Photo of a stadium crowd in America
In contemplating the current plight of our country while personally witnessing and reading about some of its people, hardly Tocquevillesque, this writer brought to mind what he considers some "questionable behavioral characteristics" of the people who make up a segment of the 315 million people in the U.S.
Here in no particular order are some of the "questionable behavioral characteristics" of the people who:
- Believe in "creationism" and reject evolution.
- Have a literal interpretation of the bible.
- Believe the Earth is 10,000 years old and man walked with the dinosaurs.
- Are climate science deniers.
- Own some of the 300 million guns in this country.
- Belong to armed private militia groups.
- Are homophobic and against gay marriage.
- Are openly racist or carry it below the surface.
- Are anti abortion and a women's right to choose.
- Are anti immigration.
- Believe they're "entitled".
- Believe they're "exceptional".
- Support our wars, are pro military interventionists.
- Are insouciant, without a care, passively indifferent.
- Are Anti union and against collective bargaining.
- Want Social Security privatized
- Oppose the social safety net of food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment insurance.
- Are against all tax increases, even for the super rich.
- Are celebrity worshippers
- Are shopaholics.
- Are addicted to drugs, alcohol.
- Are human predators, murderers, rapists, armed robbers.
- Are seriously mentally disturbed.
- Are liberal democrat apologists seeing only Republican malfeasance.
These "questionable behavioral characteristics" of people listed above is obviously not exhaustive but partially represents those with certain ideas, maladies and beliefs. Besides what does it all mean? They all don't fit neatly in a box with all exhibiting the same characteristics.
It's unlikely a person who believes in creationism, the Earth is 10,000 years old and man walked with the dinosaurs is also a liberal democrat apologist.
Another consideration is how many of these people with these behavioral characteristics are a percentage of the population; 1%, 20%, 50%?
But here is an assumption; how many of these people are also progressive, reform minded, change agents, believe in government working for the public good and could be counted upon if called to take an active part to face the issues and work to solve our problems? From here, few if any.
For sure, activists and their spokes people start out small in numbers and the real change they help bring about, whether it was women's suffrage, ending slavery and implementing civil rights took decades. General popular support for these societal changes was initially resisted and outright opposed by the majority as well as openly resisted by the government's political power structure.
We're at a crossroads in this country. The issues and problems are many, but instead of our politicos facing them squarely they are ignored and not placed on the political agenda.
Even when circumstances force an issue to the forefront i.e. the NSA's clandestine intelligence practices and intercept of all electronic communications of everyone world wide are made known we get pabulum type oratory from the president that is supposed to represent reform.
The same can be said for immigration reform, amnesty for existing illegal immigrants and a path toward citizenship. It's so embroiled in political intransigence and polarization the issue is simply kicked like the proverbial can down the road and nothing is done.
This piece began with a partial listing of what the writer considers "questionable behavioral characteristics" of some American people followed by an assumption that few if any exhibiting such characteristics would take if asked an active part to work to solve our problems.
Are they a minority or represent the majority of the population? If they are the latter what does the future hold for us?