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Politics

American Greatness. Mass Delusion.

I’m tired of the term “Anti-American” being applied to people who like to point out that America is NOT great.  The thing is, they’re right.  It seems to me that such people would be daft to both hate America and tell America what it needs to fix to be great again.  So enough with that, OK?

But where to start?  How do we take a nation where four out of ten people believe in talking snakes and somehow create a first world social environment?  How do we work with people who think a malevolent demon planted evidence in the ground to convince scientists that the world is billions of years old when it’s really only six thousand?

Should we just work around the religious nuttery that convinces nine of twelve people to vote for a bill legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions?! Are we so far gone that we can’t even mobilize enough sane Americans to send a real mandate from the people that we’re tired of faith-think in the government?

Can we even begin to chip away at the political machine that greases its wheels with billions of dollars from good Christian Tycoons?  Is there hope when the Governor of North Dakota will drop everything to talk about union busting with some bloke claiming to be a Koch brother?

It’s enough to make me despair.  It makes me want to leave for anywhere but here.  There are 32 countries on the chart that are better than the U.S. in practically every category that matters to the average non-billionaire Joe.

Someone posted a list on my Facebook page entitled “You Might be a Republican If…”  As I read through the list, I was knocked over the head by a horrible reality:  I’m not a Democratic fanboy.  I avoid talking about politics because frankly, I don’t think either party has a clue how to fix anything at this time, and it’s hard for me to throw support at the Democrats after the bungling indecisiveness they’ve shown after winning such hard fought battles for control of Congress.  Nevertheless, I can’t find major fault with anything on the list, and it reads EXACTLY the same as the “You Might be a Christian” lists.

Probably the most disturbing is the last item on the list:

  • You think this list is mean-spirited and biased, and even though you privately acknowledge to yourself that it’s all true, you believe the Democrats are just as bad. Here’s a bulletin: Nobody has ever been this bad.

That’s what’s got me really upset.  We can say with empirical certainty that this is true.  Nobody in the First World is as bad as the U.S. right now. For heaven’s sake, we spend more on defense per capita than Communist China. Over three times as much.

Over three times as much on defense as Communist China.

And as a culture, we’re still viciously fighting it out over the right of a fetus to the same protection of law as an adult human.  Except that it’s legal for us to kill adult humans in many states.  And we’re fighting over whether to teach science in science class.

We can’t even begin to contemplate bringing charges against the former president and his staff who ordered torture and committed internationally recognized war crimes.  Even though Bush has openly bragged about his part in them.

Has the world truly gone mad?

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “American Greatness. Mass Delusion.

  1. That chart leaves out an important detail many Americans of all political stripes seem to care about, percentage of income taken as taxes. You see the average American is a contradiction. They are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. They would indeed care about most of those statistics, but they would expect them to come for free.

    “The moral is clear. Republicans don’t have a mandate to cut spending; they have a mandate to repeal the laws of arithmetic.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/opinion/14krugman.html?_r=3&hp

    Posted by mkandefer | March 1, 2011, 7:50 pm
  2. MK, you’re exactly right. A recent poll indicated that only 12% of respondents were in favor of directly cutting medicare or social security. That just doesn’t square with the Republican party line, and it especially doesn’t square with teabagger ideology.

    I’ve enjoyed playing a fun game with the few teabaggers I’ve encountered in real life. I ask them what they’re going to cut and how much that’s going to save as a percentage of the GDP. Oddly, I have yet to receive a straight answer.

    American taxes are daft. If you approached 100,000 Americans and gave them these two choices, what do you think 99,999 of them would pick?

    1) You can have $50,000 per year income and pay 25% taxes.
    2) You can have $500,000 per year income and pay 40% taxes.

    The math is really, really simple. Take option number two. Anyone with half a brain would do it. But for some reason, nearly half of Americans seem to think that it’s unconscionable to take nearly half of a person’s income when they make over half a million a year. Oh NoEz!! We R Communists!

    Our taxes are completely ass-backwards. You find me a million dollar a year job, and you have my personal guarantee that I’ll gladly pay 50% of it in taxes a year, every year. I’ll never bitch. Not once.

    Posted by hambydammit | March 2, 2011, 3:59 pm
  3. @Hamby, exactly. I’ve yet to meet anyone who would argue that it’s better to earn 60% of 500k than 25% of 50k, but they think that maybe one day they might make 500k and then would rather make 65% or maybe 70% of that 500k then.

    If you don’t think more money is the solution to poverty (that they just need to work harder), then you don’t see the real need for those taxes since you’ve been convinced the problem with the budget is the social services for poor people.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | March 3, 2011, 11:13 am
  4. Sorry, that should have been 75% of 50k.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | March 3, 2011, 11:14 am

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