That is what we have become in this country. Complacent and self-serving…with a good dash of intolerance for other’s thoughts thrown into the mix.
The complacency, while wrong, is understandable. Most of us…those young enough to have grown up and lived most of our lives in the post-World War II era…have lived lives of ease when compared to the American generations that came before.
We live in homes that averaged 2330 sq. ft. in 2004 (National Assn. of Home Builders), compared to 1400 sq. ft. in 1970…and 983 sq. ft. a generation before that. Levittown, NY, the country’s first “suburb”, built to accommodate returning GI’s from WWII, was made up mostly of 800 sq. ft. (25×32) houses, and was considered a “model” community.
Families had one car, the number of homes with color TV in the United States didn’t hit 50% until 1972, and mom had to cook…REALLY cook…up until a generation and a half ago when Swanson Foods introduced the first “TV Dinner” in 1952.
All this “stuff”, stuff that is now normal, or even necessary for some, is to serve a shrinking family, or household, size. Overall, the average number of people per household decreased from 3.14 in 1970 to 2.57 in 2004.
More and more “stuff” for fewer and fewer people…microwave ovens, big screen TV’s, a cell phone in every hand…and on and on and on…and these things have become not just normal, but “necessary”, even entitlements to some…and most of it handed to us on a silver platter by generations gone before.
Yep…the complacency is easy to understand.
But what about the self-serving attitudes, the “I’m only worried about me, the other guy can take care of himself” actions, and the intolerance for other ideas…where did that come from? Did something happen that turned us from “good” people into “bad” people? Has there been something in the air…the water…that has made us…Americans all…an “us against them” society?
I don’t think so.
I think a perfect storm has occurred…a storm where two fronts met…and, a storm that threatens to destroy America as we know it, as our founding fathers intended it.
One front of the storm has as one of its elements something that used to make this a great nation…the fact that we are a melting pot, a combination of a little bit of everything that came together, worked together, to improve the whole.
Then there is the other front.
Now, self serving career politicians talk about how great this “melting pot” is, all the while intentionally using our differences to divide us.
We have a president who campaigned as being above racial divides, then without knowing any of the facts, calls the Cambridge, MA police stupid and racist because they arrested a black friend of his.
In a land where all people have equal opportunity, these politicians divide us economically and socially when equal opportunity doesn’t become equal results.
They play us against each other economically, the “lucky”, “fortunate” rich against the “unfortunate” poor…with never a word that maybe, just maybe, the “rich” get rich through good personal decisions, like staying in school and getting a good education rather than dropping out, by reinvesting income early in life into their businesses…businesses that provide jobs…rather than spending it on a new car or the biggest flatscreen TV at WalMart and a case of beer every weekend.
They play us against each other ideologically…with liberal “bedwetters” on one side and conservative “Nazis” on the other.
If you want to protect this earth God gave us, you must be a bedwetter.
If I want to protect the life of an unborn child, I must be a Nazi.
Because you respect the gift of earth that God gave us, you are a tree-hugging weirdo, an anti-capitalist, are against all wealth, have total faith in a nanny-state federal government…?
Because I respect the gift of life that God gave us, I am a racist, an anti-Semite, a facist, a Luddite…?
No, not really. While both liberals and conservatives have idiots in their midst, most are normal people that simply have strong beliefs.
Then why do those in power exploit those beliefs, using them to keep us divided? Well…you just answered your own question…to keep us divided.
So long as American citizens…you know, “we the people”…fight among ourselves, so long as we throw insults back and forth, so long as “we the people” keep a suspicious eye on each other, we are distracted.
We are distracted from what is really important…the stealing of our country, our heritage, our way of life…not by each other, but by THEM.
The politicians…the foxes in the henhouse. The people who buy our votes with pork rather than with good governance. The people who give more representation to lobbyists on BOTH sides than to “we the people”.
And they do it because WE LET THEM. Their distractions, by both republicans and democrats, keep us from saying what should be said, meant, and enforced at the ballot box:
“We don’t work for you. You work for us.”
We don’t have to allow special interests to destroy this country. “We the people” are the biggest special interest group, the most powerful special interest group, in America…if we wake up.
In 2009 there are 13,428 registered lobbyists in Washington, and that is a lot of lobbyists…but the total number of citizens of the United States, over the age of 18, and otherwise eligible to vote, was 202.7 million people.
Each lobbyist, regardless of how much money he has to spread around, regardless of who he represents, can only vote once.
“We the people” have them outnumbered. “We the people” can take this country back…if we will.
Call your congressman. Write your congressman. Vote. Tell them, in no uncertain terms:
“We don’t work for you. You work for us.”