America looks to be trending downward.
I've come to think this during my time living in the United Kingdom. I've survived just over a year in the "scary socialist" environment and think my views have begun to change.
To tell you the truth, surviving socialism has been a blast. I pay a bit more in taxes, but the benefits far outweigh this little increase. I still pay a higher percentage of my income than all of the 1%.
During this post you may think I hate the USA. I don't and am proud to be an American, but I'm finding it hard to align myself with most of what I see happening.
There are a lot of things going on, but I will only focus on three for the moment.
If you only read part of this post, this should be it.
My heart goes out to all the people who have been affected by the recent acts of terror. It's with a heavy heart I think about you. We cannot give in to the "terror."
But, America seemingly has, and it makes me sick.
First off, we are actively trying to refuse people entry to the "Land of Opportunity." The place where anyone's dreams can come true. This is getting less and less true everyday, but I digress.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
- Emma Lazarus (on the Statue of Liberty)
America has forgotten that we are a nation of immigrants. A nation of refugees. How can we actively tell people to "piss off" after America was founded in this fashion?
Some will cite we need a better "vetting" process, but that process is already 18-24 months long. Take a look at John Oliver explaining it in terms we all can understand.
Most people don't know that the USA has let in over 2,000 Syrian refugees since 2012. I can say with 99.99% certainty that no domestic terrorism has occurred because of these people.
These acts of terror have also given the GOP, specifically Mr. Trump, the gall to say we should start tracking Muslims. We should start a database and make all of them register. Hmmm, this sounds familiar. Does "Nazi" bring up any thoughts.
Let me remind you of the definition of Liberty. It's one of the things that defines, or used to define, America.
Liberty (ˈli-bər-tē) - the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely
To be honest, I'm embarrassed. Embarrassed by our lack of compassion. Our lack of understanding. Our lack of decency.
Another benefit of living in the UK, that scary socialist place, is the absence of guns. Normal police don't even carry them. The number of murders due to firearms in 2010 was 58. Compare that to 8,775 in the USA during that same year. I fancy my chances of survival from a knife wound over a gun wound.
Update 1: It's come to my attention that I may be a little biased as I don't include data relative to populations. I don't think so, but let's remedy that anyway. The percentages, calculated using murders due to firearms / population, corresponds to the year 2010. Lower is better.
- UK - 58 / 67.77 million = 0.000000855%
- US - 8775 / 309.3 million = 0.0000284%
The US's percentage is 33 times higher than that of the UK.
Mass shootings in America have become commonplace, it seems. It's absolutely horrible that these things happen. To the news agencies and politicians, they are only worth their time for the next few weeks, then discarded. Shooting after shooting nothing changes. For the people making decisions, it didn't happen.
During the few weeks of reporting these tragedies garner, the scapegoating beings immediately. Everyone is so quick to say, "it's really mental illness, not the gun's fault that those people are dead."
This just so happens to be the biggest crock of shit. I would encourage you to listen to John Oliver's segment as he states facts; Not just that stupid shit you see on FOX News.
While you're at it, why not take a look at some facts about gun violence from Neil deGrasse Tyson.
There is obviously much more to say on this topic, but smarter people than I have already done so (see links).
Update 2: It's unreal to think that this actually happens and we turn a blind eye.
Yet another active shooter situation in the US. Here's year to date. pic.twitter.com/MAYZ4bWWss— Rosey, III (@RoseyyIII) December 2, 2015
Our New Leader (Coming 2016)
Preface: I classify myself as an Independent
With the national election less than a year away I've become increasingly worried about who is going to become our next leader. Who will represent me, along with millions of others, in our vast world?
It's a crap shoot when looking at the GOP and insert higher power here help us if one of them gets elected. They all suck.
God* have mercy on your soul if you listened to the first two debates.
Here's a recap if you didn't.
"I know you are, but what am I?" - Donald Trump
"I want to ask questions about stupid shit" - All moderators
"I'm not going to talk about issues. You know what? Fuck Hilary" - All candidates
In both debates the candidates resembled children and facts were elusive. I'm am not comfortable with any of them running my country.
One topic seemed to be hot, Planned Parenthood (PP). They actually gloated about defunding PP. Why would you do that? They help a bunch of people.
When getting back to the facts, we can see that PP is only partially funded by the federal government. Money that comes from the government can only be used for abortions in three cases. Rape, incest, or danger to the mother.
PP offers a vast number of other services. A fact check done by NPR, a non-biased news source, confirms this and details the distribution of their budget.
Honestly, if you're a woman and vote for the GOP, I cannot help you. You've just voted to limit the rights you have over your own body. You voted for someone who will not try to get you equal pay. You've voted for someone who doesn't have your best interest in mind.
Don't get me wrong, Democrats don't have everything right, but they actually try to tell us about a plan for strengthening our country.
To Sum It All Up
Up until now you'd probably think these views represent the majority of America. Thankfully, they don't, or taking an educated guess based off the President for the past two terms, they don't.
They represent the loud, obnoxious people. People who's voice transgress the USA. This is how America is seen abroad. Are you happy? You shouldn't be.
We could, and should, do better.**
* I do not condone any religion when talking about politics. Just a saying
** No, this doesn't mean starting another war