Monday, September 17, 2007

"BYE, BYE MISS AMERICAN PIE."

I suppose everyone has this kind of dilemma with the country they were born and raised in. It's just that I happen to have been born and raised in the most powerful, most watched, admired, and hated of all the world's nations: The United States of America.

How do I feel to be American? Well, when I was much younger, I often felt proud to have been born here. This is the vast land of endless opportunity, of hard work, and achievable dreams. This is the nation that has a cultural and social impact on people the world over like no other. We are raised loving our television shows, our first-rate blockbuster films, the mall, a seemingly vast food supply, our cars that can go anywhere along our highways, catchy pop music, and a rabid love of American sports. As a child and teenager, America seems like tha place ta be right? This country has certainly been a scientific, economic, technological, cultural, and social marvel unlike any the world has ever seen. WOW! What a joy to be part of this incredible historic heritage!

And while these wonderful things make America truly unique and a bit more enjoyable than most countries, it's a facade really. We no longer truly lead the world as we once did. American foreign policy is deeply flawed and has been for decades. The last justifiable war we were involved in was World War II, and everything after seems to have been done for capitalistic profit. The American Dream is all but gone. We the middle class struggle more and more as prices go up and our salaries stay the same. It's harder to make ends meet, jobs lay us off more and more, our government is greedier than ever, our military's stretched thin and its morale is low, the education system sucks, everything's made in China, our dollar is weaker and weaker, racism and homophobia are still around and sometimes worse than before, and this country continues to disappoint not just its own citizens, but the world entire.

And after all those years of foreign intervention, of replacing elected officials with dictators, of helping rebels at one point who then become American enemies, of defending greedy American capitalistic interests all over the world, how can we sit here and then wonder why terrorism a la 9/11 has now made it to our land? The world could not do anything for years, because American might was unsurpassed and the only real competitor was The Soviet Union. But with all that communism shit practically gone, other nuclear powers have emerged, and the world's disenfranchised and bitter would be happy to see an American city go up in a nuclear mushroom cloud. We've had it good way too long, we've been spoiled to think we were untouchable, and this has all changed. How many times have we cocky Americans said about an enemy nation, "Just nuke them!" Well, guess what? Others now have the potential power to say that and DO IT to US now. How sad. It pains me to see my nation so damn fucked up from within and despised by so many on the outside; it isn't normal Frenchlike envy/jealousy at work here either, but the years and years of American abuse of power. We've been lied to for so long, we believed in our government, and have been brainwashed for years, until only now do we begin to see the damage that has been done and continues, because finally we the American citizens are starting to suffer from all these horrible policies, domestic and foreign.

Am I bitter? I don't think so. Realistic? Very much so. Everyone still wants to come to our shores though. They still say America is the best damn country in the world. Despite all of our problems and continuing downfall, they all say that this is still THE PLACE.

For how much longer though, when it's all now hanging on such a thin wire?

13 comments:

Todd said...

Isn't it strange how we think about our country now compared to what we thought of it when we were children. Back then, we said the Pledge of Alleigance in school and thought that the president and congress were really working hard for us.

Then the reality sets in.

Gledwood said...

America was SO BAD at dealing with /acknowledging anything to do with terrorist threat BEFORE 9.11 now they're TOTALLY OVER THE TOP... e.g. they used to ALLOW IRA FUNDRAISERS to come over and raise money in New York... no kidding!!
Also the security procedures in airports e.g. re unattended luggage were basically nonesistent...
I've had to live with terrorist threats since I was a kid... you know bombscares etc and every so often one did go off. It was nothing like being e.g in Israel.... but well I suppose America always has been a country of extremes they cannot do anything by halves! So VERY paranoid now!!

Bill German said...

mr&mrs smith was a stoopid movie

CalistaWasHere said...

Hello!

I like your thoughts, u just inspired me to say this:

Modern times and all that communication stuff we have...what they do to us?!
When comparing ancient times, people and their choices, I find out that they were illiterate slaves or serfs. Those people didn't have much choices. And of course, there was wealthy oligarchy.

What do we have today?
Basically, the same thing. Today, people want to be slaves (how do u call working 4someone else half of your day?)but because of a fact that we are literate and 'informed' we whine a lot and think that we have choices and actually, we think that we have rights and make decisions (hahahhaha).
And don't forget about really wealthy group of people who (more/less) rule.

