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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Day America Died

February 3, 1959 was viewed as “the day the music died.” On that day singer, songwriter, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed when their chartered plane crashed on the way to Moorhead, Minnesota. Holly had set the pace for all other rock and roll artists to come. He was one of the first that genre to write, produce and perform his own work. Don McLean sang about the dark day of the crash in his famous song, American Pie.

Holly, Valens and Richardson died, as a revolution in civil rights had just begun – a massive storm, which swept across the United States, changing the face of the country and enhancing and expanding freedom for all American people by 1968.

Fifty-one years later, we face a scenario in Congress where freedom is again at stake, where an economy has crashed, and now legislation is being forced through Congress against the people’s will. The protestors are there in large numbers, the anger is there, and members of congress are even re-enacting landmark walks from history in an effort to legitimize their planned violation of the Constitution. Watching it on television, it looks like video footage from protests in the 60s.

Only this time, freedom isn’t being given, it is being taken from us. Under the government plan, everyone’s health care in the U.S. will no longer be controlled by the individual, but instead be distributed by the government. Allegedly the plan will produce huge monetary savings and yet at the same time extend health care to millions of people who currently do not have coverage. None of this can be proven to be real, however.

The vote to pass a massive piece of Health Care legislation through the House of Representatives is ongoing as I write this. Protestors are laying down their signs in Washington and going home. Some remain, and purple-shirted union members who have been violent during previous demonstrations, and stand to benefit from the bill, have just arrived in large numbers.

Sitting here in a small house in the desert in New Mexico, the feeling is tangible, that this legislation represents the start of a government take-over, which one would expect in a Third-World or a communist country. Just one small part of this legislation illustrates the overall flaws: convicts are protected from government fines for lack of medical coverage, but not the spouses or family of military veterans. There are massive problems within this bill, yet it is going to be passed on promises that these issues will be dealt with later.

That seems unlikely.

That the path of this bill is littered with crooked deals, bribes and gifts to unions is clear. That more than 65 percent of the American people are against it, and the provisions in the HC bill are set to harm the average family is also clear. In fact, the biggest winner in all of this, seems to be the Internal Revenue Service which will see the funding to hire thousands of new employees who’s job will be to harass and collect more taxes and penalties from the population.

The representatives each state has sent to do the “will” of the people, are instead doing the will of power-brokers and the president. The anger of the people is being waved away dismissively. Politicians and their staff jeer their constituents, calling them stupid and irrelevant. The president smears each of his speeches with a large helping of arrogance and paternalism. The alleged reform is riddled with budget gimmicks, double-counting and impossible numbers.

Smoke and mirrors and liars and fools – that’s what we’ve got in Washington tonight, and that’s why we are in the place we are. The collapsed economy and the destruction of the jobs market screams for attention and none of these problems are being dealt with in this bill. But I believe if this bill passes, we may face a much more profound crash.

It all makes me think about that plane crash in ’59. McLean’s feelings about the day – which he sang about - may have proven true. It was “the day the music died.” But it was eventually followed by a time of rebirth. After all, Holly inspired The Beatles and the Beach Boys and the Stones and so many others all now a part of our colorful history.

So perhaps if this despicable action passes today – as it seems it will – it could be marked as the “day America died.” I wonder, if that happens, who will sing about it and what will be born from it? Who will be inspired and what great works will come because of this disaster?

Because, we will stand.

 Even against this.

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