- Politics and Social Issues
America Was Never a Common Sense Country
George Carlin once said, "When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." Never have I felt those words have been more true than nowadays. Currently I am watching the political races. I remember doing this when I was younger to keep myself educated and savvy to what's going on. Now I watch with this twisted revulsion like I am guilty of being a spectator of the world's worst reality TV show, a TV show that I could be sucked into at any moment, kicking and screaming and likely letting off a long string of profanities. When did this happen?? I am at a loss because I think the change was so gradual its caught all of us off guard. We're living in a day and age that facts no longer matter and the truly mental among us are the loudest voices gathering the largest groups of followers. Maybe my memory is flawed - maybe we never had a government with a senate and congress filled with Republicans and Democrats who debated the issues of their day before coming to a logical compromise, hopefully for the benefit of the people. I don't remember fear mongering, constant filibusters, and the seething divide of republicans vs democrats, red state vs blue state, but maybe its always been there. Maybe I'm deluded but somehow I feel like I am listening to the News Speak of 1984. The only difference is records aren't being destroyed to alter people's memories they're doing all the deleting in their own heads. Isn't denial a funny thing?
I would be one of those people that says, "Where's the world coming to?" except I see that the world is always going mad. Take for instance the very existence of the US. I was taught in grade school that the United States started when a set of pilgrims made their way across the ocean to flea from religious persecution. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? A small band of people, steadfast in their beliefs, leaving everything they once knew to go to some new foreign land where they could make a real life for themselves full of promise and wonder. But wait, what's that over there in the trees? Could it be this strange new land already has people? And these people were the ones who helped these unfortunate souls through their first winter? How peaceful and idyllic. Fast forward a few years where the pilgrims are taking it upon themselves to show the Native Americans why they'd left their homes in England by morphing from victims of religious persecution to perpetrators of religious persecution. Native Americans must convert! And learn our language! And give us their land! Or die! And most did. Not that it did them any good. They were still different and there's nothing that religious persecutors like more than to dwell on differences and make an us vs them mentality. We're still screwing over the remaining Native Americans, except now it's more of an "Oops, our ancestors were real assholes but what do you expect me to do about it? I had nothing to do with this mess." Convenient.
Now I get to listen to religious zealots decry all forms of abortion and try to make it illegal again because a fetus, or even a blob of cells, is worth more than the fully grown tax paying citizen mother, even if that means sacrificing the mother because said fetus is part of an ectopic pregnancy or some other life-threatening complication. And God forbid you become a doctor who practices abortion. The pro-lifers might have to bomb you! Funny how these same people who worship the unborn are usually the first to line up to watch ghoulishly outside a penitentiary when an inmate is being executed. Pro-life apparently only applies to the unborn. Who cares about the already born? They had their chance and fucked up so now they must die. Funny too how these pro-lifers are also pro-war. War is the antithesis of life. It kills millions every year and psychologically fucks up all the ones who come home alive. It destroys lives.
I continue to watch as people bitch about the economy being in the shitter and demand their taxes be lowered because they're just so damn high they're strangling us! Americans show their immense lack of knowledge about the outside world when they cry about this. Some of us actually believe the United States has the highest taxes in the world. Actually... our taxes are reasonable, very reasonable, in comparison to some other countries. France is now proposing that anyone who earns over a million dollars will have to give 75% of it back to the government. That means even if you earn a million dollars you will only see $25,000 worth of it. And you have the gall to bitch about your tax rate? Please. So what are all those taxes going to pay for? Lots of things... things like free healthcare for anyone who gets sick and needs it, things like maternity leave for moms that is not a burden to the businesses they work for, and probably some other cool stuff I don't know about. So what do our taxes pay for? Oh mostly useless things like public schools, libraries, police, firefighters, and highways... things we could so easily do without (if only we had the gumption to put out our own house fires, teach our own children, break up riots by ourselves, and fix those potholes and that decaying bridge on our street.) So unless you think you can do all those things by yourself I don't want to hear you bitching that our taxes are going to pay for things you don't want. Well guess what? I'm anti-war and 40 cents out of every one of my tax dollars goes to the United State's grossly over bloated military spending. You don't see me whining about it so I don't want to see you whine about the penny or so that goes to whatever cause you think is so outrageously unjust.
You might think this whole rant is aimed at the religious right and you'd be partially correct but I see illogical nonsense and hypocrisy everywhere and you know what? I'm not a Christian but I would be delighted if more Americans were Christ-like. There, I said it. I want American citizens who are compassionate towards the weak, who give charity and aid to the poor, who heal the sick and needy, who love their neighbors like they do themselves, who welcomes even the most rampant of sinners with open arms and without judgement, people who know how to forgive and mean it. That would be truly magnificent.