Confessions of a middle aged American

18 Aug

I’m sick and tired.

I’m sick and tired of a lot of things.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the United States is a pretty darned good thing.  I have no desire to move to somewhere else, and don’t perceive the situation as “better” in other countries.  Apparently, I’m not alone.  There are an awful lot of people trying to cheat the system and bribe, lie, and sneak their way into the country.

I don’t feel that I should be apologetic about being an American either.  Not to anyone.  Granted, some of our foreign policies have been downright awful, but I also don’t expect every Japanese person to be apologetic over Pearl Harbor, or everyone that follows the Islamic religion to be apologetic over 9/11.  We’re not alone in the guilt thing in terms of genocide, persecution, colonialism, etc., and individual citizens can’t do much about official policies at the international level anyhow.

All any one individual can do is take care of their own little patch of the world.

The problem is…I feel like my patch is getting stomped on, run over, sprayed, and dumped on by a whole lot of outside influences, and its already so small that I grow tomatoes in recycled plastic pails.  I don’t have room for this stomping, dumping and spraying!

So the logical next step is to look for who is responsible, which means determining essentially who my enemies really are.  That’s what starts getting scary.

Our government should feel like our protector, not like our enemy.  Instead, I am regarding it as a growing monster, a Godzilla of epic proportions, out of control and running amok in our world.  The American government is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.  The last few decades, the perception has shifted however.  It has become a cancerous growth that all too often is not for the people, but for that other “citizen” that has no face.

So who is this faceless “citizen”?

The Corporation.

And we seem to have an awful lot of them these days, doing things that certainly don’t put the health, wealth, and well being of our society in general at the top of their priorities.  They have a single priority.

Maximum profit.

Our government’s alphabet soup of agencies seems to have come under the control of the corporations that they are supposed to be regulating, supposed to be monitoring, and supposed to be taxing.

So consumers are faced with hormone laced meats and milk, contaminated with antibiotics to boot.  We are faced with GMOs entering the food chain without regulation or even labeling to allow consumers to choose whether they wish to be part of the biggest genetic experiment this planet has ever seen.  Drugs are released onto the market with minimal testing, while familiar herbal products are jerked off the market because of lack of testing.

We’re told that same sex marriages just can’t be, because of the sanctity of marriage.  Huh?  Over 50% of marriages today end in divorce.  How much sanctity is there in that?  Or can’t we call it something else, like civil union?  We’ve got way too many people spending way too much time worrying about other people’s sex lives.  Maybe there would be fewer divorces if less attention was given to other people and more attention paid to their own relationship?  Just a thought there…

Then, we have that good old national debt thing.  It seems to have gotten way out of control, and the government’s spending consistently exceeds what its income is.  Now as a person who’s worked for a living, I’m pretty certain that is a sure fire route to economic disaster.   Our interest payments are already exceeding what we’re actually spending on very important programs, and there is no paying down on the debt happening, but rather it is steadily increasing.  Something has to give, right?  As a citizen, if we do that with our personal budget, before long, we’re in really deep and hot water, and to prevent that, expenses have to be cut.  Just like in our personal budgets, we don’t cut essentials and keep the discretionary spending.  So why are we sending foreign aid, which we have had to borrow and we will be paying interest on for eternity, to over 150 countries, most of whom don’t even LIKE the United States to begin with?  The foreign aid is like a “donation” to a cause.  When I’m broke, I can’t donate to anything.  I have to take care of essentials before I can do the donation thing.  Why should our government be any different?  It’s time to cut off the aid, and quit giving away money we don’t even have to give.  Okay, so we have to help out some of these places…but do we need to be helping almost every single country?  Do we have to help as much as we’re helping?

Then there’s the real core of the problem.  Congress.  The White House.  The Supreme Court.  What is wrong with these people?  Have they lost touch with reality?  We have professional law makers there, men (mostly men anyhow) who have spent decades in Washington, buddying up with the lobbyists and the corporate retrievers who ensure that Big Corporations remain faceless “citizens” exempt from the restraints that are put upon those of us who were born of flesh and blood and not pen and ink.  They appoint more bureaucrats to run agencies and offices, perpetuating their evil deeds and further muddying the waters of responsibility.  I’m not sure what the best method of cleaning out those houses, but it sure needs to happen.  Maybe a good old fashioned lesson in “civics” will do the trick, as they memorize documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.  It would be a good start, since they seem to have forgotten what it says.

Since 9/11, we’ve been regularly innoculated with propoganda ensuring that as a society, we’re afraid and insecure.  We need to live in terror of the terrorists who just might crop up anywhere, any time.  We have Homeland Security, we have FEMA…

But we don’t have any security at all.  Conspiracy theories abound about how we are potential victims of Homeland Security and their secret alliance with some faceless entity that controls the government behind the scenes.  Rather than the Bilderbergers and some secret royalty…our real faceless entity is one that was created and born right here in America–the Big Corporation.

And still, mainstream society sleeps on, lulled into complacency by empty promises and low interest rates.

Yeah, I guess I’m mad.  I’m also sad.  I look at our country, and see the increasing apathy seasoned by growing separate factions, and each group is pointing its finger at the others to cast the blame.  I don’t want to see America go the way of ancient Rome or the Incas or the Mayas…or any of the other societies that grew, became dominant cultures, and then…died an agonizing death.  I want to see this country become vibrant and alive again.  I want to see industry return, and people turning out to vote on election days.

I don’t want to see a re-make of the burning of Rome as the fall of Washington.  We’ve worked too hard to make a great society, we now need to fix it and get it back on track.

Will we?

 

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