Friday, July 4, 2008

Freedom From Fantasy

On the 232nd Celebration of its Independence, Americans need to re-evaluate the enormous disparity between what they profess as their ideals, and what they actually practice. They need to examine the conditions under which independence was gained, how it has evolved, what it represents realistically, and why it has brought the country to its current state of disarray and divisiveness. Americans need to determine the true extent of the erosion of its economic, political, and military powers as compared to the emerging states of the east; and to breakaway from the state of denial in which they have wrapped themselves so forcefully, that has imprisoned them into a world of fantasy.

Americans are inherently a good and decent law abiding people. They are a patriotic and proud race who built a nation through hard work, ingenuity and perseverance. But over the years, a complacent attitude, borne out of being the mightiest, strongest, and most prosperous country on the planet has crept into the national psyche' which they continue to believe and rely on as constant and unchanging. Yet change has taken place, but there seems to be a refusal to acknowledge this. They cling to the old notions of what the country was and work towards realizing their dreams on the basis of that non-existent notion. And here they find disappointment. Americans are capable of many things, and surely they are capable of overcoming entrenched attitudes that are rooted in hate, fear, insecurity and doubt, to get closer to their ideals. They need to extricate themselves from the fantasy of their existence.

What does independence mean when the country is dependent on foreign oil, and the most "powerful man on earth" has to belittle himself dancing arm-in-arm with the Arabs begging for oil? What is the price of independence when 80% of consumer goods are imported? How can prosperity be proclaimed when it owes other countries trillions of dollars where the major portions are held by its former communist enemy China and its ambivalent Middle Eastern allies; where its budget deficit is 3 trillion, its currency in constant decline, its citizens losing their homes to foreclosures - saddled by debts and without savings; its manufacturing and construction industries experiencing job cuts for 6 straight months; and its infrastructure falling apart? If it is the land of the free, how can a country with 5% of the world's population have 25% of the world's prisoners? If it is the home of the brave, then why is it so scared of a lone African American or a powerful white woman who will work within the framework of a constitution it has proclaimed to trust and believe in? How can a nation be free when its mind is imprisoned by intolerance, bias and prejudice?

The United States ironically, is bitterly divided and polarized by racial discrimination, religious differences, political segmentation, and socio-economic disparities. This is increasingly evident as the election draws near. Yet no concrete steps have been outlined for its resuscitation. It needs to find its voice, the one that echoes the true ideals for which it was founded, and from there remove all the iron bars that have embedded the attitudes which hinder moving in a single direction for the benefit of its people as a nation. Not as a party, not as a political segment, not as a race, not as a quest for unfulfilled glory; but as a country of good and honorable men and women. It must understand that all the freedoms it espouses are equally applied to all people all over the world. And, the first of these that it should achieve today is freedom from fantasy.



fake lottery tickets said...
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Kuttappan Khan said...
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The Fitness Diva said...

Wow. Great post, Durano! Bravo!

I agree that we largely ignore the irony of being in this free society, which is not quite as liberated as you might think, based on all the things you mentioned, most especially our every increasing debt.
You left no stone unturned on this one!

And to "fake lottery tickets"...well, if you're not 'entertained', you'll be sure not to come back, right? Promise! lol
Unnecessary criticism is just that - unnecessary!

Anyway, as we celebrate Independence Day here in the US, I will certainly think about how far we've come as a nation, as well as how much further we still need to go to actually become this great role model we already assume ourselves to be for the rest of the world.

Enjoy your weekend, Durano!

Zhu said...

Beautiful post... and so true.

The USA is the land of plenty but also the land of inequalities. The more I learn about our Southern neighbors, the more I wonder how they got there.

A nice land with natural ressources, educated and smart people, yet poverty, race issues etc.

Hope we can all me forward...

Zhu said...

BTW, just delete the lottery guy comment... looks like a spam. ;) said...

Happy birthday America.....I'm not a serious fan of this post D. I think it's not off the mark....I don't wave the flag because.....I wave the flag because I'm proud. I'm not proud of our current leader (oxymoron) but nonetheless, it's what we chose. I am proud to be an American when it's not the in thing to be these days. Happy birthday America and may you live to see many many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!



durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

I have always held the view that America is largely a conservative society, and that the liberal attitudes and values that have reached a significant level of the population is still in the minority. I also have this assessment that there are more centrists than there are leftists or rightists at the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

It is also hard for me to imagine any one person being totally conservative or liberal, or totally rightist or leftist. Each person has a defined set of values that would have elements of conservatism and liberalism. Or would that make them centrists? All these labels are confusing, such that it is better to be tolerant of others beliefs and be accepting of what, in our estimation, is right and wrong for us. In some cases, that may make us lean to the left or the right, but does it really matter? What matters is what would make a country move forward to uplift its citizens and provide them the opportunities to make a better life.

The one thing that affects America's credibility are the ironies that are allowed to proliferate and exist that runs counter to their professed ideals. Also, the complacency about being number 1 that makes many take the future for granted. Or, a kind of entitlement that disregards how actions will affect others as long as "I have the lifestyle I want using the resources of my choice, for the purpose that I want".

I'm glad you want to consider pondering what the US still needs to do, as it has surely made a lot of assumptions about being a global leader.

Thanks and have a nice weekend too! :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

Thanks for the kind words.

From the beginning, its forefathers prepared the Declaration of Independence that was a beautifully worded document, but those same framers owned slaves.

America has a lot of achievements and has done a lot of great deeds, but it is also plagued with contradictions, conflicts, and ironies that persist to this day. And, there seems little resolution being done or thought about. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,

Happy Independence Day to you and to all Americans.

It is a country that every one of its citizens should be proud of. The current 7 year mistake that has taken on monumental proportions is just another blot on the fine history of men who have occupied the office.

The point of the post is to awaken the citizens to the reality that exists, and do something about the deterioration that continues to erode the country's capability and capacity to produce greatness. To see the contradictions that have surfaced because of the way its constitution has been interpreted by way of laws and its application in the criminal justice system; and to be aware of the racism and discrimination that divides and disunites the populace which makes moving forward in a robustly competitive way nearly impossible.

America has undergone and overcome a lot of difficulties, but has managed to become a world power because of the resolve of its people and the dedication of its generations. But changes have taken place and the old notions cannot be considered entitlements nor be taken for granted that it will always be there.

The country is in trouble, and much as any American loves his country, he has to see the realities clearly and accept that these are happening, and must be determined to correct the deficiencies, especially when sacrifices are called for. They cannot say "I will live my life, that is not my concern". They have to contribute since the US is lagging behind as time moves on.

Claims must be based on facts, and if the facts no longer validate these claims, it should be repaired to make it the truth. And the country must learn to unite again as one nation with one voice, moving in one direction.

That is the point of the post, not to denigrate the country.:-) --Durano, done!

Chuck Butcher said...

In from Swift, a good post, well said.