I’ve thought about it for two days now, since seeing a tweet from the DAV asking, What does freedom mean to you after so many have died protecting it? or something close to that.
Maybe my thinking is skewed by so much of the GOP garbage being spewed out right now, or the Brexit nightmare next door across the pond, but I retweeted that freedom to me means not being beat half to death every other day in my own home as has happened most of my adult life in America.
But isn’t that really the way it is? During my adult life, I’ve never lived in a prosperous America where equal opportunity awaited. I’ve not enjoyed the freedoms to purpose my life in some way that is given respect and opportunity with some accompanying success. It has not been like that.
And, maybe because all the best of the best men were sent to fight in wars throughout my teen to adult years, leaving behind a store unattended to be vilely ravaged by any pantywaist son of a bitch left behind, is why many women including me, have been at the negative end of human behaviors and men’s choices.
As Fourth of July approaches, and I’m thinking about those freedoms which I hold so dear that so many have fought and died to protect for me and for my family, I am grateful to them for doing that and grateful to their families for doing without them while they did that for us.
But, at the same time, I recognize that for the vast majority of my adult life, I’ve lived in a third world America and much of its riches and opportunities, prosperity and access to wealth, business “equality” and opportunities were as inaccessible as to the point they may have well not existed at all.
And, even though I did make every effort to act on those opportunities, had I been a man rather than a woman – resources would have been available to me that otherwise were not and still are not today.
So, on top of being vilified as the reason America’s downfall has occurred by every right wing extremist radio show host making $78 million a year or more to spew misogynistic, racist and bigoted views into the public’s mind, I’ve consistently heard that there is no reason to support any efforts I might make either. It is obscene.
I’ve watched as churches, politicians, extremists, violent right wing proponents, conservatives, radio show hosts, right wing tv news stations, right win pundits, Tea Party and GOP ultra conservatives have blamed me and women like me for everything wrong with this country short of the weather.
At the same time they were (and are) blaming us, it is while refusing to make good to me (or us) on any of the freedoms, diversity inclusions, equality, equal rights, equal opportunities, business opportunities, business funding, business resources, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of movement, freedom of religion or anything else they maintain for themselves and the corporations at my expense.
Unbelievably, I’ve never been in a position to deny contracts worth millions to an American industry as many GOP and right wing business people have. And to deny those contracts to American businesses literally cost their demise, denied them access to necessary sales to thrive and to survive.
And yet, supposedly their freedom to do that comes with no accountability at all because now the businessman running for President claims to be for supporting American businesses and people claim it must be true.
So, the perverse men running things at high levels of the right wing camp, as politicians, as political candidates, as political and economic policy makers and as CEOs of corporations, banks and oil companies, they get to lie, to vilify, to incite violence, to worship those like Gaddafi who were truly evil tyrants and give them the best of everything our country has to offer – but me, I’m considered the bad guy in their scheme of things.
Apparently, I am (and other women like me), the enemy they claim – not themselves, not their own habits and perverse diversions, not their sexual escapades, not their lack of compassion and empathy, not their choices, not their ideas and not their incapacity to know what is right. Yeah, freedom.Theirs, not mine.
And, I look at businesses that are hugely profitable making no efforts to restore or invest in the infrastructure in America that they used up, tore up, overused, misused, required for their business, didn’t make, didn’t secure, didn’t keep safe, didn’t make better, didn’t fix, didn’t maintain, didn’t design, didn’t invest in the first place and didn’t support the tax funding for any of us to do anything to keep it going or make it better either.
They were given that freedom, not me or others like me. We weren’t given the grants, tax breaks, tax schemes, resources, supports and teams of people that they had to make their profits and to make them profitable from the first step and at every place throughout the process – even after establishing good profitability.
Nope, I didn’t get any of that, nor will my daughters or sons or friends, or anyone I know, in fact. Why is that? It seems obvious that had I been given $4 million to work with, my business would look a lot different and be doing much better today than it is with nothing but my efforts and the couple hundred dollars a month I can put into it.
Obviously, I wasn’t given the freedoms that these other businesses had, from start to finish to cover every operating cost, salary, overhead, piece of equipment, materials, advertising, promotion and marketing, raw material, shipping costs and every other damn thing possible they could think of. Plus their attorney fees, land acquisitions, buildings, building funds for their new buildings, software and computers, machinery, automation, consultants, accountants and entire workforce costs.
And, then when profitable, these same corporations paid less taxes than any single or married individual in America pays while using up more of every single thing we have. Unbelievable. Is that supposed to be the freedom I have that veterans fought for? The freedom o watch as my nation has been raped, pillaged, plundered by marauding business leaders, junk bond raiders, bankers, Wall Street brokers, politicians and right wing extremists, fascists and neo-nazis? And some of that time, I personally suffered at their hands even in my own home?
Is that the freedoms that were the result of those fights – to be saddled with student loans forever that are resold and resold and resold until I owe $30,000 for a $2300 loan, and never get to be employed nor employable, to never get to buy a house or own any successful business, to never be accepted or a part of the America I love? Is that it? Because that is not just my experience, but that of many, many women across this country – those freedoms that our nation’s soldiers have fought for have been hijacked to belong to only a few and those few are so perverse in so many ways, that it leaves my mind reeling to even try and understand any of it.
For nearly all of the thirty some odd years before President Obama took office, this nation has been run literally into the ground by Republicans from the Federal level to nearly every state government and by extreme right wing conservatives, by extremist conservatives and right wing religious viewpoints and their religions, by elitist economic policies, by inequality perpetrated by the wealthier few and their insistence that everyone in America must be the same, do the same, act the same, think the same, speak the same, look the same and live the same as them or be disenfranchised, excluded, isolated, demeaned, vilified, discredited, defunded, economically impoverished and restrained from economic opportunity, subjugated, devalued, demonized, criminalized, subjected to “mental health behavior modification” programs, disparaged, discouraged, suppressed, ruined, destroyed, decimated, and beaten nearly to death or literally beaten to death.
And, the GOP, the right wing proponents, the Republican Party politicians and pundits, the right wing propaganda machine with all its tentacles, the churches they’ve hijacked, the Tea Party grass roots movement they hijacked and every other social institution they’ve been running, have literally been given the freedoms to do whatever they damn well please to anybody for any reason at any time.
And they have so many reasons to hate, vilify and demean, that their freedoms allow them to perpetrate their decimating tactics across a broad swath of the American population – the reasons for them being hateful and destructive to individuals and various groups of people being the only real difference. I’ve dealt with it for over forty years now and frankly, I’m sick of it. Those right wing bastards are not “real” Americans, no matter what they say that makes a claim to that.
Nor are they right. Beating homeless people to death is not the freedoms that men and women have died to protect. Beating women in their own homes and excluding them from economic opportunities, raping, pillaging whatever she owns or giving her nothing for it rather than fair market value and destroying her household are not the freedoms our soldiers have died to protect. That isn’t it at all.
And those freedoms that the extreme right wing and its GOP political machine are claiming in order to act on hate and to incite violence based on their hate mongering ideologies, are not happening in an isolation that is without consequence, no matter what it seems to the people doing it and to those inciting others to do it..
The freedoms won by our US Constitution and Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, as well as all the wars that have been fought defending them have managed to secure the freedoms that the extremists and extreme right wing proponents enjoy that allow them to do whatever they like to whomever they like, but for the rest of us? No, I would not call the shit, horrors and poverty I’ve experienced in America at the hands of “their freedoms” to have honored the freedom that was supposed to be mine.
But, I still love America. And, at least today – I can say something about it, so that is something that was worthy of the lives lost protecting my rights and freedom.