Sunday, December 4, 2011

What has happened to America? A Soviet boy crying over the love of his childhood.

When I was a little boy in Soviet Ukraine I received from the American consul in Lemberg a colorful magazine "America". It was a propaganda piece for poor Soviet citizens about heavenly USA.
It was full of most wonderful photographs: beaches of California, Grand Canyon, marvellous skyline of New York and San Francisco, but above all -beautiful and happy people.

My imagination ran wild. I was dreaming about becoming an American and living in New York or L.A.
I was just a little Jewish boy living with my hard working parents and my brothers and sisters in a drab and very small apartment. In order to get something to eat my mother had to stand in a queue for hours every day. Life was hard.

America was Heaven on Earth for me. When I was 13 I decided to learn English in order to be able to read American books and listen to short wave programs from America. After one year of solitary, hard work I was able to read any English language text without a dictionary. My first serious priority was to read American Constitution because I wanted to find out what were the rules of the game over there. But it was impossible to get a copy. Finally I found one in the University library. I was enchanted. The text was beautifully written and made a lot of sense.Now I understood that America was not just colorful vistas and happy people. The country was built on a rock-solid set of rules. I had an impression that the political system was not only just and good but also stable and indestructible.

For the last several years I was seeing the America of my dreams gradually changing into the worst nightmare - a corrupt Third World dictatorship with worn out trappings of "Democracy". It seems even worse than the Soviet poverty. In the USSR we had at least a drab welfare state: free education and health care. There were no homeless people. The pay was very poor, even for teachers and doctors, but there was no unemployment and no real hunger. There was no gang violence either. Political dissent or opposition was unheard of. Just like in America now. All the media said the same lies - exactly like in America now.


I know, Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street. Yes, they did protest. But where are the millions of solid, down-to-earth Americans who are being turned into slaves at this very moment? Why are they not revolting? I am very disappointed. I must have overestimated Americans. I am very sorry.

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