As Others See Us


Once again I find myself quoting someone else’s words … but sometimes, other people have a way of expressing exactly what I’ve been thinking and it seems so much easier to let them tell the story. Thus, following are the comments made by a contributor to the Pubic Forum of our local newspaper:

We were recently honored to host a group of Canadian family.

I thought it interesting to hear their views on our crazy American situation. Here is what I heard.

  • They do not understand how we idolize the rich and powerful and allow these elites to get away with anything. Where is the common value of law and order for all.
  • They compared the American culture to a Roman Colosseum where the masses are trying to survive everyday while the 1% watch the fights and cheer them on from the stands.
  • They all agreed that it’s odd that the GOP and MAGA want to blame every little thing on Biden and Dems. When in fact the world over has the same or far bigger problems. Like the cost of gas. No president actually has the power to control the cost of fuel.
  • They mentioned the American culture of exceptionalism. Years back this was much more true than it is today. Look at the numbers and America is far behind in many areas like children’s education, poverty, and health care. Many other advanced countries surpass America in these basics.
  • “We don’t get the gun thing”. Yes Americans have a strong gun culture. But they thought our founding fathers did not mean the right to bear arms was above the rights to freedom and safety which are even more important. They had a couple mass shootings in Canada the last 10 years but virtually none compared to us because of their strict gun laws. Laws that did not impose on hunting.
  • Our culture “God and Country” go together with what they see as the ‘White Christian’ majority. The irony is these same Christians absolute opposition to other religions. Our country was founded on freedom of religion.

The contributor ended by saying he’s lived in many other countries, but he still prefers America and urges us to “keep it a strong democracy.”

I agree.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The Doctrines of Republicanism

Andrew Sullivan said this in a blog posting on The Daily Beast:

That’s how I explain the current GOP. It can only think in doctrines, because the alternative is living in a complicated, global, modern world they both do not understand and also despise. Taxes are therefore always bad. Government is never good. Foreign enemies must be pre-emptively attacked. Islam is not a religion. Climate change is an elite conspiracy to impoverish America. Terror suspects are terrorists. When Americans torture, it is not torture. When Christians murder, they are not Christians. And if you change your mind on any of these issues, you are a liberal, an apostate, and will be attacked.

The idea that a Republican could get elected as president in 2012 and we would have to live by these doctrines scares the living sh__ out of me!

So You Think You Want Smaller Government

Fareed Zakaria, author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN, made an interesting comment in a recent article (link below):

” … the reality here is that the American people want a certain level of government. It’s something of a fantasy to believe that they really want a radically smaller government than the one we have.”

Along these lines, I came across a letter to the editor of the local newspaper that contained some excellent points — most of which few of us consider in our day-to-day living. I’m quoting the letter here.

There was a guy who got up early one morning and made coffee with safe drinking water he drew from the tap from the city of [name]. He ate a bowl of cereal and pasteurized milk, not worrying about getting sick from it because it was inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shortly after he finished his cereal, the school bus picked up his kids to transport them to their free public education.

He drove to work on paved roads maintained by city workers in a car in which he did not have to worry about his safety because it was inspected by government regulators. He performed his job in safe conditions because his workplace was regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He was paid a living wage because U.S. Department of Labor employees regulated his workplace.

He got paid breaks in the morning and the afternoon because laws enforced by employees of the [State] Bureau of Labor and Industries guaranteed him this right. His employer needed him to work two hours overtime, for which he was paid time and a half because of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

After work, he went to a tea party meeting at a local restaurant where he could dine without fear of food poisoning because government inspectors ensured that restaurants comply with laws and regulations to protect public health. In that meeting, he stood up and complained, “I pay way too much in taxes, and government never does anything for me!”

If you would like to read more about what Fareed had to say, read the full article, “Can Obama, GOP Really Cut the Deficit?” His observations on the possibility of compromise between the Democrats and Republicans are thought-provoking.