Sunday, April 5

Blame America!

So I'm on Twitter and this comes across my screen....

newtgingrich The left blames everything on america It is one of the biggest differences between the left and the rest of us They instinctively blame us

My instinctive response was to shoot back, somewhat from the hip...

Vyan1 @newtgingrich The left realizes America can and should be better and has a responsibility to keep trying to be, the right wallows in failure

On reflection, it may have been a bit presumptious of me to speak for "the left", being as I have always felt to be essentially a centrist - so I put it you - do you "Blame America First" or do you, as I do, simply "Wish for America to be as Good As it Claims to Be?"

If you don't already have an answer, here a little food for thought while you decide.

First I have a somewhat extreme example of what Gingrich may be speaking of - a fairly intense and cutting critique of America from a decidedly left point of view - Naomi Wolf's : The End of America.

In this film, Wolf describes the ten specific steps which have historically been taken - from Stalin, to Mussolini, Mao, Pinchochet, Hitler and Bush - to close down an open society.

I originally diaried and detailed these steps when her book first came out in 2007.

Look at how impassioned Wolf speaks about America being "A Beacon To the World" - and contrast this to the reflexive gingoistic, sports-team cheerleading of America - even when it fails miserably - by those on the right.

Senator John McCain America has been and remains the greatest force for good in history. 8:47 AM Apr 3rd from txt

Like, is that supposed to be news? Is that in doubt? Did someone send out a Fatwa!

Sometimes their "We're Number One, We're Number One - USA! USA!" stuff really does begin to grate, particularly when they can't - or won't - back it up with anything!

I actually stopped following self-styled Progressive Republican Meghan McCain because of this tweet. It was just too much saccharine, my teeth started to hurt and I think it made my ankles swell.

McCainBlogette But on top of everything else, I LOVE being an American. Its the greatest country in the world and I want what's best for our country! 8:42 PM Mar 25th from web

I love America too, but I have to ask - what exactly are we the best at besides self-delusion?

We're the "Greatest"? We're Number One? Really?

According to the Global Health Council the Life Expectancy of an American at Birth, as compared to other counties where this data is available, was 78.2 years in 2007 - which Ranks at Number 38! (Japan was First with 82.8)

When it comes to which is the Smartest Nation, on the basis of IQ scores America is 22nd with an Average of 98. (1st was Hong Kong with 107)

America is indeed the Richest Nation in the world, with the highest per capital GDP of $29,605 - but it's obvious we aren't spending all that money or our health or education.

But then again maybe we are, but simply aren't getting our money's worth

When you look at the UN Health Data Index (PDF Table 6, Page 301) and compare our overall Health Ranking (which is 8th) with our spending on Health Care as a portion of GDP - We're Number #1! (in Costs, but not in Results)

Please note that Japan (which is an incredibly Health Conscious Country) spends almost HALF what we spend!)

Y'know what else we're the best at? We have the most Prisons! (Just chock full of minorities and the poor)

After three decades of explosive growth, the nation’s prison population has reached some grim milestones: More than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. One in nine black men, ages 20 to 34, are serving time, as are 1 in 36 adult Hispanic men.

Nationwide, the prison population hovers at almost 1.6 million, which surpasses all other countries for which there are reliable figures. The 50 states last year spent about $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections, up from nearly $11 billion in 1987.

Believe it or not, we actually spend more on keeping young people in jail than in school, with the almost the same results in both cases. Lousy.

Lastly, we are also the World's Greatest Debtor Nation!

As a major trading nation, the U.S. exports computers, software, movies, and food, among many other things. And it imports just about everything you can imagine. When the U.S. buys more than it sells, it makes up the difference-known as the trade deficit -by shipping dollars overseas. And in recent years it has been buying a lot more than it's been selling. After averaging a manageable USD $80 billion annually during the 1980s, the trade deficit soared into the USD $300 billion range in the 1990s. And by 2003, this figure had exploded to over USD $500 billion. That's about 5% of GDP, a level that, when it has occurred in other countries in the past, has preceded a sharp decline in the value of the local currency.

I may be admittedly generalizing, but IMO The Left Looks at the precipitous erosion of our Civil and Constitutional Liberties and says - "Something is WRONG, Here!" The Right thinks this is all just fine. Hell, they want MORE of it.

The Left sees our Health Failing, our Rivers choked with toxins, our toothpaste and toys poisoned, our education system crumbling, our deficit and debt climbing, our trade imbalance growing, our prisons overflowing and we say - "NO MORE! It's time to change direction and rebuild our nation" The Right thinks that's just the cost of doing "Business".

Rather than address the real issues and problems America has, the Right pretends anyone who even suggests that there's a problem - is the Problem!

From Michele (Queen of the Anti-American/World Currency Mongers) Bachmann, to Michelle Malkin the only problem they see with America - is that it has to many LEFTY Complainers in it.

Some of them truly believe that America won't win another War, until all the old hippies are Dead

America won't win another war until the 1960s flower children are pushing up petunias.

Radicalized, the flower children morphed into lefty loonies who now masquerade as social progressives. No matter what they rename themselves, however, their agenda hasn't changed.

They still want utopia, and it wouldn't be worth mentioning except that their naiveté has aged into a persistent denial of reality that may have devastating consequences.

Utopia? Not exactly, but we're not exactly willing to Settle on just what we have at the moment.

Truly loving America, is realizing that We Can Do Better Than This.

We have GOT TO do better than this.

Conservatives hate to hear this but despite dozens of warnings to the FAA, PDB's and midnight runs to Condi's office by Tenet, Richard Clarke and Cofer Black - we Still got attacked on 9/11, and when the smoke cleared we let Bin Laden escape at Tora Bora, then we turned around and invaded the Wrong Country, for the Wrong reasons then proceeded to neglects the dire needs of the people of that nation for 7 years, while committing Torture (Yes, damnit it was Torture), random and indiscrimanate arrests and indefinate detention of people we knew were innocent - simply because "They Might Get Lawyers and SUE US!"

Hmm, ya think?

Pardon my plain straight-up American - but who the FUCK ELSE are we supposed to blame for all this?

America did it, so America needs to FIX It. Stand up and Take some RESPONSIBILITY Dag Nabbit.

That's the real difference between left and right - the right refuses to take responsibility for anything. This isn't even an exclusively Republican set us issues, a lot of Democrats voted for the War, a lot of Democrats voted for the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, to undo Glass-Steagal, and for Free Trade without restrictions or regulation.

A lot of people messed up.

But we have a new Administration now, and a chance - merely a chance - to start cleaning this mess up. Unfortunately as we've seen with Steele, Cantor, Boehner and McConnel's stonewalling, as well as Leahy's failure to get *ANY* Republicans to even think about facing the truth, we're probably going to have to do it all without them.


You guys can keep whining about "Judicial Activists" oppressing all those poor put-upon straight people who clearly need some protection from The Constitution...

newtgingrich The iowa court destroying the sanctity of marriage against the wishes of iowa voters is the newest example of [J]udicial arrogrance

We'll be over here - "Blaming America" for failing it's citizens, and not meeting it's own ideals, and doing what we can to actually make this union - little by little - a bit more perfect.


P.S. Those old Hippies apparently Breed like Rabbits - good luck trying to wait them out.

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