We are the problem, we like to blame x and y and z, the Trilateral Commission, or who knows what, but it’s not really that way. We Americans are so addicted to stuff, we are overweight, we have this well-fed consumer hog nation where you go to Wal-Mart or Costco, Sam’s Club or Best Buy, et. al., and these box stores are just chock full of stuff you can get for very favorable prices…
…You have breakfast as I did at a motel in Minnesota a few days ago and after a four minute breakfast you have a pile of trash of plastic cups, plastic spoons, plastic containers that have now been used for their one and only time in the history of the planet and they go into the landfill.
So we’ve got the people who drive to the food shop at the end of the block to buy a 96 oz. drink filled with sugar who get no exercise, who are just awash in stuff. We have garage sales not because we don’t want the stuff anymore, but we want to get rid of it so we can have more room to put more stuff in its place.
My point is: We are this people that have got this sort of transfusion of the fruits of life until it’s choking us, we’re dying. Our health is bad, we don’t get any exercise, we don’t have any civic engagement, we don’t read books, we don’t have - we’ve lost - the art of civility and the art of conversation, we’re watching American Idol or the Housewives of New Jersey and this nation that we’ve produced can’t be saved until each individual listening to this - and by the way, the Jeffersonians are the class act of American life - until the people that are the Americans shut off the t.v., stop feeding themselves 5, 6, 10,000 calories per day, start taking a stroll, start engaging in actual conversation, stop just spouting the talking points of Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann and start actually retaking their lives from this thing that we’ve allowed to happen to us, and when we do that, corporate America will be less powerful than it is. I believe corporate America is working hard to keep us addicted, but we can break the addiction anytime we want by stepping away.
We as a people have to say no: We have higher values for our children; we don’t want to just be Wal-Mart Americans. We want to grow some of our own food. We want to read books and have actual converations, we’re not just going to spout talking points. This is liberation. And the liberation has to start with each individual and then your mate and your friends, and the people that you work with, and we have to learn to say no, (and I’m the worst of them!).
I’m trying to break my addictions to the world that I know is destroying the American way of life, so that’s not about Romney, Gingrich or Obama or Wall Street, that’s about habits of the heart. And until we change the habits of the heart, we cannot be a republic.
- Clay Jenkinson as President Jefferson, www.jeffersonhour.com