Onward, Angry Americans.
If you are an American, a republican, democrat, third party, no party, of any race or creed, rich or poor- an American….. You most likely find yourself angry about something; at least it sounds like you are. If you are from elsewhere, living in America, instead of being angry, it very well could be that you are grateful, because you know just how bad it could be. If you are among those living here, but are from elsewhere, what you may or may not know, is that many Americans are angry that you are here; in the United States: A country composed mostly of foreigners, (whose native population has been nearly wiped out by those foreigners) that despises foreigners? I wonder what the Native Americans have to say about this and what they might have to say about foreigners having to learn the native language.
http://rt.com/usa/native-american-immigration-man-500/ Image: Courtesy of http://www.upworthy.com
Most Americans would say they hate paying taxes, but perhaps secretly love and take for granted all the things tax dollars provide-like fire fighters, police, the Interstate system, public education (despite all the cuts, it’s still all many families have and depend on), medicaid, medicare, social security, etc. Most Americans say they are angry that their religious and/or spiritual rights are being infringed upon, and whether you find yourself in the majority or minority most say they are unhappy with having too little or too much religion in government (that pesky “Separation of Church and State” goes both ways, another topic for another day…which is soon to come, in Part IV)
Many of you say you are angry about Obamacare. Many are angry that unprecedented and unlimited 2nd Amendment rights might be up for grabs, with past regulations making a comeback. Many of you are angry at the 2010’s “Do-Nothing Congress” for their willful obstruction http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-06-01/commentary/31943730_1_job-openings-government-spending-job-creation; seemingly more intent to stand in President Obama’s way than representing their constituents, creating jobs, and working in a bipartisan fashion to achieve even small successes, or to find “sweet spots”. The republican-controlled house even rejected a bipartisan effort to pass the “American Disabilities” Treaty” having turned their cheeks to former Senator (and former GOP presidential candidate) Bob Dole’s powerful and moving story, seen here- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/us/despite-doles-wish-gop-rejects-disabilities-treaty.html?_r=0 Some of you are angry at President Obama for drafting the Affordable Care Act, and are fearful of the impending changes that will take place soon. Some are angry at President Obama for smiling too much when perhaps, he shouldn’t, or for taking a breather (as every other president has done from time to time) And some are just angry at President Obama for being…..alive. Whether you like the man, the President, the human being or not, he has worked; And he has worked hard, as the other Presidents who served before him. In four years, President Obama has aged significantly. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/lifestyle/the-age-of-obama/index.html
I hear many of you saying that you are angry that your country’s strained financial resources are being poured into a region of the world that harbors a great deal of hostility toward Americans, even though it is your country’s blood, lives, and gold that are being spent in an attempt to protect and build democracy (but also, a United States, status-quo foreign oil-driven energy policy)-friendly infrastructure. If you are from elsewhere, especially the occupied Middle East, you are probably reluctant to trust a nation whose one helping hand is shaping your government and future, but whose other hand is hidden. You ask….What is that one doing?
Our costly entanglements are making many Americans, very angry; rightfully so.
The U.S. government uses its military and financial resources to further the national, financial and resource interests of the United States. The United States military’s primary objectives are not necessarily altruistic, but rather are to protect, secure, or advance the interests of the United States. The idea, as admirable as it may seem, that the function of the U.S. military is to provide pure humanitarian protection, act as forces of altruism, where money and aid are given, sans multi-million/billion dollar business/corporate dealings in the most dangerous regions of the world where immeasurable injustices and atrocities of humanity have been and are being carried out (far worse than anything that is taking place in the currently occupied middle East) is naive and forces one to ask “If xy and z are happening at astronomical levels at points A, B, C, and D (Rwanda, Sudan/Darfur, Uganda, Somalia, Syria, etc.) then why have U.S. forces occupied and points Q and P, when only z is taking place there? The answer is simple: If through military intervention, and advancing our best national security interests, liberation comes as a residual effect, (as it did with the liberation of Jewish concentration camp prisoners) then the liberation is the take away,but not the military objective, as Hollywood and some of the history textbooks would allow us to believe. “The U.S. government did not pursue a policy of rescue for the victims of Nazism during World War II. Like their British counterparts, U.S. political and military leaders argued that winning the war was the top priority and would bring an end to Nazi terror. Once the war began, security concerns, reinforced in part by anti-semitism, influenced the U.S. State Department (led by Secretary of State Cordell Hull) and the U.S. government to do little to ease restrictions on entry visas.”
I am choosing not to discuss the Iraq war, which is an obvious culprit of American anger, or the cost of crude oil (which, mistakenly, a decade ago- government officials went on record saying the price of crude oil was thought to go down once the U.S. “stabilized” Iraq and the middle east- big mistake) This a topic too messy and over-exposed to sort through, and it’s riddled with too many invalid reasons (met with invalid conspiracy theories) as to the elusive “Weapons of Mass Destruction” crusade, the “War on Terror” and the quest to capture Saddam Hussein, etc. The web and media has been basting in the “What caused what” for over a decade now, and we still haven’t any clear answers as to why we have been perpetually, and intensely entangled in Middle Eastern affairs. It’s fair to say that America’s presence has NOT brought down the price of gasoline, but to the contrary, has increased it by about 250%. See here, the rising costs of gasoline, natural gas, and electricity over the past decade. http://www.americaspower.org/sites/default/files/Trisko%202013.pdf
All Americans are angry about the skyrocketing price of gasoline (except for the those who reap the benefits of Wall Street speculators, Big Oil companies- that have sucked billions out of our pockets and from our government in the form of subsidies) and are angry that this is perfectly legal. Most are angry that everything thing just costs so much; feeling completely powerless to a thing about it. (Psssst. You CAN do something about it. Vote politicians into office that will do something about this.) The problem is…politicians willing to actually do something are few and far between, and it take more than just one or two congressmen and women and/or senators to draft pass legislation. We are still waiting for Hope and Change.
