The best advice I can give to my fellow UNM students right now is this: get out of the country while you still can. You’re young, smart and you’ve got the time and the energy to do it. If you attend classes at the University of New Mexico, you can probably afford it, too. Or at least your parents can. Buy yourself a passport and get out now!

Go enjoy life in a vibrant, secular, tolerant society and see what it’s like. That will be an eye-opener, for sure. Go someplace where they don’t openly hate the poor and disadvantaged; a country where they cherish their elderly and their women and children as valued members of society — instead of treating them as targets of scorn and derision. In most of Europe and the rest of the free world, higher education is still encouraged, and students aren’t viewed strictly as a commodity like they are in America. In countries such as Norway, foreign students can still attend university free of charge.

I would also recommend that you visit a country where free medical care is available to everyone, even if you’re a visiting college student. Maybe a place where they provide cheap, clean, super-efficient public transportation as well. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a country where people aren’t gunning each other down in the streets every day? It shouldn’t be that difficult, really — those conditions apply to most of the industrialized world.

You’ll also be surprised at how good the food tastes without all the dangerous chemicals added.

Time is running out for you to escape the inevitable social upheavals that await those of us who are left behind in this God-forsaken country. America is crashing and burning in the worst possible way, and it’s not pretty. We’re regressing into a cultural and political wasteland. The United States is now officially a third-world country.

Let’s face it: there isn’t much hope left for our republic. The recent shutdown of the federal government has proven that fact beyond any doubt. The perversion of our democratic system is now complete. America is doomed.

Even though I pray the government shutdown will be over before this column is printed, the damage has already been done. America’s long decline into anarchy began on October 1, 2013.

There’s no turning back now. We’ve crossed the line from a highly dysfunctional government into the realm of ‘non-functional.’
The Republican Party has been taken over by right-wing extremists and unrepentant religious fanatics who are hell-bent on destroying what’s left of our democracy for the sake of their evil benefactors. They are dangerous radicals hiding behind false patriotism, and they have committed treason against the United States through their demand to de-fund Obamacare. The House Republicans who stand in the way of democracy are traitors: simple as that.

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress three years ago and subsequently upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.

Despite this, Republicans have voted more than 40 times to abolish it since then. Now, they’re holding the federal budget hostage, demanding that the president repeal his own landmark legislation.

The GOP is essentially admitting that they don’t want Americans to have affordable health care. Their entire political ideology is focused on denying medical access to millions of their fellow citizens — at all costs. I’m still not exactly sure how that position is politically viable in this day and age, but here we are.

The simple fact that the Affordable Care Act is universally referred to as ‘Obamacare’ is further proof that progressives long ago lost the rhetorical battle in American politics. Obamacare is a derisive label that even the Democrats have adopted.

We need a third political party now more than ever, and not a ‘centrist’ party, either, as some have suggested.

While Republicans have been the most ardent promoters of regressive “trickle-down” economics and the austerity policies that have gutted the middle class, “centrist” leaning Democrats have done just as much harm to the country by making concessions to these lunatics.

Both parties — one party, really: the money party — have proven themselves incapable of leading us out of this political quagmire, and they obviously can’t be trusted to fix anything. The dwindling number of courageous progressive voices still left in America, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are constantly drowned out by a chorus of political tools eager to screw their constituents and reward the plutocrats, all the while filling their campaign coffers.

The only other options left are passive resistance and non-violent insurrection. The Occupy movement was a good start, but that popular uprising was brutally suppressed by the police state more than two years ago. I don’t see it coming back.

I suggest you drain your own coffers and leave the country before things get really ugly.