The knights are restless and for good reason.

Exceptional US

It has been quite awhile since my last post to this blog. Maybe it’s due to my nights being sooo restless that I lack the energy.

So, to paraphrase the Passover Seder’s primary question, why are these nights different from all others? I think it’s the steady bombardment of exceptionally negative political campaigning (from both sides). Just once, I’d like to hear a politician state a positive thing he will do (and mean it). There are exceptions: Mitt wants to repeal Obromney Care, and since he is no longer running for Governor of Taxacheusetts, and wants to clear himself of any memory of it, he can do it without a wince. With backing from his exceptionally loaded buddy, Sheldon Adelson, he will positively see to it that this major contributor (up to $100 million major) is happy, by carrying out a first strike against Iran. This will not ease my restlessness (or the price of gasoline).

The political messages on TV, particularly in the swing states (one of which I happen to live in), come like a speeded up baseball pitching machine. It’s hard to get the bat around before the next one is in your face. I never thought I would welcome a pharmaceutical commercial as respite from the political deluge.

Our condition as citizens of this once great nation is another major cause of restlessness (if not out and out depression). We listen to those guys and gals vying for our votes, espousing rhetoric that we are an exceptional people. If you define exceptionalism as having exceptionally high prison incarceration rates, exceptionally low math and science scores, exceptionally low literacy rates and highly armed with exceptionally dangerous arsenals, then we fill the bill, nicely.

My question to those folks begging for our votes is, how did we become this exceptional, and what will you do to reverse this trend? Judging from how you operate, once you have achieved office, you give me little hope that we can crawl back into the twenty-first century to join the rest of the civilized world.

All former empires were exceptional at one time, owing to their success. What they all have in common is that they became complacent, thinking they were still exceptional. They spread themselves too thin, neglected the well-being of their people, thus opening the door for their successors. How exceptionally naive is that?

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7 thoughts on “Exceptional US

  1. Neat. Has the satirical appeal of a national magazine. I’m trying to think who this reminds me of. Good stuff.

  2. Good summary Barry, unfortunately.

  3. Having spent the past 2 months without benefit (onus) of TV, my advice is turn it off. You can get plenty of news online and through podcasts as you know, with more choice and fewer if any commercials.

    I wonder if we could think of our republic is just going through its “empire” phase and we will shortly come to our senses – I really believe most Americans would agree that empire is nothing worth aspiring to, if only we could convince our elected officials…well, we’d have to do something about finding those worthy of voting for.

    Keep the faith. It’s not all bad.

  4. Judy Wysnewski on said:

    As usual, loved your blog. You put a humorous slant on an ugly situation.

  5. Great comments. Keep kvetching!

    Some of my thoughts:

    “People are crawling out of the woodwork asking us to donate to the needy. It’s a dilemma. Theoretically, if enough people could respond appropriately, the poor can be given the desperately needed help – which if accomplished, at the same time, would justify to many the slashing of more and more government programs.

    As for me, I have no resources to donate. But I do pay taxes. I want some of that tax money designated directly to the poor, rather than ever-expanding military expenses.”

    • Toronto Jack on said:

      This piece is, as usual, well-written. It clearly expresses a perspective shared by many Americans. My view from the attic is that there are many positive aspects to the current state of your union: active citizens participation in politics, freedom of expression, growing diversity, and good weather in many places.

      I am puzzled, however, about why many U.S. citizens believe so many non-facts about the economy, the efficacy of prayer, the utility of science, and the importance of rejecting people who are different. This din of superstition, unsubstantiated rumors, and truthiness is now creeping northward across the border. We ought to have tighter immigration laws in Canada so that we can keep bad ideas out of the country.

  6. Burning question of the day: Should the pharmaceutical companies and the candidates co-brand their ads? For example, “Cialis and Candidate X are determined to raise your vote. Cure your electoral dysfunctionality. Don’t you want to swell with pride once again?”

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