So, where is progress there?!

The only right we have is to chose good or evil, like all people in all times.
And there is always potential, regardless of circumstances, to have a good and meaningful life.

Bye!
(God bless America)

Gavin Elster said...

When do you get to the point when you just accept the fact you are a product of the government. A meat puppet with a small income. Lets face it personal gain is no longer the reason to work. The new reason is to pay more and more taxes. I cant keep ahead aymore and most of my money goes to the government.

Debaser said...

Well, we're taxed far less than just about any other civilized country, Mr. Elster.

Bush's "across the board" tax cuts were a fraud. The benefit went to the wealthy. States have to fill all kinds of requirements in order to receive funds from the federal government. Bush's budget cut block grants to the states, and the states had to raise taxes and "user fees" to compensate. So in a way you're right. The middle class is probably paying about the same if not more while our nation goes into debt.

Here's an idea:

Raise the federal income tax for wealthy individuals. Keep corporate taxes where they are. End the war. Cut the hell out of middle class taxes and see how much demand is created!

"Trickle Down Economics" is bullshit. We need "trickle up" economics. Progressive tax policy, strong labor unions, controls on the cost of healthcare, caps on credit card interest rates, etc.

If the teeming middle class has money in their pockets, the wealthy will thrive as well because we'll be buying more of their shit. They'll hire more workers and earn more profit. Tax revenues would go up because of a growing economy, and we could then turn our attention to education (primary, secondary, AND higher).

The Democrats are a bit more middle-class friendly, but they are not talking about the things I'm talking about (or at least to the extent I'm talking about).

I could write for hours but I'll spare you. Basically, the wealth is here to solve most of the nation's problems and prevent it from collapsing upon itself. We just need more effective tax policies and BETTER spending.

Lore Soth said...

That's the main problem. There is no good nor no evil. It's not a Republic or Democratic. It just seems we forgot one thing. We are Americans (U.S. Citizens).

We are not Negros, Hispanics, Whites, ABC, or Middle American Christian. We need to who and what we are. Seems we have forgotten this as a whole.

What we need to do is close our borders, screw foreign policy and let "God" sort it out. So what if the Palestinians rightfully take their lands back, so what if we stop funding the Terrorist Isreali state, and supporting lost causes like Africa. I am sorry folks but realism needs to set in. It's "nice that we extend" aid, but look at us. As a nation we are at each other's throats, the world hates us, and we are sorely over extended.

If we concentrate in just building a better nation, pushing funding to just better "ourselves" perhaps in a decade we can return to the world and help out. Perhaps we can revive the American Spirit and Ingenuity that once made out country Great!

Long live the Confederacy!!!! Mat the Stars and Bars fly high and signal a new time of change once again.

M- Filer said...

Exactly WAT> You are not a pessimist, you are a REALIST. If this country continues along it's current path, we will not be a great leader of Nations for long. If we don't change course as a society we don't deserve that priviledge. I think it can be turned around, and I think "W" has helped American's by forcing a mirror to our faces, that we can see what we have become in the world, that we can see what the world thinks of our bullying and our greed.

Palm Springs Savant said...

well.. sometimes these things are cyclical...in a few years it will turn around (OK, I'm an eternal optimist).

but you are so cute, how could I be anything else???

durante vita said...

I like what you wrote here, but what I enjoy the most is the idea that you're not bitter, but realistic. I feel the same way, a lot of the time.

alexgirl said...

Great post WAT.
I'm glad you're not a pessimist. sometimes it's hard. I'm so disgusted by our president and the way he runs the country, that sometimes I can't help but get down about it. But keep on sharing your views. More and more people are finally starting to see the truth, but YAY for you, for keeping it in the forefront.

Anonymous said...

Debaser,
Define civilized please. Also can you tell me what those other countries are? You know... the ones that get taxed more. Please list them.

Debaser said...

Anonymous,

I was using "civilized" in a tongue-in-cheek way. Let's just call it the developed world.

In the developing world, just about every nation taxes their people more heavily than we do. The United Kingdom. France. Germany. Japan. Canada. Greece. Italy. Spain. South Korea. Australia. You name a developed country, and odds are their citizens are taxed more than we are here.