I have this great idea for a blockbuster Hollywood movie, but since I don’t know any movie directors, I thought I would let it loose here. Here’s how it goes: There is the growing discontent and anger among ordinary people in the US about Iraq, Bush, health care, the corruption of Congress, and – the real lurker – the truth behind 9/11. Why did Building 7 go down? Was it a controlled demolition? Was Flight 93 shot down shortly before it crashed in rural Pennsylvania? Was its real target Building 7? So, let’s imagine…
The Democrat-controlled Senate establishes a 9/11 Truth Commission to resolve the outstanding questions. When an amnesty is offered to anyone willing to speak his or her truth, the evidence that emerges about the involvement of some of America’s top leaders and officials shocks people to the core.
Across the US, people sit glued to CNN as the testimonies air live. A feeling of deep betrayal sweeps the country as Conservatives struggle with their realization that the War on Terror has been manipulated and progressives explode with anger against a government they have deplored and the elite who have been manipulating American democracy for so long, and who appear to have been involved in the 9/11 manipulations.
As the evidence that Flight 93 was shot down becomes clear, a prominent witness dies in a car crash and a US air force pilot on duty that day is found dead from a suspicious suicide. When a third witness fights off what appears to be a random mugging, her attacker is found to have a list of the Truth Commission’s witnesses on his computer. In shades of Kennedy’s assassination in 1962, he is shot down before he can testify in court, and internet chat rooms, YouTube and Facebook all explode with furious conjecture.
Amid the turmoil, a grassroots movement called Free Democracy Now emerges calling for American democracy to be dug up and overhauled from the roots. The movement’s Charter calls for a ban on all political campaign funding by corporations and unions; a $1,000 ceiling on individual campaign donations; an end to the corrupt pork barrel financing of pet projects; proportional voting in all elections; and the single transferable vote for the presidential race. It also calls for a unified voting system for the country governed by an independent electoral commission; town-hall meetings to choose local candidates; and lowering the voting age to 16 so that young people can taste their first experience of democracy while still at school.
Liberals and Conservatives put aside their historical rancor to support the new movement and choose local candidates for the forthcoming elections under the slogan “Free Democracy Now!”
Is this the second American Revolution that will overthrow the power of the military-industrial corporatocracy that President Eisenhower warned about in 1961 and which will usher in the rebirth of democracy or is it the beginning of a new Dark Age in American politics, when corporate control will be reinforced?
Meanwhile, in an atmosphere of unprecedented tension and unrest, Homeland Security warns of an imminent terrorist attack on La Guardia Airport and all flights to and from New York are suspended. On the Iran/Iraq border, an Iranian arrested by US troops is found to be carrying plans for simultaneous attacks on Israel and the New York subway system. The president announces a State of Emergency, suspends the Truth Commission and calls for an all-out national effort to defend US borders against would-be terrorists. When three men are arrested crossing the unguarded border close to Vancouver airport carrying maps of New York’s airports, the president accuses Canada of encouraging terrorism and closes the entire border.
Public cynicism has gone far too far, however, and there is widespread belief that the incidents are being staged to sustain an atmosphere of fear as the elites that are behind this scramble to retain control over the cash machine they have been running for years, known as democracy. Free Democracy Now flags sprout from houses everywhere.
As the election approaches, the Free Democracy candidates look set to sweep out most of the incumbents. With two weeks to go, bombs explode at the Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles airports, causing panic and the complete shutdown of US airspace. The president goes on TV to call for calm, asking for God’s protection against “… the infidels who hate us.” Three hours later, he announces the postponement of the election for three months and places the country under martial law.
Instead of rallying to their leader, however, the American public takes to the streets. The governors of California and Minnesota join their people and, by morning, 40 of America’s state governors have joined their citizens on the streets calling for the election to be re-instated, the 9/11 Truth Commission to be restored and the State of Emergency to be lifted.
For the next four days there are dramatic stand-offs across America as troops from the National Guard face down citizens in towns and cities from Alaska to Florida. The members of Free Democracy Now are determined to remain calm and non-violent, however, while growing in numbers all the time. They are joined by school children and college students, by workers calling for a national strike, by local mayors, and, most strikingly of all, by Christian fundamentalist religious leaders. By sunset of the fifth day, the president relents, agreeing to all their demands.
Two weeks later, a Democrat wins the presidency and both the Senate and Congress pass into the control of Free Democracy Now. Over the next 100 days, the Charter is converted into successful legislation and most of Washington’s lobbyists pack their bags to leave the city forever. The second American Revolution has succeeded.
Twenty years later, schoolchildren are taught how these events were a natural consequence of Americans’ love of liberty, and how, in the long history of humanity, the pursuit of justice and democracy will always prevail.
Guy Dauncey is an independent author and organizer who lives in Victoria. www.earthfuture.com