The first Europeans who emigrated to the New World came ashore with some dreadful convictions: because they were white, Christian, and “civilized,” they not only had the right to steal the lands and destroy the indigenous people who lived here, but it was considered their sacred duty to God to do so and “tame the wilderness.”
By the middle of the 18th century, the Washingtons were the richest family in Virginia. Most of their income came from the acquisition and mapping of Native American Lands which, in turn, were sold by The Ohio Company to mostly English immigrants. The Ohio Company was the largest land speculation company in British America, and the Washingtons were its principle shareholders. In many cases, the settlers purchased both their farms and tickets for their voyage to America from Ohio Company agents at the same time.
In 1763, following the French and Indian War and then Pontiac’s Revolution, stung by the costs of having to continually defend his British subjects from angry native warriors, the king issued a proclamation which made it illegal for any British subject to acquire wilderness lands directly from Native Americans.
By 1767, George Washington was conspiring with other wealthy British-Americans to foment a war against the man who had ruined their businesses. After creating political rhetoric designed to aggravate farmers, craftsmen, and store keepers to a point where they would be willing to die fighting against British rule, the ultimate values of Freedom, Equality and Justice for all were pitched as the principle goals of nationhood. The powerful rhetoric quickly became the Great American Dream.
Starving through the winter at Valley Forge, the patriots who had thus far lost every significant battle against British soldiers were boiling their saddles and moccasins to make soup. In the coming spring, they knew they would face a major onslaught by British soldiers shipped in to defeat them in battles that our soldiers did not expect to win. Their commander, General Washington, was fighting for a different reason. Once the king had been defeated, his goal was for the Ohio Company to jump the Ohio River and take everything they could.
After the Revolutionary War, in order to vote in the very first national election of the new United States of America, one had to be a white male Christian who owned property. Apparently, our country was founded by the rich, for the rich and of the rich.
Sure, legalized slavery was slapped down during the Civil War. But segregation and organized racism, much of it sanctioned by the U.S. government, continued well into the 20th Century.
By 1900 America joined the rush of European countries seeking to colonize and rule foreign countries. We invaded Cuba to steal her from Spain, thereby also winning Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, and proceeded to invade and colonize the Philippine Islands, because we were white, Christian and civilized, and as we saw it, the people we wanted to rule were not.
Forced upon us by the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan), World War II was the last war the United States of America ever won.
Today we have commandos fighting and killing as directed by the CIA, in some 126 or more nations. Utilizing all voluntary forces, we no longer fight to win; we fight to control valuable resources or for political control over the regions our leaders deem worthy of such effort and cost.
In today’s America, a handful of ultra wealthy individuals control more than half of all our country’s wealth and the abyss between the ultra rich and the rest of us continues to grow exponentially. Our biggest corporations and richest oligarchs and their lobbyists pretty much control elections.
With national healthcare a business designed more for the profit of the industry’s dominant players than for any consideration of real health, the disparity between the rich and the poor became even more horrifically apparent when the Coronavirus Pandemic exposed how African Americans and other impoverished minorities with histories of little or no access to preventive healthcare, made these victims the least likely of us to survive.
These are the same impoverished racial minorities who also dominate the populations of our prisons before and after their criminal trials.
Congressional members of our two predominant political parties no longer go to Washington to negotiate and achieve laws that better the country, but to fight each other for power and influence.
Our so-called democracy is assaulted by efforts to intentionally limit selected groups access to the polls, and the party which currently controls our U.S. Senate admits outright that if everyone was permitted to vote, their party would never get re-elected. Their opponents promise major strides in their alleged ongoing war against racism and poverty, but also insist on maintaining profitable campaign funding relationships with Wall Street and many of the largest American corporations.
As I stated earlier, we began as a country brought about by the rich, for the rich and of the rich, and nothing has changed. Democracy be damned, the right of huge corporations to invest in elections was accentuated by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010.
Other than by removing money from politics, how will the broad majority of we Americans ever achieve our cherished but thus far unreachable values of freedom, equality and justice for all?