I will turn 23 in just about two months, which means that over a third of my life has been spent enduring the seemingly intentional incompetence of the Bush Administration, the contrarian Congresses of the Clinton years and ‘do nothing’ Dem-majority Congress of now.

In that time, I have seen a catastrophic terrorist attack on my homeland. I have seen a government invade and occupy a country that harbored our attackers, and then manipulate the fear and anger those attacks aroused in the American people to justify the invasion of a country that DID NOT harbor our attackers, and in the process start second longest, and most costly, war in American history. In the last 20 years we have gone from the most admired nation on the planet  to the most hated: bloated with cheap fatty corporate foods, drunk on our own firepower, indulging every thrill, every desire, and every whim. We revel in our tone deafness to the rest of the world’s concerns and scratch our heads in bemused confusion when the chorus of DEATH TO AMERICA keeps getting louder. We call this mixture of arrogance and ignorance ‘patriotism.’

I’ve seen a major American city devastated and depopulated by natural disaster (not to mention the greed, corruption and reckless ineptitude of man) and Federal government’s reaction was, by and large, to shrug — as if to say, what do you expect us to do about it? For the last 20 years, the American people have been told OVER AND OVER that government doesn’t work  — that it’s the problem, not the solution. That free markets are self-correcting. That cutthroat competition, hyper-consumerism and the crass exploitation of people, places and things is what makes our economy grow so mighty. You have told us again and again that government doesn’t work, and, with your help, it has become self-fulfilling prophecy.

And now we stand on the brink of economic collapse and, perhaps worse, the final abject perversion of the American Ideal of liberty and justice for all.

You are asking me and mine – my children, their children, and perhaps their children’s children – to foot the TRILLION DOLLARS it will take to cover your lame asses. Well, I require a few simple and eminently reasonable concessions. First, I demand competence. Donating to your campaign DOES NOT make somebody qualified to handle the awesome levers of power. Second, it is time to clean house. To the politicians running this country like it’s their private piggy bank, it is time to go. Same for the hacks, the lobbyists, and the shrill zealots of cable news who continue to denigrate and demean our social discourse. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Third, I demand accountability — both public and private. To the American electorate – its time to have more of a stake in our country, start holding your senators and representatives accountable. Bombard them with letters, emails and phonecalls. Stop electing people because you think it would be fun to share a beer with them, because you never will. Stop walking around like a flag pin somehow makes you patriotic. It does not. Stop spending money you don’t have. Stop being so goddamn fat and stupid. Take a walk. Read a book. Turn off the fucking TV — it is literally making you stupider by the minute.

Fourth, grow a spine. Specifically I am talking to the Democrats – have some pride, and find some backbone, borrow one of Hillary’s balls and start walking around like you got a pair. Liberals have done great things for this country – giving women the vote, taking down the Nazis, digging us out of The Depression, standing up for that great truth we hold to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Own that. Stop this pussy-footin’ around the Republicans. Stop bringing a knife to the gun fight. To the Republicans – some of your platform is worthwhile. Being fiscally responsible is a good thing. Believing in less government intrusion into our lives is a great value. Start walking your talk.

Lastly, I demand a damn good explanation. I want to know how the hell you are going to pay all this back and what you are going to do to make sure this NEVER happens again.


St. John Barned-Smith
Concerned American


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