America the Beautiful? Maybe?

Small preface, I’m not anti-American, but today I’m going to share everything that really bugs me about America, and everything that I truly love about America, mostly on the personal level, in that I’ll be talking about people more so than the actual land and other such stuff. I’ll start with what I really like about America, whether it’s uniquely American or not.

America was one of, if not the first, “free” country on earth. This is of course debatable, mainly I’m thinking of England and it’s parliament, and the royalty lost its power a while ago, though the Queen today does still retain some power, but anyway, *BAM* I have to shoot this rabbit trail. America is one of the first democracies in the world, which opens up a number of good and bad things, but again, good things first. After the American Revolution, George Washington and other political leaders had to create a government, and after the Articles of Confederation failed, the Constitution was ratified, and the Bill of Rights is what makes America great in my eyes. Freedom of speech, press, petition, assembly, and religion. Right to bear arms, to trial before jury, to refuse soldier quartering, illegal search and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, etc. Just to clarify, I am interested in talking about modern America, not America through the ages because it certainly has had its ups and downs. Anyway, nowadays all of those still apply and while it can be disturbing, I am glad that I have the freedom to do all of that. In fact, I am executing my first amendment rights right now. Thank you forefathers! I am also glad that in the next election, I will have a right to vote. I’ll address voting more in the bad section, because I think the voting system is flawed, but hang with me.

Enterprise is something I’m grateful for here in America. That if I want something, I can get it if I want it, in exchange for time and money of course. The internet is another example of this enterprise. I can access Facebook, this website, YouTube, anything I want at no cost for most sites. The information available to me is great too. If I want to know something, there are very few things to get in my way. Want to check an actor in a movie? I can IMDb it. See who has won the most Grammys? I can access that to. Anything my heart desires, I can access. For a writer like me, it is also nice that I can publish my books if I want. I have four of them in the works currently, and I can get them all published and I can write whatever I want in them, thanks first amendment! In theory, again in the bad section I’ll expand, anybody can make it. If you want to be rich and famous, you have the same opportunity has anybody else. American values are also (generally) good-willed and admirable. I think I can speak for most people, at least I hope I can, when I say that if somebody needed help, food, shelter, etc. I would help them. People are usually kind and respectful in public, and I guess that’s all I can really say about the good. There is a lot of good and even though it feels short to me, a lot of the good things are very broad ideas, so overall America has a good thing going, but that is quickly changing. Now, on to the bad things.

Despite having the right to freedom, the people self-oppress. If you aren’t deemed normal, you are cast out for any number of reasons. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t live a happy life, but they are excluded from a lot of aspects of life. People with disabilities, the cliche nerds, “ugly” people, you pick. Every group has something against another group, and this is perhaps perpetuating that, but I just hate other groups for perpetuating it, so it’s a little complicated. To explain more, this largely goes with stereotypes. People have an eye for perfection, and they don’t seem to engage in something if they don’t reap any rewards without giving something up, in other words, people are always looking to take take take without giving back. People with down-syndrome are excluded and I will admit I don’t typically associate with those people either. I don’t exactly think that’s intentional, people will group up, and associating with down-syndrome people is difficult for a lot of people because it requires a lot of patience, understanding, and time. But where I see it being a BIG problem is with obese people. It breaks my heart that people are so mean to obese people. I understand being obese is a health risk, but is FAR from an excuse to ridicule them. There are a ton of different sources of where it comes from: genetics, stress, ridicule, advertisements, unhealthy food that tastes good, etc. There problem is on the surface, and the people who tease those people have their own insecurities sure, but the golden rule always applies, treat others the way you want to be treated. The same goes for “ugly people”, the number of people who tease these people is way too high. It goes on on the internet too, where they can hide. On YouTube videos where anybody can type “haha u so ugly fag” or “f*** you n*****”. First amendment rights at work there too, only I don’t think that’s a good way to use them. We also have freedom of religion and press, and unfortunately the hate flows in both directions and unbalanced. Christians are made out as hating everyone but other Christians which is so unfortunate because that directly affects people’s opinions of me, just because I am a Christian. People think that all Christians are like the Westboro Baptist Church, and I know that’s a big claim and not everybody thinks that, but a large number of people think that. As a Christian, I need to spread love not hate, and I encourage other Christians to do the same if they aren’t already. And yet, atheists hate Christians for false interpretations of beliefs. No, I do not agree with gay marriage, but that is my opinion and I will defend it gracefully. However, does that mean I wish for gay people to go to hell and never be happy? NO! What really is a marriage anyways? For me, marriage is supposed to be joint commitment to a life of love in Jesus’s name. For everyone else, it’s a party celebrating love. Anybody can have one of those. Marriage is not necessary to show you love someone. If you are gay and really love another man/woman, do you really need a superficial wedding to show that? I would say no, but to each his own. There are other ways to show love, and you can have a different kind of party to announce that love, it doesn’t have to be the idea of marriage. I have never seen an atheist hate any religion other than Christianity, which doesn’t mean thats true, but I haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s because other religions are less “in your face” about there beliefs. There is a proper way to handle spreading the Good News without “Bible Bashing” people into submission. Other religions don’t necessarily seek to convert people, but I will be wary of that statement because it isn’t true in all cases. Just to clarify my beliefs, the WBC and KKK, while flying under a Christian banner, don’t practice what they preach and certainly aren’t Christian. Twisting bible verses into different meanings doesn’t make you Christian, it’s the same thing southerners did with slaves, kings did in Europe, and I don’t belief those actions were truly righteous.

