SLAM THE BRAKES – AN INTRODUCTION
Every July 4th Americans celebrate the events of 1776, when the foundation for the United States of America was established – a time when almost every citizen was materially involved and invested in the safety and well being of the members of their local community, and the new American Community. The architects of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights knew the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could be accomplished only through the consistently cooperative efforts of an engaged, caring community. The democratic government they established was designed to assist and help manage that community’s care of itself through the principals of social equality and respect for the individual within the community.
Today, the American Society can hardly be called an engaged, caring community. To the contrary, America’s understanding of the importance of community has been in severe decline for decades, and shows no sign of reversal as it continues to construct more fences, literally and figuratively, making an engaged, caring community much more difficult to achieve. The future is also bleak as the next generation of leaders is handcuffed by a “double whammy” created by the current and past generations – no instruction on the importance of contributing to the community coupled with fewer assets and resources to solve community problems, borrowed from the future by past generations. Quite simply, the very foundation of American Society may be compromised.
THERE IS ONE MAIN REASON FOR THIS DRAMATIC CHANGE IN SOCIETAL COURSE
American Citizens’ collective responsibility for the care of the American Community, citizenship, has diminished so significantly since 1776 that today most Americans do nothing to support their community on an ongoing basis – literally nothing! The most drastic drop in citizenship has occurred over the past 50 years and in its place are increasing expectations for government to be the caretaker for the community, with “citizens” asking why government isn’t doing more. Taxes have become the way most people feel they “contribute to society”, and most of them complain they contribute too much. Reaction versus action is the norm, allowing problems to fester and grow. Care and maintenance of our infrastructure – physical, financial, environmental, and social – is continually pushed to the side because it is so expensive and thus, not politically popular. Americans are so self-involved that individual liberties are now promoted even when they are contrary to the best interests of the community at large.
Certainly the Founding Fathers could never have imagined a citizenry so self involved and disengaged, as they knew their democratic government, and the personal liberties of the Bill of Rights, could only exist if managed by engaged, caring citizens. They also understood the world and society as they knew it would change significantly over time, and suggested and expected American Government and Society to change with the times.
THE BOTTOM LINE
America is a societal vehicle headed for the cliff of no return. Every element of our society is in serious decline and disrepair. Even our seemingly robust economy is a house of cards waiting to tumble from the incredible amounts of debt created to keep it “robust”. The bottom line is: American Society is in serious danger of implosion from complex self-destructive tendencies coupled with a crumbling infrastructure that is mortgaged to the hilt. Throw in a rapidly changing world whose inhabitants are increasingly negative towards America, including the recent growth of significant hatred, and you have the ultimate recipe for disaster, literally. Unless America can change, and change fast, the current societal course will continue to manifest itself in a growing number of tragedies and disasters, natural and man-made, ultimately leading to the end of American Society, and quite possibly life as we know it on Earth. The only answer is to SLAM THE BRAKES on the out of control vehicle called America!
SLAM THE BRAKES MANIFESTO
Unless serious changes are made quickly in all aspects of our existence, America is doomed, and the rest of mankind won’t be far behind. Therefore, I, Rick Tatnall, commit to do all I can and all I must, for as long as it takes, to engage the Richmond Regional Community and the American Community to SLAM THE BRAKES on our out of control societal vehicle, then to carefully and collectively plot the future course for Richmond, for America, as well as for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. It will certainly take decades, or longer, to completely SLAM THE BRAKES. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!
I believe American citizens have a moral and practical responsibility to be engaged, caring members of their community: moral, honoring those who came before us, offering us a lifetime of unprecedented opportunity, which should be passed to future generations; and practical, realizing individual opportunities and overall quality of life increase when one is consistently involved in his or her community. A vast majority of Americans are shirking their responsibilities as citizens of this country – SLAM THE BRAKES means an immediate increase in community involvement by all citizens of every community. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE
SLAM THE BRAKES means expending intense energy, immediately and consistently, for as long as it takes to stop going in the wrong direction, and will involve an initial period of chaos after the brakes are first engaged. Life as we know it will change! Ultimately, that chaos will pale in comparison to the chaos that will befall America if it does not SLAM THE BRAKES. Life as we know it must change! THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!
SLAM THE BRAKES means all citizens need to become consistently involved in their community, their country, and their environment, dedicating hours every week. Ultimately, it is necessary that every citizen offer a minimum of one day per week in service to their community – 8 hours – or the community will continue to decline. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!
SLAM THE BRAKES means most Americans must quickly make drastic lifestyle changes – America needs to enter Rehab – America must be forced to immediately change its selfish, materialistic, disengaged ways in order to stop its current path of self-destruction, then to define a new path for an increasingly better quality of life for all Americans, and all mankind. Successful rehabilitation means short term pain for long term gain. America needs to start feeling pain quickly. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!
SLAM THE BRAKES – THE GOOD THAT WILL FOLLOW
The Richmond, American, and Global Communities each currently possess the collective resources necessary to solve all their problems and achieve all their community goals and objectives, significantly increasing the quality of life for all their citizens. Unfortunately, those resources are controlled and managed by community leadership and constrained by infrastructure that are years, if not decades, behind the problems facing these communities today.
SLAM THE BRAKES will accelerate change to match the need for change, allowing the Richmond Community and the American Community to catch-up with the present so they can better plan and manage the future.
SLAM THE BRAKES will lead to a fast and effective reconfiguration of community resources, at every level of community, enabling a growing number of wonderful opportunities to continue to emerge, ultimately increasing the quality of life for Richmond, America, and all mankind!
THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!