From Informed Comment
Nicole Winfield and Lisa Marie Pane at the Associated Press write at the unbelief with which Europeans are staring at the United States, as we head for 300,000 dead from the coronavirus and our economy shrank 33% on an annualized basis last quarter, and we just appear to be all right with that.
Not only are we perfectly willing to toss grandma in an early grave on Trump's say-so, but we are supine as he openly engineers the destruction of social security and medicare, and of the post office, on behalf of himself and the billionaire class he represents. That is after we sat by while he completely gutted all environmental regulations that got in the way of corporations making money off poisoning us. I don't think the neutering of the EPA has even been reported on daytime cable news, though the prime time magazine shows on MSNBC have at least brought it up.
Americans imagine themselves rugged individualists. A cartoonist did a satire on us showing brawny guys, shirts off, with the logo "Rugged individualism works best when we obey."
In fact, Americans are masochistic sheeple who let the rich and powerful walk all over them and thank them for the privilege.
We have become wimps. The word wimp may come from "whimper." It was used in a newspaper in 1920, and then not again until 1960. Since then it may have been influenced by the character of "Wimpy" in the Popeye cartoons, who did not have much gumption. He was only good at mooching off people in search of a hamburger.
I always thought Americans were the plucky Popeye, who knew how to get iron in their diets and show some spunk.
Turns out we have been reduced to begging for our meals.
The rich figured out in the 1980s that Americans are all form over substance, and if you put up for president a Hollywood actor like Ronald Reagan who used to play cowboys, they would swoon over him. In 1984 when Reagan ran against Walter Mondale, I saw a middle aged white Detroit auto worker interviewed who said he wouldn't vote for Mondale because he was a "panty-waist." Reagan took away their right to strike and took away government services by running up the deficit and cutting taxes on the rich simultaneously, then claiming the government couldn't provide the services the people had paid for because it is broke.
Reagan raised the retirement age from 65 to 67. Why? Most young people don't realize that their health will decline in their late 60s and they often won't actually get any golden years.
What did Americans do in response? They just bent over and took it.
Actually, it is the French who are much more like Americans imagine themselves to be. President Emmanuel Macron last December tried to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. I can't understand why. France has persistently high unemployment as it is.
In response, all hell broke loose. Some 30 unions went on strike, and they supported each other. Trains were interrupted. Trucking was interrupted. Life was interrupted. A million people came out into the streets. But one poll had 61% of the French approving of the strikes. They went on for months, and were very inconvenient.
Macron backed down on raising the retirement age.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).