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Monday, November 5, 2012

Who Will Mend Our Bruised Up World?

As the United States of America holds its breath waiting for what the election dawn holds, this is a time to reflect on who we are as Americans and world citizens.

It is not a secret that the world looks at us with suspicion and skepticism if not straight out hatred in some cases. It is not true that “they” hate us for our freedoms as some may claim. In fact, every person loves “freedom” but the definition of this beautiful word differs greatly from one person to another as it does from one culture to another and one nation to another. One thing is  certain: no one wants someone else’s “freedom” imposed on him or her. People want to experience their own freedom and revel in it without any outside influence.

Following the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S., much of the world stood with America. The tragedy was so great, that people around the globe even felt American. The outpour of compassion and support were overwhelmingly positive. The sympathy was undeniable and genuine.

That feeling of unconditional support was lost later following several U.S. actions and policies that seemed to suggest that America was riding its high horse, waging wars and stepping up the reactionary vengeful rhetoric. George W. Bush’s “You’re either with us or against us” type of menacing threats did not go well around the world although they caught the ears and approval of some leaders. The country that prides itself on freedom and democracy was denying others the two precious rights it holds so dear. The world noticed the arrogance and didn’t like it. The impact of that line was so powerful that we are still held to it to this day in many parts of the world.

Then came Barack Obama who tried hard and succeeded in reaching out to the world, but not for long. Domestic politics stood in the way of many unfulfilled promises and goals. The continuing drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan remain very controversial as they net innocent lives while they target terrorists. Sure Ossama bin Laden was taken out along with many other al Qaeda operatives. The U.S. military actions remain a topic of contention and high criticism.

That’s not all, we preach about preserving the environment and yet we are among the world’s most wasteful and among the worst polluters. We wage wars on drugs and yet we are the drug cartels’ largest consumers. We demand freedom for other countries, while we legalize wiretapping, racial profiling and arresting people without a charge and only on suspicion. All this is done under the Patriot Act and the pretense of fighting terrorism. Being American became synonymous of some of the worst examples of prisoner abuse. An image summarized by Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

We seek to maintain our edge as the world's leading nation but we are lagging behind on education and healthcare. Our economy is in shambles, we are up to our ears in debt and our social security is at risk of going bankrupt.

It may be naïve to say that our world is bruised up badly and we need to nurse it back to health. But, in light of the brutal political atmosphere of divisiveness and polarization, this might be the most revolutionary thought of all.

To stop everything we're doing, make a complete U turn and head in a totally opposite direction sounds like the craziest, most unrealistic thing to do. But, do we even have a choice but introduce a completely new course of action at this important juncture in our history?

To the next President of the United States I present the following challenges:
Can we drop the spin?
Can we stop imposing our values on others when we can’t uphold them ourselves?
Can we help make peace instead of waging wars?
Can we move beyond the political nastiness and start re-building a unified nation to compete in the world instead of carrying on with a divided nation that is in an endless fruitless destructive competition against itself?
Can we cooperate more? Collaborate more? Listen more, do more and talk less?

If humans don't know what's good for them, they can be labeled as ignorant and left alone. But if they know what’s at stake and still carry on with the same mistakes, well.. That would be a desperate case of denial, mixed in with stupidity and wrapped in failure. The dawn of the election is near, will it usher in a better, healthier United States?

1 Comments:

Keep the conversation going...

Blogger gregory said...

to answer the question in the title, who will mend our bruised up world? ...... no one in the system, whichever system you want to look at.

route around.

November 6, 2012 at 1:51 AM  

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