*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* Big rabbit trail. That entire thing was supposed to be about tolerance and love, and how little of that there is on the surface or deep down. I think it’s all hurt, people talking from pain and brainwashing themselves that that is what they actually think. None of us were created to hate, we were created to love. Anyway to move on, another thing I dislike about America is consumerism and this idea of social darwinism that seems to be taking a hold of modern society. Call me a socialist, but I truly believe that if everyone supported each other, we’d have a much healthier society, which is the idea behind socialism. Many European countries are socialist, and their world isn’t burning. People may say that their economy isn’t growing, but I think that is an arrogant but true statement. Their economies aren’t growing, but their standard of living is improving, their schooling is improving, they are innovating, at the expense of high taxes. They are investing in the future wisely, while we are so fixated on making today the best it can be for us, that we forget about those who will inherit the planet after us, or anybody else for that matter. We are all very selfish in America as far as our economy is concerned. I’m not hating on capitalism, but America’s form of capitalism has served it’s course, and we could learn from Germany’s capitalism and the rest of Europe’s socialism. There comes a point where you max growth out and you should focus on sustainability, but greed on the personal and corporate level is making it difficult. In America, what if we were to focus not on making millions and billions of dollars, but bringing everyone to a middle class lifestyle? Middle class is not a bad place to be. You can have a car, a house, activities, etc. Millionaires have better ones of all those. Out of curiosity, what if the entire world were to suddenly stop competing and adopt a lifestyle similar to that in an apocalypse? Making sure everyone has food and shelter and survives. I personally think we could do it. Growth is quickly heading into the danger zone, if it isn’t already there. The planet is dying and due to the incredible selfishness of everybody, myself included, nobody wants to think to the future and their childrens’ lives. We are not too far gone, if we turn around I think we can still salvage it. This social darwinism that only the strong survive is true of animals, but people are higher than animals. Naturally, the healthier will survive longer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t try to heal sick people. Think of society as a series of strings. If we are all only concerned with ourselves and those immediately close to us, we have a society that when problems arise, it falls through the holes. If one person snaps, the hole ecosystem is thrown out of balance. If we were to really socialize, and weave our society together and be selfless, we’d wouldn’t have to be so selfish. A hundred other hands can support you a lot longer than you can, and if you do that for other people, there is this entire society who won’t fall through. This is idealistic of course, but I can dream can’t I?

I hate the schooling system, see my before post and I am probably going to do another schooling one down the road. I hate the voting system because the electoral college is a bad idea. It wouldn’t be so bad if votes could be split, like in the case where a state gets split 51-49, it gives 5 votes to each candidate, assuming that the state has 10 votes, but you get the point. In this last election, Romney won the popular but Obama won the election. I don’t think that’s truly representative, and I’ve heard this from some people, living in certain states that always vote one way or another if you belong to the opposite party feels powerless. A republican living in California must be extremely frustrated because California typically goes liberal, and liberals in Texas must be frustrated because Texas typically goes conservative. That also brings up the two party system, and how it lumps up a ton of people with unsimilar beliefs into the same category. A controversial example, but in Germany, Hitler’s Nazi party was one of six or seven parties, and he only garnered something like ~20% of the vote if my memory serves me. This might not seem representative either, which just kind of questions the whole concept of a government and how it could ever truly represent the people it’s meant to. Just some food for thought.

This is all I can think of for now, and dinner is calling my name. If I think of more I will make a second one, but let me know what you guys think. What do you all feel about America and it’s present state and it’s future? For me, America is not looking bright and I am seriously considering moving elsewhere. 

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