America, I mean. The one my grandpa crossed an ocean to protect. The America my generation was taught to believe in. The one that had "liberty and justice for all!". That great stewpot of cultures who flocked together because they were yearning to be free. The place where people went to escape socialist governments, oppressive police-states, torture, state-sanctioned political assassinations, poverty, and corruption.
In the past week, I've seen a group of defenseless women get pepper-sprayed in the face for standing on a street corner for peacefully voicing a political opinion. That political statement was disapproval of the fact that the wealthiest 1% of this nation's citizens control the vast majority of its wealth, and do so in collusion with politicians who legalize the methods they use which allows the top 1% to pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the rest of the 99%. All of this is happening, of course, right around the time the nation is protesting the state-sanctioned execution of Troy Davis...who, in all likelihood, was innocent of his crimes. Davis' last words were a request to his supporters that they continue the fight to clear his name. All but one of the eyewitnesses testifying against Davis later recanted their testimony, claiming they were coerced by the police to testify in such a manner, and then they fingered the one man who did not recant his testimony as the actual murderer.
Today, I read about how the president has executed an American citizen living in a foreign country, for alleged crimes. I say "alleged", because that is the official term of an unproven accusation against a defendant. The assassinated American should have been a "defendant". Instead, he's being hailed as a "victory against terrorism", in a nation who claims to support the rule of law. Accusations were made by government, not in a court of law under penalty of perjury, but at a press conference. They claim he is a "terrorist". The only "proof" offered of this fact are statements not understood by the majority of the nation, and translated by a known military ally of the US government.
These claims may very well be completely true. Then again, they may not be. That's the point. We, as the American public, have no way of knowing. And now, we never will, because the American government has killed the man. He has no way of ever putting up a defense in a fair and open public trial. He may have been killed merely because he was supporting an end to the Iraqi and Afghani occupations of our empire. Or he may have been killed because he was providing material support to people who are actively attempting to kill American citizens because we watch too much television.
The world will never know, because we killed him. And with it, we killed what was left of American exceptionalism. We were supposed to be better than that. We were supposed to be the place where everyone got a fair shake. We were supposed to be the place where you didn't get shot for saying "Hey, motherfucker! You're wrong for doing that shit!". We're the place that will hang you, if you do some foul shit...but only if we're able to prove it. We're the place that talks trash to countries who mow down their citizens, brutalize them in the streets, and torture them. We're the place that's supposed to stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves.
But this isn't America any more...