A certain conservative CNN contributor who shall not be named lest a bitch feed his already out of control ego is asking the question What’s Right with America? on the CNN.com website today.
Now, a bitch knows where he’s going with this shit. He’s going to dismiss criticism of America by calling it unpatriotic and then he’s going to point out all the really cool and truly amazing shit going on in our country followed by some poorly written conclusion proclaiming that we’d all be better off if mouthy liberals would dive into that bag of Soylent Green then chase it with gov’ment Kool-Aid.
And there will be some who find inspiration in the notion that what is good is more important than what is bad.
A bitch isn’t inspired by intellectually lazy shit, so I won’t be getting anything out of it but a dull headache developed whilst pondering how Aaron Brown got booted from CNN but some asshole implanted with an RNC microchip got a steady gig.
Anyhoo, what the asshole with the steady gig is missing is that most of what is right in America was made that way by people who had the courage to point out what was wrong.
And I’m not talking about people who gently suggested after multitudes of flattering comments that we may want to form a more perfect union/end slavery/give women the vote/give all Americans the protected vote/give veterans benefits/protect older people from starvation/educate our chil’ren or any of the other positive happenings….you know, if we find the time and are so inclined.
You have to be delusional or well programmed….along the lines of Michael Slavery Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You People Medved…to embrace that flawed theory of how shit gets done.
In the real world, Americans who notice something is wrong have to point it out to those who could fix it…and then file a lawsuit or march or do both…and then make it a campaign issue followed by more marches and maybe some media…followed by lobbying then marching then Congressional hearings and/or a legal test case followed by appeals and more appeals until the high court takes the case…and if the high court fucks up, they go back to the beginning and start again.
Getting to right from wrong takes time, dedication and the courage to point out that shit is fucked up before it achieves fubar.
The issue before us isn’t whether there is more good than bad going on in America…the issue before us is whether we are doing our duty as Americans when we ignore what is wrong to fix a glassy ass gaze on what is right.
Ask not what is right with your country--ask what you can do to help right what is wrong...
Friday, July 11, 2008
Some thoughts inspired from the internets…
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And to those who would say, "America: love it or leave it", I would reply, "Love it enough to fix it."
So true iseulttheidle.....we are in so much trouble in this wonderful country gone sour where to begin.
For me personally, there has been a lot of thought lately on what is patriotism and who are patriots. It's been so twisted by some as to just what makes someone a patriot.
We hear so much criticism aimed at those who oppose the war in Iraq. When did it become patriotic to support war and unpatriotic to do everything within ones power to avoid it? When did it become unpatriotic to stand up against an administration and it's policies which have and continue to send us down a spiral of doom? When did it become unpatriotic to question the decisions made in DC? And on and on.
Love it enough to fix it says it all my friend.....let's hope there are enough of those who truly love this country to fix what is broken.
It just occurred to me, thanks to iseulttheidle: no wonder so many prominent conservatives have gone through so many divorces.
And where did all their conservative skepticism of government go, anyway? Because I always get the feeling, when questions like this are asked, that the point is to praise the government and those who run the government more than anything else that could be talked about, (like the landscape, the people, or the history).
Great post...I'm just sad that now you've likely been labelled un-American by the Powers That Be and they are reviewing the Patriot Act right now to see if they can find a loophole to write you into the No-Fly List. All (somewhat) joking aside, people say I'm not old enough to know what really counts as far as America's best interests and what it means to be a world power, etc. I'm 29. I might not know the ins and outs of geopolitical economics or international law, but I know what feels right in my heart, and what's logical in my mind: I know that being labelled as a dissident for speaking your mind, peaceful rallies being quelled by riot police, and the fact that the government can revoke your citizenship with no chance for appeal (Patriot Act, read it people) is WRONG, and it's scares me that speaking up against that is, according to Them, pretty damn close to domestic terrorism.
Brilliant. This essay should be required reading on an annual basis for every kid beginning in 6th grade until 12th grade graduation. Also add in college students of Journalism and Communications. They need it baaaad.
It's simple, moving, to the point, and defines good citizenship. Thank you.
Dear gawd, I love this shit! Please don't ever stop writing.
On point again. I first read your work in the Chicago Sun-Times after you saw John Adams and nothing made me prouder than to here someone take a stand on what it means to be a "true patriot." Keep doing what you do.
"Ask not what is right with your country--ask what you can do to help right what is wrong..."
So true. Haven't seen the show, but I can only imagine the BS spewed on it by him as he ignores what is really going on in the nation.
Sorry to change subject, although idiocy of news media remains at forefront. Oh GAWD. ABB, have you seen this?
From the McLauglin group: John McLaughlin said: "Question: Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that someone like Obama, who fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo -- a black on the outside, a white on the inside -- that an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?"
Might be time for a redoubling of efforts to sell the "acceptably black" t-shirts--
"...We are in so much trouble in this wonderful country gone sour where to begin."
As my sainted grandmother would have said, "Start where you are. Do what you can."
I agree. It blows my mind that conservatives are now on board with an ever-expanding scope and size of government when just 10 short years ago, many self-proclaimed conservatives stood in staunch opposition to this and regularly blamed the Democrats for exploding government's scope with an array of social programs.
People within my own family made the switch somewhere along the way. One day they claimed to be Libertarians and we shared some common ground, then BAM, they're praising every soundbite sent down from the current administration and claim to honestly believe that G.W. Bush is "doing the best he can."
It's like Winston Churchill once said:
"Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party."
Yep. Principles be damned these days apparently.
One of the best opinion posts I've read lately!!! Thanks for a truely good'un Shark-fu!
Thank you, Shark Fu! You said what absolutely needed to be said.
Real patriots are never content with the status quo.
