I am ashamed. I'm ashamed of this President, this megalomaniac hellbent on leaving his assprint on the map of the Middle East, no matter how much destruction is wrought and no matter how much blood flows in the streets of lands that never threatened us. I'm ashamed that when I see the American flag waiving, images of flag-draped coffins flash in my mind. I'm ashamed of Freedom's March. Ashamed when I see villages reduced to rubble. Ashamed when I see the tiny little corpses. God, they're so painfully tiny--lined up in a row, little angels wrapped in colorful blankets that starkly contrast against their gray-tinged faces. Ashamed when I see wailing Iraqis slam their hands against plain, unvarnished coffins, over and over, asking "Why? Is this democracy? Why?" When I see those image of funerals, of broken families, I want to crawl into my TV, I want to go to them and grab their slumped shoulders and scream "I'm sorry, good god, I'm so sorry. I want to leave, I want us to leave, believe me. But they won't listen...No one listens anymore." I am ashamed. Ashamed that Justice is no longer blindfolded, but gagged. Ashamed that in America, in AMERICA, I can only protest in "free speech zones" the size of postage stamps. Ashamed that by the time I'll take my oath as an officer of the court to support the Constitution, I'll be swearing to uphold a tattered document that has managed to survive over 200 years only to be shredded by this President in less than eight. I am ashamed. Ashamed that in America, I see bearded men panhandling in the street, holding cardboard signs that read "U.S. Vet, can't work, need food. God bless." Ashamed that somewhere, in our America, a grandmother is sitting alone at her kitchen table, crumpled bills clutched in her thin hands, agonizing over the choice before her: medicine for her pain, or food to keep on living. Ashamed that there is a child who will go to sleep tonight on a cot in an orphanage, with no one to read him a story, no one to stroke his hair and kiss him goodnight, because the American Taliban thinks gay Americans can't love, can't parent, can't provide. I am ashamed of myself. For not having the courage or the strength to do anything else but sit here and blog. I write. I protest. I vote. And yet, I'm impotent. Stuck in a unrelenting cycle of hope and despair and hope and despair. This is not America. I refuse to accept it. America doesn't torture. America doesn't jail people incommunicado for years. America doesn't sit idly by as an entire people are exterminated in Darfur. America doesn't stifle science. America doesn't conduct massive, secret spying on innocent citizens. America doesn't believe the individual is an annoyance, an impediment to supreme government power. This isn't the greatest democracy on earth. This isn't the nation that pioneered human rights. This isn't the America that leads the world, that leads humanity towards a greater good. No, I refuse to accept this America of shame. This is not my America. It is an America perverted by Republican stewardship. A nation that under GOP rule has abandoned its founding ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. True Americans--coast to coast, young and old--now bow their heads silently in collective shame for a nation that has lost its way.