It has taken me decades to understand that military intervention to secure and advance American national interests is a brute force war effort; the story of the totality of the ugliest and darkest truth is rarely ever told; not just what our brave troops have experienced and endured, but the orders they were given; what they had to do, what the civilians who found themselves in the country of their military enemy, this case, the U.S., endured, how they died, how many of them died, and most importantly, why they died. There has never been an American movie made about the Atomic uranium bombing of Hiroshima or the Atomic plutonium bombing of Nagasaki, even though those (arguably unnecessary) two events of mass murder, never known before or since, allowed the United States to claim dominance over the entire world. (Especially over Russia). It has been argued, that if we had allowed the Red Army to invade Manchuria and Japan before Hiroshima. the war would have ended (but it would have been on Russia’s terms)
Although phrased as criticism of the American government’s decision to enter wars, or vague foreign entanglements, America owes it to its citizens to never interfere in the affairs of other nations, unless, as mentioned above, it (America) is advancing its own interests…even if that interest is just plain old…stability. Now we move toward the “War on Terror” slippery slope;The War on Terror, motivated by Osama Bin Laden on September, 11th, 2001- has cost this country its economy. In a decade, the economic sweater has begun to unravel. Not because of lack of consumer confidence, not because of grief (that grief was met by the triumphant support of fellow Americans) it has unraveled because of the War on Terror. In many ways, Osama Bin Laden achieved his objectives, even in death. He lured America away from itself; Away from its citizens and America has suffered greatly, economically, because of this.
At any rate, the fact of the matter is, it’s too much to see nations, suffering genocide and famine, at the hands of war criminals, and so to do something meaningful about any of this, balancing power vs. short/long-term gains- a world power must not throw all its weight around, just for it to bounce back. How could we not want to help a nation in need? How could we not want to step in when a natural disaster happens? For some, it’s a given we do this. For others, it makes them distrustful of our intentions, as a country. A student of mine asked “Why do we give so much aid to other countries when we have so many poor here?” I didn’t have an answer for him. I only reminded him we would need (and have needed-remember without France, we would still be colonies of Britain) this, should something happen here. An example of a semi-recent humanitarian/military strategy, all things being relative, and noting that it took far too long, Rwanda is somewhat of a U.S. intervention “success” story, once it was discovered that among Rwanda’s resources, is enriched uranium, it was in the United States best interest to stabilize this country, and ever since, Rwanda has has made great strides, at the United States’ and Great Britian’s expense; 40% of Rwanda’s government is funded by the United States and Great Britian. Please read “DARFURISM, UGANDA & U.S. WAR IN AFRICA-The Spectre of Continental Genocide”-by Keith Harmon Snow; http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads/html-233DARFURISM%20UGANDA%20AND%20US%20WAR%20IN%20AFRICA%20.htm
If you are an American, you’d probably be angry to know that as of November 07, 2012, due in part to Citizens United (A ruling handed down by the Supreme Court that allows unlimited amounts of money to be directed to “independent” political entities by donors who can remain anonymous) the 1,115 Super PACs have reported total receipts of $661,460,193 and total independent expenditures of $631,384,012 in the 2012 cycle. That is over $1 billion. That isn’t including actual campaign contributions to the DNC, RNC, and individual political campaigns, those totals are a whopping record-breaking $6 Billion plus” .http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/5-things-election-night/index.html Visit: http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs to see each individual Super PAC (representing both sides) and how much money (perhaps that could be better utilized for economic investments, building jobs and infrastructure?) has been wasted on airtime and attack ads in an attempt to further thwart and manipulate the political process; The process by which, as a free democracy, we elect our leaders. Increasingly, especially since Citizens United, this process has actually been reduced to a mechanism to set the conditions for particular corporations to buy their way into national policies (specifically and especially our regulatory and energy policies) to ensure the continuing of high profit margins and to squash new competition. The overwhelming proof of such a drastic upswing in their influence is the DOW dropping by over 300 points as a spiteful kneejerk reaction to the reelection of President Obama. But has recently hit record highs (which makes President Obama the worst socialist in American History) The Koch brothers, went on record, just two weeks prior, threatening lay-offs and firings should Gov. Romney lose (which he did) http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/koch-industries-sends-pro-romney-packet-employees-195709471–election.html
While speculators on Wall Street and projected earnings are a fluid and risky business, “sensitive” (insert cough, eh,em here) to many factors, in connecting the dots to policy, Super PACS and their anonymous donors are lobbyists’ groups on steroids. Special interests, whether it’s the typical right-handed NRA, Big Oil, Coal, Right-to-Work special interests groups, or the liberal green energy, women and minority special interest groups, etc (why are human beings special interest groups?) The idea that our political system is rigged should terrify you. All it takes is for one one bad seed…….
If you are a republican, democrat, independent, liberal, conservative, green party, libertarian, tea party, coffee party, beer party, pink lemonade party, whomever it is you identify with, the existence of Super PACS should make you angry, as it would seem most of our politicians are all bought and paid for by entities that have nothing to do with you, and in many cases are working against YOU, by paying for votes on policies that cost YOU more money.
See Part 3