The World's New Gay State

America The Selfish.

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 4, 2009

Baby Boomers.  You knew them as the “me” generation or maybe the “feel good” generation.  As they aged, they have apparently become the “to hell with you” generation.  A demographic that was going to change the world has, well, have you looked around lately?  They have made a colossal mess of things.

The Town Hall meetings in the summer of 2009 may have put the final nail in the coffin of America’s “can do” philosophy.  Instead of masses turning up to support and demand equal health care for their fellow citizens, they embarrassed themselves and our country by their crude, selfish and heartless greed.  Why is it that those with insurance want to deny it to others?  The answer: A lack of concern for our brothers, our neighbors and the worry it might cost them something.  Why is it that health insurance is expected to be paid by small businesses, breaking the financial backs of many small entrepreneurs before they have hardly begun?  The answer:  greed, or better yet, “I have mine and to hell with you.”  After all, our employers are not sent a bill to pay the tolls that I have accrued on our national highways.   They don’t pay for my homeowners insurance so why on earth should they have to pay for our health insurance?   Health care in the 21st century is indeed a well earned right in a country that likes to think of itself as a super power.  For all of the taxes I pay and tens of thousands in property taxes, a grade-A Congressional-level health care plan should be mine, compliments of Uncle Sam for all of the ways we support this country.  Why is it the biggest financial meltdown in decades (we’ve heard ‘since the Great Depression’ so many times that we are numbed to it) is blamed on hard working families trying to fight for a few crumbs of the American pie.  The answer:  Can you say scapegoat?  I am a pro-business man but corporations have raped this country and abused our citizens for so long we often don’t even see it anymore.

There may be few innocents among us but the big picture answer, it seems to me is selfishness.  I have mine and to hell with you.  This is the core belief of the crowd that loves Rush Limbaugh; usually the lower to middle class republicans with a libertarian streak who may struggle to hold it all together financially yet they are taking their cues from a man who makes upward of $90 million a year, pedaling his hatemongering to them.  And these listeners who apparently have nothing better to do during the day when his radio gig is broadcast across America, eat up each and every talking point he utters.  Limbaugh is nothing if not a top notch salesman, and as the PT Barnum of the modern era, he convinces his ditto-heads to march to his beat.  Their collective refrain is often the same old “well, life is full of choices and if health insurance is so important to you, you probably shouldn’t be creating art that no one wants but go to work for corporate America instead.”

There are so many things wrong with this thinking I don’t know where to begin.  Corporate America is flailing about because even they cannot compete internationally due to their stifling legacy costs that no other enlightened country should impose upon their businesses.  And do we really want to smother the creative ingenuity of risk-takers who dare to dream a vision that could enhance all of our lives and someday change the world; even just a little bit?  Just think of the capital that could be unleashed into new research and development if companies big and small did not have to commit enormous resources for health care costs that are not their responsibility?  Think of the explosion of entrepreneurs and the creativity and ingenuity they would unleash.  They are men and women who would be free to live their dream if they didn’t feel somehow ball and chained to their corporate masters for health care in the event they or their loved ones become sick?  Millions of lives with dreams deferred that in other countries would not pose such a detriment.

There is a deep divide in America.  The safety net for the average citizen is fraying away and becoming so thin as to be almost meaningless.  As a Gay man, I have lived my entire adult life as a first class taxpayer and as a second class citizen, so I am used to receiving little in  return for my contribution.   But all Americans, Gay and non-Gay alike deserve so much better from their government.  So, haven’t you ever wondered where does all of the money go?  Why are other, more advanced nations able to provide for their citizens in ways that we can’t.

I love America, if not out of habit from a half of century of supporting it.  But if we can all stop chanting “USA! USA!” long enough, why have we fallen compared to the rest of the world in home ownership?  Why are our kids doing so poorly in international tests?  Why does the average American have such a shorter life expectancy?  Why are our children the sickest in the world and infant mortality the highest of the industrial world?  Why do Americans toil away at their work many more hours than our European compatriots yet we perversely celebrate the hours of our lives passing away that could better be spent with our families and community?  Doesn’t this equate to some sort of corporate or national brainwashing that we should gleefully work more hours to receive less, and yet feel it should be bragged about?   Is that a capital “L” on your forehead or are we being suckered?  Why are we such a violent nation, yet insist on “clinging” to our guns?  What are we the best at, other than the capacity to end all life on planet earth, that we are compelled to shout “USA! USA!”

The world use to admire us.  Many nations respected us.  Now they resent us.  Some still fear us.  Many nations loathe us.  But saddest of all, many countries pity us and it is most difficult to accept their pity.  We were a great country.  We had achieved greatness, and raised the bar to historic proportions.  But the world is watching as we decay from within and our superiority becomes nothing more than shallow slogans.   We will go down defiantly and the process of becoming “one of many” will be ugly and painful to watch, as we will not accept the dethroning of the United States with any grace and dignity.  Howard Dean was right when he cited Paul Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers.  He and his presidential campaign took a substantial body blow for speaking the truth.  Great powers do fade away.  I believe the world will come to mourn the day when the USA is not a steadying force.  For better or worse, the USA is in decline and I fear it will ultimately be replaced with a power that will not sit well with Americans. 

 We have silently allowed our Chinese bankers to become our financial masters, who enable all of our vices, not the least of which is our addiction to oil which we attain from powers that turn around and use our dollars to kill fellow Americans.  Yes, it is a complicated world, but it has also become devoid of any morality.  Our politicians pander to the masses, having no backbone of their own.  They all make a grand fuss to deny me the right to marry in my own country on the grounds of some twisted moral grounds, but go about being an accessory to the murder of our men and women in uniform in a distant land that does not directly endanger our nation.

Martin Luther King was right when he said “We all may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  It is time for Americans to start acting like it, all rowing in the same direction.  We can all see what selfishness has brought us.  Why don’t we all aspire to serve our communities first and foremost.  We have in the end, nothing left to lose.  Oh, and great job, Boomers!  I can only imagine how proud you feel of the world you created.

 

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