We’ve Done This to Ourselves.

I tire of humanity.  I look around me and see only the foolishness of monkeys flinging poo at each other.  I thought it was easy to put the pieces together, to see how horribly we have screwed things up, and yet I have found myself alone more often than not, trying to fight the good fight.  And while I refuse to give up, I am exhausted.

We live in a “free” country.  The United States was founded on the principles of freedom and hope for a better future.  Granted, we’ve had a rough go of it, and have made more than a few mistakes along the way, especially with the likes of slavery, mass genocide, wars, and the list goes on, but somehow, we have found a way through the mire, we have found a way to persevere.  I often sit in awe at the resilience of mankind, Americans no different here.  Our spirit is strong, and we find strength we often don’t realize is there in order to press through to the other side of whatever it is we may be facing.

We all have a story.  Each of us with a past, some good, some not so good, but a story nonetheless. The most compelling stories are those fraught with struggle, and the story of America is not any different.

However, it must be noted that we are at a crossroads, really more of an impasse.  Collectively, as a nation, we have backed ourselves into a corner.  In the struggle for the need to be right all the time, we have done the unthinkable – we have systematically been giving up our freedom.  Yes, the very freedom we cherish so much.  The same freedom we have forced on other countries throughout the world.  THAT freedom.

Our desire to be right has shown itself in politics in the worst possible way.  I’m sure I could go back and pinpoint the era in which this all began, probably in large part starting with Teddy Roosevelt, or perhaps Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  High counts of executive orders, the start of the social welfare systems, respectively – I’m not saying these things are the entire reason, but in seeking causality, I find these to be the beginning of what we see now, at least in larger part than most others, including the likes of Lincoln.

Keep in mind I am using social welfare only as an example, but the fundamental elements of what I’m about to say work across the spectrum.

I am in no way saying the social welfare systems FDR put in place are bad in any way.  As intended, these are great ways for those who are lacking in funds to be able to keep the lights on, or put food on the table, or, in winter months, for the luxury of warmth.  All too often we take these things for granted.  Having grown up poor, I got to bear witness to many of these things firsthand.  But, we have created a system wherein only a few of those who have found themselves in need of such services have found a way to rise beyond them.  We’ve created a system that feeds into itself by perpetually keeping people dependent.

Once we’ve established dependency, there is very little we can do to mitigate the damage, and at that point, the best we can do is sustain.  This is why we see poorer states voting toward the democratic left, because they sustain the programs the majority of the people require to provide for their families.  Inherently, this isn’t a bad thing, but the dependency on it is.  However, we cannot look at one side without looking at the other…

The republican right, in direct opposition to the left, is equally at fault.  They wish to remove these social programs outright, citing the dependency, but not offering a means to fixing the underlying problem.

You see, the dependency is merely a symptom, nothing more.  The problem goes much deeper.  Inflation of costs associated with living have risen exponentially while average wages have remained stagnant, at best, and in most cases, has dropped (when adjusted for inflation).  Basic sustenance is a problem – when a family has to forego their electricity in favor of food, we have a problem.  Many of these families aren’t excessively spending, often trying to be wise with how they budget…but let’s face facts, there is all too often too much budget left at the end of the paycheck.

This all feeds back into the issue of social welfare programs, which are designed to aid in trying financial times.  But, as you can also see, the dependency is created by the lack.  A simple raise in minimum wage cannot fix this problem due to inflation – the costs of goods required to live (housing, food and clothing) will skyrocket in response to higher wages in order to compensate for the losses companies will inevitably face.  More social welfare programs exacerbate this problem by creating more dependency.  It’s all a vicious cycle.

Here’s how it all ties in.  The meat to the potatoes, so to speak.  Americans at large seem to have this grand ideal in their heads as to how all of this is supposed to work.  Everyone is right.  And in their effort to prove they’re right, they form groups who share their opinions and are then diametrically opposed to those who think differently.  Enter politics.

The Democrats and Republicans use this antagonistic energy between the people to feed and grow stronger from.  And this is how they end up controlling us.  They’re using us against us, and how do we respond?  Instead of responding in unity, we buy further into the rhetoric and further allow them to control how we feel and how we react.

The worst part of this, however, isn’t the control as much as it is the methodical, systematic, and willing removal of freedom.  Allow me to explain.

Our freedoms are considered inalienable rights.  Yet, through our desires to see social aspects of life become law, we are encroaching (in some cases completely alienating) those rights.  We have become far too politically correct, everyone is easily offended and needs safe spaces in order to function because our feelings are hurt by others being mean, or not agreeing with us.

Fact:  Assholes exist.  Now get over yourself.  And who’s to say you’re not the asshole for expecting everyone to think just like you?

These things are what have brought us to where we now stand.  We collectively elect someone who thinks like us, and they in turn write and pass laws that back up what we believe to be right.  This becomes law and my rights are infringed upon.  Then, we don’t like some of what that guy did, so we vote for the other guy, who does the exact same thing, just from the other angle.  Soon, the social aspects of life will all be regulated by law, which will inevitably lead to no one having the right to speak freely, or worse yet, to be able to speak openly regarding the injustices of the government.  You can see it, can’t you?

We have legislated ourselves into submission by submitting ourselves to the rampant stupidity of extremes.  We have willingly, if foolishly, asked for this.  When the sheep willingly lead themselves to the slaughter out of fear, guess who’s having mutton for dinner…

 

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