Don't worry, as soon as a Democrat's in office, it'll be okay to criticize America again. Remember when W got elected and suddenly the people who'd been doing everything possible to bring down Bill Clinton for eight years suddenly decided criticizing the president was unpatriotic? (or maybe I should say they "remembered" it, since they certainly felt the same way when Reagan and Bush Sr. were in office).
LOVE this. So true.
I was told by my Conservative Republican Inlaws *cough* last week that what is wrong with America right now is that not all Americans are supporting the President (meaning me). I almost pissed myself.
Well while it will be okay again to be objective if the dems make it in, I can't see where things will actually change that much.
I've been following elections since the Kennedy/Nixon run for president and while up till Nixon became president in the 70's both parties were willing to work with each other for the common good, for the most part it's so partisan now. There are good people from both sides of the aisle but it just seems too often it's what is good for my party rather than what's good for the people.
We can go to a grocery store and have more choice of breakfast cereal than we do candidates for office. Both major parties pass laws which limits 3rd parties and Indies from participation in the process including primaries and presidential debates. Unnecessary procedures are placed on 3rd parties and Indies to run for office and on and on.
After awhile one realizes that with each change of party in power comes the beginning of the cycle of corruption, scandal and partisanship which continues until the people have had enough and the other party takes over.
While I admit the 3rd party candidates leave something to be desired this election cycle...candidates which are contrary to their own party platform like Barr and the Libertarians there are some excellent Independent candidates running for office like Justin Johnson who is running in my congressional district.
Our founding fathers....Washington, Jefferson and Adams for example warned us of the destructive nature of the two party system. It's time to make the political playing field a more level one for 3rd parties and Indies on every level of our political process.
Shark-fu, since you refused to identify him by name, I can assume you mean Glenn Beck. If I'm wrong my comments may be irrelevant, but Beck never does say that it is wrong to criticize America. He takes issue with Chris Satullo saying things are so bad that we should mourn rather than celebrate Independence Day. Maybe Satullo's right, but you should make that case, rather than put words in Beck's mouth.
Your comments about the 2-party system are spot on. I am generally libertarian leaning and (like most people of my political persuasion) despise Barr. I will probably write in Ron Paul, but whatever I do I will not vote for a candidate from either the Tweedledee or the Tweedledum party, unless, like Paul, they differ significantly from the party line. Voting to ratify the system is IMO the true wasted vote. Votes lost to third-party candidates surely don't mean less to the empty suits of both major parties than the votes that they know they'll get from their blind partisan followers.
"We can go to a grocery store and have more choice of breakfast cereal than we do candidates for office."
So true. And you know more about the contents of the cereal and where to easily find the information about the cereal in an unbiased way than you do about the candidates.
In the classes I teach, I always do a couple lessons on a quote Washington made about the destructive nature of political parties and then have them analyze it for the accuracy/inaccuracies regarding the political system we have today. Interesting how high school kids seem to understand the detrimental aspects of a mainly two party system, but the grown folks running the government don't.
There are plenty of examples of multiparty systems throughout the world that work fabulously, but for some reason that is seen as backward to us.
meadester and stuck in my head....thanks for your spot on comments. I'm impressed with stuck teaching her kids..that is so cool. In our history class nothing was ever mentioned of these quotes but then the only black american written about was George Washington Carver.
There are several state groups and organizations (including Missouri) which have formed to work toward reforming our election laws to level the playing field and some excellent legislators from both sides of the aisle who work toward that goal. If you're interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the many ways to level the field is to change the primary system to be more inclusive of 3rd parties and Indies. There are several methods being used in other states including Top Two, Fusion and my favorite IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) With IRV voters rank the candidates in order of preference and regardless of party affiliation.
Theres a great site for information on ballot access laws and legislation http://www.ballot-access.org/
On the national level, making the presidential debates more inclusive would help. Also giving more teeth to the Federal Elections Commission and state campaign finance commissions would really help keep the money problems with campaigns down. Heck, take the mighty $ out of our elections and our system would be much better off.
With a third of our fellow citizens now identifying as Independents or members of a 3rd party, it's time to make the elections process more representative.
Can anybody spell Parliament? Can everybody say it? Get up on the downstroke (of the pen / blog) and re-form the structure of this class-based system to one which includes some degree of representation for everyone, and forces coalition, cooperation, and concensus between our "representatives". The people who voted for Nader, or Perot, or any other person outside the "Party to which you are not invited", deserve a place in government.
Washington is a fairy court full of ass-kiss-and-covering aristocrats, self-serving hypocrites, and sycophantic corporate turd-flies. Think about moving the Capital, just to shake thing loose. Let's start with New Orleans, and see how quick that mess gets fixed. Then over to Mississippi for some jobs, then anywhere our citizens are hurting the most.
Think BIG. Gaud knows the problems are huge; so must be the solutions. Real change, not spare change. Institutional re-formation, modernization, Democratization of the ownership Republic; shit that'll make your hair stand on end with genuine excitement. Dream, imagine, and learn from what other people have developed in the 232 years since this model was "brought forth".
I totally agree with the idea of a parliamentary representative system, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Third parties are supposed to be ignored (at least that is the way it seems) so that the almost similar ideas of the majority two parties are heard. And even then, only the views of the party that wins are the ones that are represented in the cabinet and with the president's people. In the Houses, you can't even hear the voices of the third party candidates.
There should totally be representation based on the votes. That would not only be fair, but would also allow people to not feel bad for voting for the third party or not feel guilty for voting for the lesser of two evils. It would open people up to learn more about all the candidates, not just the two "main" ones.
Trying to convince some change in the system... not likely to happen any time soon.
Ask not what is right with your country--ask what you can do to help right what is wrong...--Best thing I have read in a month of Sundays Shark Fu.
Thank you sweet woman.
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