Friday, February 26, 2016

Flash from the past

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.

Oh, 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.

I 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.

7 comments:

Elena LeShelle said...

Amen.

Bob Slatten said...

Sadly, it appears the pendulum is swinging back toward hate and ignorance and intolerance.
I'm hoping, hoping, things don't go that way ....

Anonymous said...

What a sad, sad reflection.
Kato

Michael Dodd said...

What makes it particularly sad, Kato, is that I am usually accused of being too sanguine. Still, hope springs eternal ...

Mitchell is Moving said...

It's chilling to think that this world is making YOU lose a little bit of that faith. These times can break ones heart ... and we're the still-fortunate ones.

Michael Dodd said...

But you, Mitchell, who now live in Spain, know that the passing away of empires does not mean the passing away of happiness, delight, love and life. People still laugh and love, work and create. There is suffering, loss, pain in our world. But life and people go on -- because we are not whatever our national or ethnic or religious affiliation may be,\; we are much more, something better and more enduring. Thanks be to G-d!

Ur-spo said...

So much for the notion being God's greatest nation that will lead the world in moral virtue all wish to emulate.