SHABBIEST OF ALL LIES: SILENT ASSERTION OF AMERICAN’S FUTURE
Back in 1860, one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain said, “Almost all lies are acts, and speech has no part in them. I am speaking of the lie of silent assertion; we can tell it without saying a word. For example: It would not be possible for a humane and intelligent person to invent a rational excuse for slavery; yet you will remember that in the early days of emancipation agitation in the North, the agitators got but small help or countenance from anyone. Argue, plead and pray as they might, they could not break the universal stillness that reigned, from the pulpit and press all the way down to the bottom of society--the clammy stillness created and maintained by the lie of silent assertion; the silent assertion that there wasn’t anything going on in which humane and intelligent people were interested.
“The universal conspiracy of the silent-assertion-lie is hard at work always and everywhere, and always in the interest of a stupidity or sham, never in the interest of a thing fine or respectable. It is the most timid and shabbiest of all lies…the silent assertion that nothing is going on which fair and intelligent men and women are aware of and are engaged by their duty to try to stop.”
Today, the last day of 2007, and, as we head into 2008, silent assertion continues its ugly, perverse reign in the United States of America when it comes to warning signs at the local, state, national and international levels. We’ve got environmental refugees pouring into our country by the millions, but our president and Congress won’t deal with the crisis.
Bush, Congress and virtually all media ignore, obfuscate, deny, suppress or diminish the greatest crisis facing America. Millions of citizens can’t and won’t apply their minds to it. They can see the signs all around them, but they just don’t want to accept it.
Not one single leader in this country speaks a single sentence about it. All 50 governors ignore it while it rips at the foundations of our already unsustainable society that surpassed its ‘carrying capacity’ several decades ago.
The majority of Americans deal with it daily in gridlock traffic, toxic air pollution, water shortages, higher living costs, gas prices, overcrowded national parks, insanely compacted cities, food costs and everything that degrades their quality of life. Yet no one talks about it. Denial proves safer at this moment in time.
Whether you deal with reality or not, reality deals with you.
Let’s pretend we can keep pushing ourselves into further consequences. Let’s continue ‘silent assertion’ as if our problems might vanish by magic. Would you like a hint of what this silent assertion is? Oops! Can’t do that or I would break ‘silent assertion’.
My prediction? This dilemma will become the “Plague of the 21st Century” in the United States of America. It will make 9/11 look like a first grade spring picnic. It’ll make Katrina look like a garden party. Once it manifests, none of us or our children will be able to escape it. You can make up excuses steeped in emotional rationale, but when this thing hits, your kids won’t escape it.
For a reminder, passengers on the Titanic did not know their fate. Ironically, they continued dancing in the grand ballroom two hours after the ship hit that monster iceberg.
What blows my mind stems from the fact that we could change course today by millions of citizens taking action. But they don’t. It’s like suffering beginning stages of cancer. You can’t feel one cancer cell and not even 10,000, but when the cancer cells take over one of your organs, it’s too late and you’re dead meat. It happens to millions annually, but millions ignore it—to become added millions ending up on at the morgue in future years.
Amazingly, we can see the fate of China, India and Bangladesh nightly on the news. U.S. churches try to feed millions of starving children in Africa. Even with their efforts, 20,000 children under the age of 10 starve to death or die of starvation related diseases daily. (Source: World Health Organization) Reports stream in from all over the world manifesting realities of ‘silent assertion’.
Even when I write about it, and I have seen it up close and ugly in my world travels, the majority of Americans would rather dismiss it, dismiss me and dismiss reality—even as it knocks them upside the head. Okay, let them keep dancing until their children face the real music of silent assertion.
But at some point, even the people in the Grand Ballroom of the Titanic could no longer ignore their reality. The North Atlantic poured onto their dance floor!
We cannot and must not allow this country to continue in the same direction—heading toward the ‘silent assertion’ iceberg. We can’t engage our emotions when we must employ our minds. We must get down to critical thinking and reasoned actions based on our realities.
We must make our voices heard all the way up to the captain and the crew. This country is our ship. It’s the future of our families and children. We demand this president and Congress change course. We face this ‘human dilemma’ on a world wide stage. It grows worse by the minute. It appears daunting.
Nonetheless, like the founders of this republic, we must move forward with purpose, passion and goals. We start with ourselves--form groups, work in our communities, expand to the state level, connect with those in other states, push toward national exposure and work our way into the highest political arenas.
main goal is to change this nation’s course from its current self-destructive
path—to one of a viable, sustainable and peaceful future.
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS" ; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTIA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’
Today, the last day of 2007, and, as we head into 2008, silent assertion continues its ugly, perverse reign in the United States of America when it comes to warning signs at the local, state, national and international levels.