America, American psyche, election 2010, maturity, Politics, psychology, sociology, stupid people, wacko right wing
I keep trying to make sense out of what doesn’t make sense. That can drive you a little nutty all by itself.
Still, those of us who consider ourselves reasonably sane and mature are having a nearly impossible time with the wacko Right. We are just so tired of stoopid people. And it makes us cranky.
Imagine how the rest of the world feels. We act for all the world like the 75 IQer in a 6’5″ frame weighing 320lbs. Scary huh?
I sit in the wee hours of the night, sipping on a Merlot and ponder. And, well I think I got this figured out. A little bit anyway.
Ya see, we are by all accounts just pre-adolescents, here in the New World. I mean, sure the continent is as old as the others, but humans have not walked it until the last few tens of thousands of years, whereas in Europe at least man has skipped along the hillsides to the sound of music for hundreds of thousands of years.
Stay with me here.
Europeans, have had a loooooonggggg history to contemplate; one filled with wars, numerous transfers of power, and plagues. Death, for centuries was a near constant companion. Life was not usually all that good for most people, most of the time. As the psalmist said:
The span of our life is seventy years–eighty for those who are strong–but their whole extent is anxiety and trouble, they are over in a moment and we are gone. (Ps 90: 9-10)
Change for the better for most of the world came slowly and with great effort.
In the Americas, humans arrived by tortuous means, first across Alaska when a land bridge existed, and by some accounts parts of the western coastlands of South America were visited by great seafaring Polynesians. Whether by geography or pure bounty, there wasn’t nearly the issue of land scarcity. There was room to evade conquerors.
When Europeans arrived upon the North American continent, they found it relatively uninhabited, and even where it was, there was enough for everyone. As the white hordes increased, Native peoples were nudged, often not gently, out the of the way.
As we started to offend each other, there was always space to move onward and Westward. And, every immigrant who arrived learned that they could remake themselves with little effort. One chose one’s field of interest and apprenticed oneself, and in a few years, one was himself a blacksmith, a printer, a lawyer. It was easy, it only took determination, time, and effort.
In other words, one could improve one’s lot in life in one’s own lifetime, whereas in Europe, even a whole lifetime might not secure much better for one’s offspring. One was limited by class, something that for a good period of American history did not exist.
In our adolescence, we succeeded at most everything. We have all the resources that were now becoming scarce in Europe, we had the will. We could create our destiny. We expected and expect to succeed, and we somehow feel most entitled to do so. We are pretty much willing to do what we need to, to gain what we wish.
In a word, we are still prepubescent. We are the kid with a decoder ring in one hand and the nuclear codes in the other. That is how the world sees us. They have right to fear us. We are indeed like a shaken bottle of champagne, ready to explode when the cork is pulled. No one knows who will get doused.
At home, it explains so much.
Virtually everyone from Washington on down through Dubya has had reason to warn the American people that this or that would take patience and TIME. We don’t hear that. Ever. We are used to instant gratification, or we still desire it, much as the babe in crib screams to be fed or changed. No explanations about “heating milk” or “going for diapers” will quell the howling. There is no logic to the babe, and there is none to us.
The GOP has learned to exploit our desire for everything NOW. When it doesn’t come, they are quick to point the finger at the “failed” policies of the Democrats. Fear that we will never get what we want if we don’t turn to them, is a powerful seduction. It works.
Europe can look at problems and see solutions that will take years to accomplish. Individual countries can unite under a banner of being oil free or having free education through college, and work steadily for that goal, often taking a generation to attain. But they get some where.
We give our politicians about two years to give us what we claim we want. We are brats, bullies, touting our “exceptionalism” all the while being mostly unlettered and intellectual duds.We are slipping badly on almost all indices. But we are as dangerous as any bull in a china shop always is.
We only know what we want, and that we want it now. We have no clue about the intricacies of global economics, global political realities, and global pandemic. We sit on our little cushions of superiority and glare at a world that increasingly won’t do our bidding, and we shake our fist in both defiance and warning.
And we hate, and we fear, and we are, it seems, about to do some very stupid things in about three weeks. And the world waits. . . .and too many of us it seems are too busy smoking behind the barn, to notice or care.
- Eugene Robinson: These spoiled-brat voters are having quite the temper tantrum, aren’t they? (hotair.com)
- Darrell B. Nelson’s Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Jobs (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
- Bob Cesca: Despite America’s Temper Tantrum, It’s Still a Center-Left Nation (huffingtonpost.com)