Remember Colonial times? That period when global superpowers began planting flags around the world, extracting resources from and subjugating the people in those faraway lands?

Colonization is why they speak Portuguese in Brazil and Spanish in Mexico, why there was apartheid in South Africa and, ultimately, how the United States came to be.

We didn’t like being looted, so we rebelled.

Even as a collection of former colonies, though, the US has always participated in colonization efforts of its own. It’s how we got Hawaii! Slavery was an effect of colonialism, too, as were the wars in Central America of the 1980s and the Middle East in this century. That was us, imposing our will on foreign soil and the people who live there, taking what we wanted and the colonists be damned.

It is inarguable that the US has practiced colonialism in all its forms from the very beginning. And now, we’re doing it to ourselves.

From a distance, it looks like federal and state governments are treating US citizens like colonists, with callous disregard for their wellbeing and interests. And we’re treating the nation itself like it’s on some faraway shore and not, you know, a country by and for the people.

Policies like fracking, interest in non-renewable energy, pollution of the water, air and soil, even industrial agribusiness extract from the land without giving back. It’s not too different from clear-cutting South American rainforests for cattle or mining for African gems.

Our federal government seems to have been replaced by a puppet regime catering to partisan interests — like we did with the shah in Iran or Juan Estrada in Nicaragua, governments who govern for the sake of other interests.

Certainly the US Congress and the Supreme Court have been tainted, unable to fulfill their crucial roles in our democracy. Among infighting and political posturing, our federal legislative branch passed just 34 new laws so far this term, with one more year to go. For comparison, 365 laws passed in the 2021-22 Congressional term. This has been, so far, the most ineffective Congress in US history.

In North Carolina, a government intent on minority rule has installed policies and practices designed to obfuscate the vote — or even void it altogether. Here, as elsewhere, regard for the public good is no longer part of the political agenda.

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