Sunday, July 15, 2012
Sad...because I fear he's right. We certainly don't have the only claim to freedom, and we don't lead the world in areas that matter anymore. Science, literacy, mathematics? Nope. Our society is largely concerned with profit...at any cost. As he says, we virtually wage war on the poor. We fear everything (every issue is a "crisis" after all). We're afraid gay marriage will destroy society, that Mexicans will invade and take us over, that health care will bankrupt us. We used to build great things...we used to LEARN great things. We once led the world in discovery. We were the first, and thus far only, nation to put men on the moon. Now...we have large political groups that actively oppose critical thinking. We demonize those who are "different" at every corner. We are so concerned about what we disagree on that we refuse to agree on ANYTHING. One party proposes a bill, the other reflexively opposes it at all costs, only to propose largely the same thing themselves a few years later (or they did a few years before...same difference).
He's right in the end of the video, too...we can be great again. It has little to do with this election, or the last, or the next. It has everything to do with once again valuing knowledge, information, placing importance on being informed, THINKING...and then getting out there and putting those thoughts into action. There is so much we agree on, yet refuse to work together on. We unite for NOTHING these days. We no longer seek to do great things, we are averse to risk and taking chances.
Yes, we have made progress since the "good 'ol days". It was progress we needed (equal rights, ending discrimination as a legal institution). But we've also regressed in many ways. We are one of the richest nations in the world, yet people stricken with severe illness lose their homes and life savings. We were the epitome of learning, yet have a shocking percentage of the population who are illiterate. More and more of our kids simply cannot afford a college education, in a nation that put men on the moon and created the Internet. We care more about the religious background of political candidates than where they stand on actual important issues. We had roads, bridges, rail lines, and infrastructure that was unrivaled in the world, and it crumbles because we lack the will to do what is necessary to restore it. Our leaders care more about votes than doing things. Again, fear.
Why can't we see the good of the last several decades, take it and marry it to the good we did several decades ago? We can...we just don't want to...or we don't value the knowledge that it took to DO so anymore.