Monday, July 4, 2016

Week of 07/04/2016

240 Years Later And We Still Don’t Get It
This week’s article will be released on July 4th, 2016; the 240th birthday of the United States of America.
I know we’d like to think that our forefathers were great and noble people that “gave” us this country and that we’re just squandering the “gifts” that we were given from the sacrifices made almost two-and-a-half centuries ago.
Conservatives and neo-conservatives seem to operate on the delusion that America was “bequeathed” to us from God in the same way that Moses came up with the Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus, and that the only way we can “keep” this country is if every single person and every single law and every single policy and every single item and every single structure and institution follow their specific religious standards.  Oh, and they get to determine whether or not we are all “following” those standards.  And if anything “bad” were to happen to us – terrorist attack, shooting spree, Stock Market collapse, plague, Donald Trump’s hair getting messed up, another Kardashian coming into the world – then it’s “our” collective fault for all of us not being “devout” enough.
To conservatives and neo-conservatives, freedom is not only a “blessing”, but it is a privilege that they give and take away in the name of their version of God.  We kiss their asses and pray the right way to their ideas of God and we bury ourselves in their false images and pretenses, and we’re “allowed” to exist.  We resist or question their authority or we challenge their standards, and we’re branded as criminals.  Our “privileges” are taken away from us.
And to complete the delusion, they want us to pretend that this is not only the way that it has been, but also the way that it was always “meant to be”.
Don’t just take my word for it!  This is in their own rhetoric!  This is what they tell people!  This is what is in their own books and their own radio programs and their own editorials and their own cable news channels.
Liberals really aren’t any better in that regard.  They also have their standards, and those standards have little to do with any semblance of equality or fairness.  They seem to operate on the delusion that there is something “missing” and something that is “owed” and that they need to “right the scales” until everything is “fine”.  And, again, they’re the only ones that get to determine what that “balance” is.
Yes, they do talk about freedom, but not in the way that cons and neo-cons do.  And to them, it’s not “set in stone” and adherent to a specifically-personal interpretation of God.  No, if they do embrace freedom, it’s dynamic and subject to evolution... just as long as they get to control the evolutionary process.  Like breeders that come up with all of those purse-rat dogs.
We don’t get it.  We still just do not get it when it comes to what freedom really is in America.
I’ve discussed what freedom is six years ago in a three-part series available on YouTube called “What Is Freedom”.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to do so, and to tell your friends about it as well.  And when you see it, you’ll understand why the liberals and conservatives – and especially the neo-conservatives – just do not get it when it comes to what freedom really is.
And... this is going to come as a shock to some of you, but many of America’s “founding fathers” had no idea either.  In fact, I seriously doubt this is what they even wanted in the first place.
Let’s get brutally honest here... America’s founding fathers weren’t saints or geniuses or visionaries. Not all of them anyway.  They were elitists.  They were the upper crust of society.  They pompously believed that they would speak for all of the 13 Colonies when they decided they would become a new nation called the United States of America.  Yes, they were white, male, privileged landowners and businessmen who didn’t like what was being done for the benefit of King George III and Parliament.
You know what else?  A lot of them really didn’t know what to do after they decided we’d form a new nation.  That’s why a lot of the people who were signors of the Declaration of Independence didn’t go on to create the Constitution of the United States.  (Never mind the fact that some of them died in the meanwhile or else suffered misfortune.)  None of them said “Hey, we’re going to break from England and form a new country with a new set of rules and leaders and piss on everything the British monarchy stood for.”  A great many people in these colonies wanted everything to be just as it was then, just under new management.  They simply didn’t want England to get all the gold while we got the shaft.
We had to be sold on the idea of a new system of governing.  That’s what the Federalist Papers were meant to do.  They were selling points.  We had to be sold on the idea of freedom.  And even then it was only meant for an elite few in this new country.  We are talking white male landowners, and usually of the dominant religious belief of the area.  Women, children, slaves, poor people, it was same old-same old.
That is the utter hypocrisy of it all.  The very people who were shouting “Freedom” at the time only meant it for themselves and their friends, not for everyone.
Fast forward 240 years, and we still don’t get it.  Yes, we now say that “freedom” means for everyone regardless of race, creed, color, income, or gender.  But we still have a hard time applying it to everyone.  The bible-thumping, Wal-Mart-shopping, Fox-News-watching, talk-radio-listening Donald Trumps of the country think that it shouldn’t apply to Muslims or to the LGBT community, never mind to atheists and agnostics and free-thinkers, or for that matter, liberals.  The kale-eating, Starbucks-slurping, SUV-driving Hillary acolytes think that it shouldn’t apply to same aforementioned bible-thumping, Wal-Mart-shopping, Fox-News-watching, talk-radio-listening Donald Trumps of the country. 
And yet both groups will grab an American flag and grill up some kind of protein and watch fireworks and say “Happy Fourth of July”!
And in doing so, they are making a mockery of the very thing that we are supposed to celebrate and cherish in America.  And they’ll be very proud of themselves in doing so.

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