I love my country just as much as any other patriotic American. The American spirit is that like no other – a spirit of innovation, power, and independence. Many great things have come from great minds of Americans. The land is both as diverse and as beautiful as the people and cultures that inhabit it. The history is colorful, rich, and exciting. And the freedom that our country stands for – there is no other like it. But we need to wake up. Wake up. Wake up and smell the reality. Search out and find the truth. Don’t believe everything that is said to you. Don’t just trust somebody because they seem trustful or have the same viewpoint or support your beliefs. Take what people say to you, take it in with some thought, and digest it. Actively choose to accept or reject a notion based on some basic logic or personal investigation. We Americans have become complacent of our ignorance to the truth, to how we relate to the world, and to how we are being manipulated. We have become susceptible to advertisements, big media, and dogmatic beliefs that affect our opinions on life, politics, and the world around us. We willingly accept our ignorance, choosing to accept without a second thought what we are being told – to follow what we feel is most comfortable, unable to do what is uncomfortable. We refuse to learn new skills for the fear of gaining new responsibility. We refuse to learn from the past, our own mistakes, and the mistakes of others. We have become lazy. We want everything done for us, in small digestible bits, now, and easy.
The average American voter isn’t the brightest cookie in the cereal box. Many people can’t find their way around a world map, let alone keep track of world events. Most are more concerned with the daily lives of celebrities, the next American Idol, and this week’s episode of Family Guy (not saying it isn’t a good show). Case in point, the majority of the recent news has been about a celebrity: Micheal Jackson. What happened to news about Iran’s recent elections? What happened to China and India’s emerging space programs? (For some balanced world news coverage, try out some NPR.) Many Americans can’t name the three branches of government and believe that the President can suspend the constitution. More often than not, the American voter will vote for their party than for the candidate. They do not know, nor care, where the candidate stands on issues, and will often believe misconceptions about the opposition. Obama is a clear example. To the uninformed this black man who has the middle name of Hussein is very scary. Often, people evoke close minded racist, ignorant, and misguided opinions. Many believed that he wasn’t even a natural born citizen (going back to this – and if you still think he isn’t a citizen, check your facts). Obama hasn’t been the shining star he promised, either. This is an inherent property of most politicians – they will not always deliver what they promise. It is not a good idea to stick with a party, agree with everything that the candidate does or says, and to blindly vote, vote, vote. Be informed. Voice your opinion. Don’t be afraid to disagree, but don’t shut out any credibility or positive actions.
Advertisements for food, clothing, cars, loans, and anything else under the sun flood commercial television. They influence what we buy, what the station says, and how public policy is portrayed. Often, just because it is on television, you can’t believe it. Case in point – Mrs. Shona Holmes: the poster child for the Right Wing PR group Patients United Now, a project of the Americans for Prosperity (the group who denies that global warming is a threat and claims that Al Gore is the “white devil”). She claims that she had a brain tumor and that the Canadian health system was going to make her wait so long that she was sure to die and she had to come to America for treatment. Of course, this is a doctored up story – she in fact had a brain cyst that, while threatening some serious symptoms if left untreated, wasn’t all that life threatening. What she won’t tell you is that her treatment came at a cost of $100,000. She and her husband had to get a second mortgage to pay for this; just another sign that the American health care system needs an overhaul. Oh, and the Canadian medial system didn’t fail her. In fact (if you read the whole post), many Canadian and U.S. doctors agree that the American system is complete rubbish and the Canadian system isn’t a failure. But, of course, people are willing to believe this commercial and won’t get off the couch and do some personal research. Then again, even the “Fair and Balanced” folks don’t do research either. According to Hannity, ham costs 79 cents a pound in most grocery stores. Maybe in 1985, Hannity. He was attacking the Obama administration for purchasing ham at a cost of $1.50 a pound for food banks and soup kitchens. This is actually cheaper than a pound of ham at Kroger. $1.49 cents (without a Kroger card) cheaper. Do your research. Don’t believe what these talking heads want you to believe (and don’t get me started with radio talk shows – yes, I’m thinking about you, Rush Limbaugh).
I am unhappy with my country. I love it so dearly, and wish for the best, but people just won’t wake up and think for themselves. They are oblivious to what is happening to them, they are oblivious to other cultures, and they are oblivious to what they look like to others. And they don’t care. As long as they get their mocha in the morning, as long as their Hummers still run, and as long as taxes are low (don’t get me started on taxes, but I view them as a good thing – read this), they don’t care. Maybe I should move to Denmark. It’s a much happier place.
Wake up. Wake up. Wake up and smell the truth.