Societies, like the people who populate them, can be become quite ill — especially if their condition fails to receive the proper treatment.
In 2003, our nation still reeling from the terror attacks of 9/11, became quite ill. We were attacked by one of the most virulent germs ever known to humanity, the illegal war virus.
This virus caused our nation to embark on the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, an illegal and immoral blunder that left hundreds of thousands killed and wounded and destabilized an entire region. George Bush and Dick Cheney were the primary carriers of this deadly virus, but we soon discovered it was a very contagious strain which quickly infected Barack Obama. So instead of trying to cure our nation of this deadly virus by quarantining Bush and Cheney in prison, Obama proceeded to bomb Libya and double down on drone warfare. President Obama will soon leave the White House with a tragic distinction. He has become the first president in history to be at war for his entire time in office.
In 2008 our nation was attacked by the deadly Wallstreetium Corruptus bacterium that flourishes in greedy, secret environments that get very little sunlight. This bacterium initially attacked only our nation, but the infection quickly spread to many other countries, nearly destroying the world’s economy and costing many millions of people their jobs and homes.
President Obama contracted this disease early on when he took in more Wall Street campaign cash than his opponent John McCain — and then did not take the necessary steps to cure us. Instead of jailing and isolating the Wall Street carriers of this toxic bacterium, the President judged these financial terrorists too big to jail and too big to fail, leaving them able to continue to incubate one deadly germ after another.
And now we are faced with perhaps the most dangerous disease of all, our addiction to fossil fuels. This addiction is causing the Earth to overheat and destabilizing our global life support system. Catastrophe lies ahead.
Out of this fetid, festering, feverish swamp of untreated disease, our body politic is now manifesting the ultimate symptom of a sick society. From this quagmire has a arisen a pathogenic demagogue- Donald Trump, an old-fashioned quack offering phony treatments for chronic ailments, has become the president.
We have had, of course, deadly pathogens in our social system before, and we still suffer from one of the oldest and worst of these: the virulent and highly resistant virus of racism. We once had a leader in Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. who understood how to treat — how to beat back — this vile virus. We needed to practice, Dr. King taught us, nonviolent civil disobedience.
Dr. King was murdered before the cure could be completed. But he knew that the path forward to recovery demanded that we also treat the equally deadly and symbiotic germs of greed and militarism.
Let’s heed his legacy and follow his shining example — before time runs out.
Jeff Vogel- firstname.lastname@example.org