I can remember wondering as a child what it would be like to grow up in a place like Great Britain or Spain, a country that had once led the world in military, cultural and economic might. What would it be like to live in a country that was no longer what it had been?
Sadly, I need no longer wonder.
we still have the most powerful weapons systems in the world, but that
doesn't seem to matter in winning the kind of wars we have gotten bogged
down in lately. Our economy, while strong, is hardly the envy of every
other nation, many of whom have far better social services like health
care and education for all their citizens. Our political process has
become a mishmash of media circuses and religious bullying on all sides.
We appear to be falling behind in science and technology as government
funding declines for anything that is not directly applicable to the
military and as corporate funding for research slows. The gap between the
rich and the poor -- for that matter, between the rich and the middle --
grows daily. Congress has not only slowed itself to a standstill, it is determined to block judicial nominees even to the highest court in the land solely for uncertain political gain. A country that once prided itself on providing equal rights
to all its citizens now has presidential aspirants proclaiming the
need to once again deprive same sex couples
of the right to marriage that they have already been granted. Every month another entire nation grants civil recognition
of same sex unions in some form, if not marriage itself, while powerful American politicians -- and in some cases, entire states --
fight to push the faggots back down. The most popular candidate for one party's nomination to the highest office in the land thinks that building a wall to keep people out is the way to make America great again. Culturally we arrived some time ago at
the age of pseudo-reality television and exploitation of human cupidity
and stupidity, and now a lot of us want to crown a representative of that exploitation lord of the land.
A significant part of the world despises us,
another chunk looks on us with saddened nostalgia for what we were. Our enemies laugh. No
doubt some of our friends weep.
We plunge on ahead, thinking we are leading the charge, when in fact the charge has left us behind. We are plunging in the wrong direction.
still remember very clearly one of those childhood ponderings as I rode a bike down
the dirt road on which we lived. That America would always be the proud
land of freedom and of integrity seemed inevitable.
How wrong I was.