It matters scarcely a whit how one views our America these days, as we are now mere ballast inside a beast; the War Forever juggernaut. Each of us a solitary cell connected to other bits of the larger organism. If our particular cell has an eye...still, we cannot see clearly. A brain...we cannot think clearly. A heart...well, you know. Our dim view of reality is limited to opaqueness in the walls of the beast. Only if our little cell is attached to where the ego grows fat do we still, in roaring hubris, pretend to be of consequence..
Rest assured, it is pretense. Michael Vlahos of the United States Naval War College estimates the total defense community now approaches 30 million. If you are not part of the warrior class, its constituents and minions, riding on the juggernaut, nothing you say or do really counts for much. You ride inside as ballast to weight the beast and add to its power to trample. If you are part of that warrior class, but you have not "seen the elephant" as the boys said during the civil war (been in recent combat, that is) you have little voice and don't get to steer. Since Richard Nixon signed away Selective Service in favor of a standing army and thus quelling the Viet Nam war resistance movement, power and treasure has flowed nonstop to the military.
Now it is almost total. If the treasury has one dollar left or enough ink to print one, it is spoken for: to buy things that go boom. Not for food, nor clothing, not for shelter...only to defend the homeland against...whatever, whomever, wherever. Somebody will think of something that threatens us. They're good at that. The rest of us, the "shoppers", as we are dismissed in military circles, are out of the loop. Others know what is best for us. Recent executive power has been broadened to include the option of killing anyone who could be a threat to the implementation of this power... anyone. They will decide who is the threat.
Alas, our pious Americanism has bound us to the canon so completely we are unable to save ourselves from a War Forever machine which now qualifies as a dictatorship. There is no escape. The possibility of our defection through expatriation has been nullified with a pen stoke. The entire world is seen by the powers as potentially hostile and your presence anywhere abroad could be construed as hostile to the machine. A machine that always craves kinetic release frowns on any deviation from the credo. You are with us or, de facto, against us: ergo; enemy.