a climax and explode. Am I an anti-American? No, nor am I writing that everyone should be. I am only one person who questions the democracy of our country on its Independence Day.