Monday, April 10, 2017

The United States of America is an Oxymoron

It would be interesting to use time lapse cameras to view the traffic street life and movement of any major city in the US – by condensing 50 years’ time into a 30-minute period.  What you would invariably see is people looking fatter and moving slower. Indeed, despite what everyone must know regarding the consequences of overeating and the damaging effects of the sedentary life, we have purposely obscured and nullified the positive benefits of modern medicine by our own vacuous and reckless behavior. To think that this can be reversed by some magical formula, behavior modification or drug therapy is simplistic and delusionary. What we have, to be sure, is a doomed society, with the only tenable remedy being replacement -  with time - of this present generation - with a new one armed with lessons learned from the self-destructive behavior of their predecessors, and perhaps motivated by grief, the burden of such waste of human potential, and the desire to live a long healthy life.

This cynical view of this lack of intellectual plasticity extends beyond human physiology to ideology – which is really what I wanted to discuss in this narrative. Never in the history of my seven decades of life have I witnessed such bifurcation in ideological thinking in America. As in the case above, there are no quick remedies that will work to rid the human spirit of this indelible bipartisan divide. There is no one truth, there is no one black or white for white is black to the right and black is white to the left. That there is no one truth is a nightmare in thinking, and yet truth to those in each ideological camp has never been so categorically embraced.

Those on the left conveniently and tersely proclaim bigotry for every position taken by the right. They are intolerant of opposing opinions solely on this basis; the intolerance is of a hysterical and visceral nature, evoking uncontrolled animation and anger.  Ideology is indeed the culprit. The left believe that the global interests of society are satisfied by the simplistic world architecture that Bernie Sanders expounded. Health care should be free and for everyone, college should be free and for everyone, the rich should have to pay to fund the needs of those less fortunate. Big corporations are evil by their very nature and so on and so forth. Never mind we have a 20 trillion-dollar debt, never mind we must balance and measure what should be done by the government, what can be afforded by the government, and what should be expected of the individual citizen in our great country.

And what about the right. Greed, bigotry are the two words that come to mind. This is not just a difference in ideology, when the left judges the right, it’s a matter of intense disdain for the very fabric, cell layer, and DNA of these individuals…. as Hilary proclaimed “deplorables”.   These are not humans, they are bigoted, intolerant cowards. They are not compassionate humans; they are NOT humans.  We should not have to listen to their bigoted sentiments – their intolerance cannot be tolerated!

But how do I connect this discussion on ideology with the intro on obesity and the doomed generation?  Well - I think it’s the same! I do not think that there is any way to resolve the ideological rift that has been witnessed in America this last decade which seems only to be getting bigger, more intense, and more entrenched.  What a joke it is to call the US – the United States of America.  It is NOT united at all.  Contrast the views and attitudes of citizens residing in states on the peripheral borders of the country like California, Oregon, New York, and Hawaii with the red states of the south – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Midwest – Idaho, Kansas. Its as if we are dealing with two completely different worlds. And hence this thought gave birth my epiphany.

The United States should dissolve, and two countries should form separated by theif opposing ideologies. While it would be convenient for each county to be bordered by states, let’s envision a situation where that doesn’t have to occur.  Each citizen could CHOOSE which country to live in and be governed by.  Somehow the geographic boundaries of mixing societies would need to be configured, whether virtually or perhaps by extending the wall that Trump will be using to separate the US from Mexico. But delving into this strategy is not my concern for this essay.  Rather I’m interested in the implications of such a proposal.

One caveat is that once you chose your country – Rederica, or Bluerica, you would need to apply, just like any legal immigrant would presently have to do, to gain citizenship in the opposing country - if you were unhappy or disillusioned with your original choice. Or maybe Bluerica would allow anyone wanting to move to Bluerica an open border – clearly this would not be the case for Redrica.

What are the immediate consequences?  Each country would likely be governed more efficiently and the paralysis of the present system, and the obstructionism and acrimony would no longer be an impediment to directive progress.  Decisions could be made efficiently as each country would follow its ideological, moral and ethical codes.

Of course, the question posed in this construct has many other interesting ramifications to consider.  Would we expect those who profess a leftist view to all gravitate to live in Bluerica, or would they consider their options carefully?  And we ask the same question of the proportion of those on the right choosing to live in Rederica.  I think it’s one thing to profess an ideology but people will want to do what’s best for themselves in the end.  Will pragmatism usurp ideology?

Another important question is what each country would look like in a decade. The laws of the land, the middle class, the economy, military, size of government, overall wealth, social justice, social security, healthcare, tolerance of alternative opinions and lifestyles, etc.

Thinking about the implications of America dividing in half is an intriguing exercise of thought, one that may lend to a better understanding for whether we would be better off living in Rederica or Bluerica, or we were better off before some moron came up with this ridiculous idea of dividing the country in the such a fashion.  Maybe we should have a national referendum to see the interest in such a proposal.  How do you think the results would unfold?  America, Rederica, Bluerica, or maybe even Noerica.  Or maybe the mere thought of such a disassembly of states would result in the ultimate division into 50 different countries.  In that case, at least we wouldn’t have to think of naming them these silly names.     

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