Rusty and I were just talking about the recent decision by the Democratic party and how we’re going to count delegates from the two states, which has left both sides somewhat unhappy.
But then we kind of realized that no one is talking about the real issues? I don’t particularly care how we seat delegates. The whole system sucks, and I hope after 2008 is over we can overhaul the way the DNC works. And I kind of had an epiphany: I feel like I’m trapped in this country, a faded emblem that used to be a beacon of prosperity and freedom.
Let’s talk about some things that actually matter.
- I paid $53 to put gas in my car yesterday. It’s increasingly tempting to get a hybrid, but they’re in short supply. Not because they’re in high demand (though they are), but because not many are produced. American auto’s only hybrid seems to be the Ford Escape hybrid. (I refuse to count GMC’s “greenest” SUV that gets 20MPG.) A question on Ask MetaFilter today called my attention to the fact that they’re basically impossible to get, with the dealer he went to telling him flat-out that they wouldn’t order one for him. BTW, Ford just announced a $3 billion plant in Mexico.
- We are the only civilized country in the world that doesn’t have universal health care. Americans are running into massive debt because they got sick. The typical response, beneath it all, seems to be a survival-of-the-fittest mentality that if you get cancer and go bankrupt paying for your treatment, it sucks to be you. Attempts to reform the system are consistently subverted by cries of “socialized medicine” without ever presenting a legitimate claim, just the catch phrase? (And there’s a good point to be made about how this is costing us huge money in less-obvious areas.)
- If you come to see homosexuality as something that isn’t ‘wrong’ or ‘bad,’ opposition to gay marriage seems appallingly bigoted. I really don’t think opposing gay marriage is any different than opposing interracial marriage.
- College is $40,000 a year. Schools throughout our country are failing. To quote, well, everyone, No Child Left Behind has left plenty of people behind.
- Veterans are returning home and getting next to no support, or staying in ramshackle hospitals. Support our troops! Anyone? Those who oppose sending young Americans—my peers; people I went to school with; maybe me if I was born into a different family—to die in someone else’s civil war are branded as unpatriotic and not supporting our troops by the same people who can’t be bothered to waste money caring for our returning soldiers?
- The United States economy is tanking. It probably has something to do with the fact that our schools are being surpassed by countries around the globe, that our post-9/11 xenophobia has resulted in immigration policies forcing college students who come here from abroad to leave our country, and that our health care costs are through the roof.
The thing is, I really love this country. But all around me I see signs of our great nation crumbling. At times I almost feel trapped. Can we please stop focusing on the things Republicans and Democrats disagree on, and instead work on getting things done? We all love America, want our troops to be cared for, want our schools to be the best, want to get treated in hospitals, and want our economy to thrive. Working with two parties seems to keep us from ever getting anything done, because all we can ever do is disagree. But why does it have to be that way? We all want the same things deep down. Can’t we take our different viewpoints and use them to our advantage, crafting solutions that appease both of us?