Saturday, May 6, 2017

USA: The New Banana Republic

Welcome to the new normal, which is thoroughly abnormal.  The US congress will do nothing about censorship by internet providers for two reasons:
1) The companies in question are private companies and can make up their own rules about service; 
2) Congress passed a bill that allows internet providers to sell the information they gather.

I really don't like living in the US anymore.  I was never an "America -- love it or leave it" kind of guy.  We had statements written by our founders, though, that I felt were worth fighting for and worth working on to improve the country.  "All (people) are created equal."  "We, the people" rather than "Some of us" or "Those with the most money."  "Equal justice under law."  "Freedom of religion" which also means "freedom from religion."  "The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  I used to think that everyone mattered, which was why I was a demonstrator for civil rights in the '60s.  I am white, but it was important to me that we all be able to live equally, that we all could drink from the same water fountain and go to the same schools.  I never thought I'd feel the same about being gay, but now that's come up's all right to discriminate against LGBT people if serving us goes against their "deeply held religious beliefs."  That is to say, "fundamentalist 'christian' beliefs."  I really do wish the Church of Scaffies were real and active in the US so I could discriminate against the fundamentalists because of my deeply held religious beliefs.

Do you know how much it hurts me to hope that those helping the persecuted gay Chechens don't try to seek asylum in the US?  What happened to "Give me your...huddled masses yearning to breathe free"?  They would be turned away at customs, probably after a long and emotionally painful detainment.  They are, after all, the three things Those in Charge hate:  homosexual, brown, and Muslim (by default, if not actually).  Any one of those labels are now valid to challenge one seeking sanctuary; all three?  Enjoy your flight back. And if they were granted asylum, some of the good citizens around them would probably make life hell for them.  We are a country whose leaders currently seek to cut off federal funds to cities that declare themselves "sanctuary cities."  The "golden door" referred to on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty has been shut and locked.

Corporations bowing to religious pressure is not new and I see no reason for that to change. The US isn't supposed to be a religion-based country but it is. The government is supposed be "of the people, by the people, for the people" and it clearly is not.  I'm appalled and disgusted by how low the US has crashed in the last few months.  The prospect that it will sink even deeper is probable. I'm 70.  In just a few months, I have given up hope that the country will return to its senses, that the ideals will again become possible and working toward those ideals will be honorable, and that civility and compromise will return to public discourse.  It would be so nice if we were once again "we, the people" as opposed to "us and them" ("them" said with a sneer), but I think that corner has been turned.

We've gone from "All (people) are created equal" to the ultimate rule in George 
Orwell's Animal Farm:  "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

The country is not what it was.  The country is certainly not what it could be. The country is in no way what it should be, if it still had ideals.

No comments:

Post a Comment