For most all of my life. I have looked at America as a country that many other countries could aspire to be like.
On the many trips I took there. I saw a pretty amazing place. We watched the network news religiously because we were curious about a country that offered so much to so many.
But as I grew older, I started to realize that there were a lot of Americans who weren’t very happy with their country.
They weren’t happy that America got involved in Vietnam and cost the lives of so many of their siblings and children
They weren’t happy about how Ronald Reagan moved the Republican part father to the right and how his ridiculous theory of trickle-down economics was starting to wipe out the middle class, which was the majority of people.
They weren’t happy that America started interfering in the Middle East, which, while it fed the gargantuan war machine, only meant that money that would have otherwise gone to social programs and infrastructure improvements was no going to the military, to keep American oil interests protected.
They weren’t happy about how much influence large corporations and the wealthy exerted on politicians, which caused them to vote for large tax breaks and deregulation, at a time when the world was going through, and still is, an environmental crisis.
There has been a lot that Americans were not happy about and most of it stemmed directly from the fact that America really wasn’t a democracy in the true sense of the word. America is an autocratic business that cranks out ideas and material that a lot of the world needs.
The idea that America was some bright shining city on the hill, was really nothing more than clever advertising that made the country look good to those who might want to invest in it by bringing their businesses there.
But on the flip side of that card what you really have is ever-growing and intractable differences between the left and the right-leaning people.
You have systemic racism that’s bred into every military organization from the local police force on up
You have more gun deaths than the next 10 countries combined, and, quite literally, a mass murder every single day.
You have veterans who fought for their country whose needs at almost totally ignored.
You have a homeless population in the millions.
You have male politicians making laws about women’s issues.
You have an education and health care system that is completely monetized and stratified, so only a small percentage of people can actually afford health care or a decent education
And you have an economy dominated by fossil fuels, when a great many parts of the world are working to eliminate them, because of the severe environmental damage they do.
But most critically you have a population of under-educated ignorant people who have, through their sheer numbers become a force to be reckoned with in American society.
What all this, and much more that I have not mentioned, means is that whatever America was, it simply is not anymore. If it was the land of opportunity that opportunity comes at a cost many people cannot afford.
If it was a democracy. it certainly isn’t that anymore, simply because of the number of rich people and corporations who basically control both the economy and the political process.
It was the land of the free, sorry, but with the incredible amount of violence directed at blacks, Asians, Muslims, gays trans-gender people, and even native Americans you cannot even lay claim to that.
So what is America?
America is a bunch of corporations. A bunch of white people who resent the melting pot nature of the country. A bunch of people of different colours, races, and creeds who, every day, become more and more concerned for their safety in this America.
Having said all that I would also point out that on the other side of the coin are a lot of good Americans who see what is happening to their country through its inability to really become part of the world at large.
Is this the hope for the country? Or is this just another group that will find itself swallowed up by both all that America has become and all that it has failed to become?