My Response to “In America”

I saw this shared on Facebook. I try to not give in to confirmation bias. I purposely have friends with whom I do not agree on politics or religion.

Most of the time I don’t respond. This post made me want to respond because the author is questioning foreign aid as if that was the reason for the atrocities within our society. Foreign aid is kinda like PBS: it amounts to very little of the budget.

My husband read what I wrote and encouraged me to post it on Facebook, but I felt further emboldened to share my response with you here.

In America, we have to press 1 to speak English, the language that wiped out the languages of the Native Americans. We get angry that some people have the audacity of having a different native tongue. If they do speak English with an accent, we still can’t understand them. It’s Us vs. Them.

In America, children, seniors, homeless, and the underemployed go without eating. If they do manage to get government assistance through SNAP or WIC, we shame them and say they have luxury items and or otherwise don’t deserve the assistance. We blame their poverty not on minimum wage that hasn’t adjusted with the rising prices of inflation and impacts other wages, but on poor life choices, lack of education, or not working hard enough. It’s meritocracy.

In America, the mentally ill go without proper treatment. Psych meds are tremendously expensive, therapy isn’t easily accessible even if you have a job and insurance ( of cost and therapists typically work during hours workers are working), and we use crazy, schizo, and bipolar as insults, just like gay and retarded. We tell people who have depression or PTSD to get over it. It’s judgement.

In America, our troops go without proper equipment. When they are discharged from service, we give them access to the VA hospital- a convoluted health care system that’s full of red tape and discouragement. When they have PTSD, they often find themselves homeless or facing suicide. See above.

Yet, we have unnecessary military bases in other countries (54% of our budget is military), cut aid (1.2% of the budget) that builds goodwill between us and people who hate us (sometimes justly) and might attack us, let our infrastructure crumble (one of those jobs that used to pay well but hasn’t adjusted), and somehow find tax cuts for the extremely wealthy even if they adversely effect the poor and though those tax cuts don’t help any of the rest of the country since trickledown economics isn’t working in our society.

We treat countries that do take care of their citizens with disrespect and use terms like socialist as a pejorative because we have so much nationalism we can’t look to others for ideas to improve.

Vote to make things better.

Let’s not maintain the status quo. That’s literally what conservatism is – conserving the status quo (see linked definition from the dictionary).

Let’s work toward a better future. That’s what progressivism is – working toward progress (see linked definition from the dictionary).

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