Friday, July 4, 2014

America Day

I've written about my feelings toward the United States before, but I figure I should talk about it more given the holiday. Besides, if I'm going to run for president some day it's probably good to have a clear opinion about the country I'm gunnin' for runnin'.

When I walked outside to go to work yesterday I was somewhat surprised to see an American Flag tied to our mail box. At first I thought maybe one of my roommates had decided to add a bit of decoration to the house, but then I noticed that every mailbox down my street had an identical flag attached to it. Apparently some realtor guy decided to decorate our neighborhood, which is fine by me.

The experience got me into a reflective mood, particularly regarding patriotism.

So, what does America mean to me? It's often lauded as a land of opportunity, where anyone who works hard enough can be what they want to be, but an important part of growing up here is learning that it's not exactly true: hard work gets you only so far; then, it's all about who you know, what you know, and luck.

It's the truth, and there's not much to be done to change it.

The Unites States still has a long way to go on social issues, too. I recently read a thread on /v/ in which an acquaintance of mine was discussed at length and basically lambasted for being a feminist. It was kind of funny, since apparently his most grievous sin was betrayal, since obviously guys can't be feminists unless they're being manipulated by their girlfriends/wives/whatever.

Really, though, it was just disgusting to read, and it alarmed me that these guys are fairly young people who will be around for at least as long as I'm alive. Hopefully, given their perspective on women, most of them won't reproduce and pass on their bigotry to the next generation, but that experience today reminded me of many social problems in our country today, particularly rape culture.

Anyway, the bright side is that I perceive the country as improving bit by bit: for every step back, we're two, sometimes three steps forward. Democracy is a slow instrument for progression, but it provides a nice check against regression, so I can't complain.

So, anyway, America. We've done some awful things in the past, and we're probably doing some awful things right now, and but at least we're working on it.

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