Where is this great, exceptional nation “they” keep talking about?

The United States is a shining beacon of morality, setting the standard for proper behavior the world over, they say.

The inspiration to other countries seeking to transform their societies into thriving cultures.

Our nation is a source of hope for the hopeless and for those oppressed by tyrants yearning to breathe freely.

What happens when great men come together and devise the perfect system of governance? The United States.

They say this and more about this country.

“They”, whoever they may be, are so wrong that all the money of Bezos, Buffett, and Gates couldn’t make them right.

We are a land of democracy. Well, we were before wealthy individuals began throwing billions at their candidates of choice, leaving “we the people” with little say in the course of the nation. Well, no, that’s not quite right. We weren’t a land of democracy when women couldn’t vote. Nor were we very democratic when African-Americans were seen as not quite human, and thus not able to vote. It’s more truthful to say we’ve never been a democracy, and we’ve been trying to fool ourselves and the rest of the world. We’ve seen varying degrees of success on that.

We (technically, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) dispense advice to other countries on who should be their president and what form of government they should have. As if we have any grounds to tell others how best to run their country. Despite many claims to the contrary, the United States is not a country that should be emulated.

  • Our so-called law enforcement officers kill Black, disabled, mentally ill, and Indigenous civilians with impunity,
  • our elected officials (across partisan lines) are increasingly viewed as catering to the interests of corporations rather than we the people,
  • we have a “President” who thinks Right-wing extremists (think ‘alt-right’, KKK, Nazi’s, Neo-Nazis’s, and Confederate supporters) are very fine people and openly admires dictators,
  • maternal mortality bucks the worldwide trend, rising up rather than downward,
  • hate crimes are on the rise,
  • the cost of living in many major U.S. cities is rising, while wages are stagnant,
  • more than half the population would be screwed if they were hit by a $1000 emergency,
  • rent is increasingly not affordable,
  • racism is endemic,
  • male violence against women and those perceived as women continues to be a major public health concern,
  • rape continues to be a high-cost crime for victims (who are largely women) and society,
  • conservative politicians created a climate of hysteria around the non-existent threat of transgender people using public restrooms as a way to push back against any advances of queer rights,
  • an entire political party has become dominated by extremists and zealots and characterized by a refusal to compromise, a contempt for facts and evidence, and a deep disdain/outright hatred of swathes of the population,
  • we have a massive problem with gun violence and with many politicians in the pockets of the gun lobby, insufficient political will to do anything more than offer thoughts and prayers
  • our government has acted–from the beginning and continuing through today–in ways that belie any claim to be just, fair, proper, humanitarian, moral, legal, and/or ethical. In fact, our government is responsible for a host of barbaric acts and atrocities, including the near genocide of Indigenous people of the Americas, the kidnapping of millions of Africans and the subsequent enslavement, subjugation, and exploitation of they and their descendants, at least two incidents of American soldiers slaughtering civilians during wartime (400 South Korean civilians during the Korean War and 300 Vietnamese civilians in the Vietnam War), multiple deadly airstrikes that killed civilians in Afghanistan,  the torture of Iraqi soldiers at Abu Gharaib, a litany of crimes committed by United States soldiers during World War Two, the human rights violating, Allied-led mass expulsion of German civilians in the wake of WW2 (I literally have to stop here bc I could go all night)
  • income inequality has grown to such an extent that it is arguable that we’ve entered a second Gilded Age
  • while there is agreement across party lines that climate change is a big problem, our “President” is a climate change denier who has worked to reverse efforts by President Obama to tackle the issue
  • student loan debt is a major problem (one that has led some people to consider–and others, to actually carry out–suicide), and is strongly tied to the dramatic rise in college tuition since 1980
  • healthcare in this country is byzantine, inefficient, costly, and inaccessible to swathes of the population and despite the majority of citizens supporting Medicare for all, the political will to make such a monumental change to our healthcare system is largely non-existent. In addition, we have a political party and it’s representative in the White House who have opposed and continually sought to eliminate one of the few measures that has brought healthcare to millions who did not previously have it before–the Affordable Care Act

That last one, incidentally, is one of the reasons why the Republican Party is evil in my book. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, more than 2.9 million citizens of this nation would lose their health insurance (and the effects of such a repeal would reach beyond loss of healthcare coverage). To knowingly and purposefully eliminate needed healthcare coverage from people when not only is there no reasonable justification offered, but no replacement is even seriously put forth? Mitch McConnell may as well get on national tv and tell people he is thrilled to increase suffering, misery, and death among the citizens of this nation.

Why?
Someone tell me WHY THE FUCK this country should ever be considered great or exceptional?!

Someone I know is facing two conditions that are equally life threatening, cannot afford treatment for either, and has no health insurance.

How THE FUCK does that fit with the United States being an exceptional country where ppl are free to pursue their dreams…where life, liberty, and happiness are available to all…where the so-called “American Dream” is a lighthouse in the distance requiring no more than grit, willpower, and elbow grease?

HOW THE FUCK can anyone ever claim we are so great when across every metric that matters, our “greatness” can best be measured by the suffering and misery we inflict upon one another and the rest of the world?!

 

 

 

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Where is this great, exceptional nation “they” keep talking about?
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