My fellow Americans, I come before you today to deliver an unauthorized and unrequested “State of the Union.” It follows no set format. Anyone seeking a logical flow will be frustrated. It’s my blog & I’ll wander if I want to.
It may seem that our government officials were scraped from the underside of the barrel, but a little historical perspective may help. Throughout our short history, we’ve elected some of the dumbest, larcenous, and venal people to national, state, and local offices. They’ve robbed us blind, destroyed our infrastructures, ignored serious issues, squeezed more swine into barrels, sent young people off to die in stupid wars, allowed outrageous levels of poverty, despair, and hopelessness.
So, don’t feel too bad. It could be worse. Wait a minute! Maybe it is worse. So what, you’d rather live somewhere else?
Have Americans ever understood what citizenship means? John Kennedy (speaking of sleazebags who have been reincarnated into heroes) at least had the good sense to proclaim, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Silly boy. Ask rich old people to even consider sharing some of their social security welfare with others & they grow apoplectic.
A good friend of mine (conservative Republican) who’s one of the most decent people I’ve ever met recently said to me, “there’s nothing anyone can do to fix the mess this country & world is in, so I’m just going to worry about me & my family & friends.” Out of a sense of hopelessness, she’s spun a cocoon around her & hopes to emerge as a butterfly someday and not a gypsy moth.
And everyone hates us! Well, not everyone. Tony Blair thinks we’re pretty cool. It’s not a new phenomenon although Bush & Co. have taken the hatred to levels never before imagined. And the weird thing is that I really do believe that Bush believes that spreading democracy is a good thing (Christian democracy, of course. Muslims, Hindus, Janes, Jews, et. al need not apply.) But I wouldn’t make the same claim about some of the people around him. For a time when we were dumping billions on the Egyptians (mid- to late 90s), they loved Americans. Well, except for the terrorists. They don’t love us anymore.
Even the French hate us, and, contrary to popular opinion, they do remember and are grateful that we saved their butts in two world wars in the last century. It’s just that we treat other countries like vassals, and while their military might is more like military maybe, they’re still a proud people & deserve to be treated with respect.
Whoa. Respect. The State of the Union has deteriorated to the point where polite discourse means you don’t physically beat the crap out of your opponent–anything else is fair game. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? Isn’t that a Christian thing? So how come the right-wing Christians are the least likely to apply the Golden Rule? And how come the left-wing radicals have twisted it to read, “Do it to others before they do it to you?”
Economically, the state of the union is very confused. Remember Truman’s famous statement, “Somebody find me a one-handed economist so I won’t keep getting, ‘On the one hand…” Well, perhaps I paraphrase, but you get the idea. Economists can’t figure out why long-term bond rates are languishing. They don’t understand why the stock market has both feet stuck in very thick mud. They don’t understand the effects of globalization on the U.S. economy. And I don’t understand anything.
Health care: Shame on all of us.
Civil Rights: Shame on all of us.
Environment: Shame on all of us.
Energy Alternatives: Shame on the oil companies who just happen to have populated the current administration. And, of course, shame on us. Come on, people, SUVs?
Foreign Policy: Do we have one?
In a nutshell, then, my fellow Americans, is the State of the Union. The best one can say is, “It’s been worse.” Of course, one can also say, “And it could get a lot worse.”
I’d leave for Canada, but have you seen their health care system? And their snow? And they’re too goddamned polite. So I guess I’m stuck here. But I’m going to be respectful about it.
In Jameson’s Veritas.