Back in the day we watched action adventure movies about Americans traveling in exotic far-flung countries. It was so very foreign to our small-town Montana sensibilities – the drugs, the shady intrigue, the beautiful women. There was poverty and danger around every corner, and it seemed that nothing could be accomplished in these mysterious places without paying off some government official.
We called them “banana republics” – countries where life was tough, the government was corrupt, and only those with connections, wit, and maybe weapons avoided an unhappy fate.
We were enthralled with tense scenes from places where the government was all about secrets and raw, cold power; where ordinary citizens hid behind gray walls and doors, afraid of making some political “hit” list. Everyone was poor – except those who worked for the government or had connections. Personal success was just a distant dream, as winners and losers were chosen by the powerful.
It could never happen here. We have checks and balances, and a president couldn’t just make laws, seize property and control businesses without the consent of the legislature. This is America. There’s no corruption here. Our government leaders would never lie to us, or hide the truth. Besides, our news people will always tell us what’s really going on, right? And we have fair elections, where legal citizens get to choose how the government will affect their lives.
Drugs are illegal here. Aren’t they? I mean, I think they used to be.
And we don’t have to worry about people here being dirt poor, relying on scraps and handouts from the government. Most of our people have jobs, and own their own homes, right? We still manufacture stuff, and have plenty of our own cheap energy for our cars and houses, and everybody has a bright future here. We still go to church on Sunday and take care of our neighbors and families. Don’t we?
I’m sure glad we live in America, and not in one of those banana republics. We have nothing to worry about here, let’s just party on. Let’s have another joint. Wanna dance?
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
They’re pickin’ up the prisoners
And puttin em in a pen
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
Rebels been rebels
Since I don’t know when
And all she wants to do is dance
All She Wants To Do Is Dance – Don Henley