Monday, August 17, 2009

Marching Toward Marginalization

I am exceedingly frustrated by the current health care debate in the United States for a couple of reasons. One of these is that it has stopped me from thinking and discussing about important international issues on which the fate of our country also hangs, such as getting out of the recession like other countries are doing, improving relations with China, figuring out how to deal with Russia, and, most importantly, having a successful election in Afghanistan. I am really upset about Karzai right now who is acting like another Chalabi (remember, the guy who Bush Jr. wanted to be President of Iraq). He just invited a murdering warlord back after he was exiled. He is becoming a professional developing-world democratic leader (i.e. the election is great as long as I win).

The health care debate is frustrating because it is highlighting the issues I have been having for quite some time with our entire public discourse system. As I mentioned in previous posts, the level of fragmentation in the media has led to us all believing different "facts." People were glad to accept these "facts" without thinking, meaning that no one questioned the idiocy of the concept that the government would actually kill people's grandparents. This is absurd. If people would step back and think about it for a bit, then they would recognize that "death panels" make no sense and that something must be fishy. The reality of today is, however, that Republicans want to win and will do so at any cost. I find this frustrating, as I found it upsetting when some liberals I know were upset (implicitly, never explicitly) that Bush's "surge" worked because they had to admit he had been right. Because of the win at any cost mentality, we are finding that we are increasingly divided. The Republicans WANT to break Obama, and they see this as a way to do it. Partisanship is good for business.

It is also good for the media. I will keep this point short: Lou Dobbs repeatedly brought up issues about Obama's citizenship, even after the question was long settled. Why? Keeping debates alive keeps pundits (our hired opinion-makers). The fragmentation that exists in the media means that they and everyone around the debate benefits from people screaming at each other in town-halls. We are bringing our country to its knees because we cannot sit down and recognize that: There is a problem, we need a solution.

In closing, I would basically like to rehash a point I made earlier. America has been made great by individuals working to build themselves and their communities. Solving their problems through sweat, blood, and tears. In the past, with several notable exceptions, most of our problems could be resolved through individual work. Today, however, the problems require a vast collective effort to solve poverty, climate change, conflict issues, health care, education, falling competitiveness, etc. Our rugged individualism makes us scream angrily and in frustration falsehoods at public meeting, while countries with a collective culture began to overtake us.

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