Land of the free and home of the brave? No. Actually, we have turned mostly into the land of the whiners and the home of the cowards.
Oh, my. Not a good way to start off if I want people to read, is it? No, probably not, but I am angry. Very, very angry. I am angry that I watch people complain and whine about how bad off our country has become, and yet, how little anyone from any political stripe is willing to actually do about it. I understand that we all have our lives that we have to deal with, our mundane issues that must be addressed on a daily basis, but we must each realize that if we do not face up to the challenges that we face and take responsibility for making the changes that we want and need, then we will only have ourselves to blame when things not only do not improve, but continue to get worse.
I am not talking about the type of courage exhibited by children and adults in desperate situations. That type of bravery, which is one and the same, is in plentiful supply. This is the type of courage that leads people to want, or need, to solve arguments with violence, because they know no other solution. That’s the 4 year-old who hits his or her playmate because he or she wants the toy the other child has. We have that aplenty. We have that in so many adults that it’s pathetic.
It is the type of “bravery” that leads to our elected officials invading countries that we previously supported, and then cries of “My president, right or wrong” from segments of the populace. (Of course, for that same segment, it only applies when it is their guy in office, because they are hypocrites.) It is the type of courage that leads young men and women to join the military less because that is the path that they believe in, and more because they see no other way to escape the desperate economic poverty that they are in. Or, from the large segment of the populace that is too busy with bread and circuses to notice the strings just off stage.
There are times in this world when violence is the appropriate answer and solution to a situation. Yes, I do, in fact, acknowledge that. I am not saying that it isn’t. I do not like it. As I have said for years, I wish I lived in a world where a military was not necessary. Sadly, I do not live in that world. However, I also do not live in a world where it is necessary for the military that we do have needs to be running the School of the Americas now Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (the best training ground for Latin American and Caribbean dictators, thank you right wing America!) I do not live in a world where it is necessary or appropriate for that military to take action in a country on the pretext that it is committing human rights violations (such as Iraq, Serbia, even Germany in World War II was largely justified on the basis of the final solution though our immediate entry was obviously prompted by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), while simultaneously ignoring other countries committing human rights abuses of equal or larger degree (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, China, Mali, and others listed by Freedom House as the Worst of the Worst in 2012). This simply shows that our military is being used as a tool of policy and business, not as a tool of either necessity or of principle.
However, the cowardice that I am talking about that has taken over is the fear of taking actual responsibility for our actions in our country. If we actually acknowledge that our government is us then we have to acknowledge that we are responsible, as a group, for all those horrible things that we have done. We also get to take credit for the wonderful, positive things that we have done, and everyone wants to do that part! Most people are in favor of taking their rights, but most people are also deft at avoiding their responsibilities. There are reasons why we have the stereotypes of the “deadbeat dad” and the “welfare mom”, for example.
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