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I Want a Better Country

Do we care about this presidential campaign?  Probably not.  The thing has degenerated into such loathsome nonsense.  It feeds the anger in our country.  It distorts whatever facts exist whether good or bad.  It pits people against each other.  Makes us choose sides.  Prompts us into silly stupid conflicts that bring out the toxic forces in our human nature and poison all the ground around us and all those standing there.

I’d like to live in a country that took care of the sick, the poor, the elderly, the handicapped and disabled and those who have a tough time taking care of themselves.  I simply do not mind paying taxes and having some of my tax dollars go to help meet those needs.  Why would I?  I’m not afraid of expanding social services that help meet needs I would never be able to meet on my own no matter how much money I might have.

I think Medicare and Medicaid are terrific resources for the elderly and for those on very limited income.  Is there waste and abuse in these services?  Yes, there is.  And I’m all for cutting out the waste and abuse.  But I don’t want to see these resources simply done away with.  Too many of us have paid into them for years and they actually do so much good for so many of our citizens.  Reasonable solutions are there to sustain Medicare and Medicaid if we care enough to spread the costs fairly and if we care enough to reduce other massive expenditures like our military budget in order to pay for these needed services.

I want to live in a country that is not completely obsessed with war.  Whatever happened to the idea of working for peace in the world?  Did we just give up on it because it’s complicated and hard to do?  We’d rather just hate and kill and react out of our darkest most fearful impulses rather than attempt to understand what it is that feeds our conflicts, that fuels the need for war?  Are we really okay with simply enriching the war industry at the expense of our own economic future?  Isn’t that what happened to the Soviet Union when their economy broke into pieces and they were forced to back off their war games?  Isn’t that what keeps China still from being the greatest economic force in the world—it’s gargantuan military costs?  North Korea keeps its entire population in abject poverty while it funnels all of its resources into military spending.  Is that a model we want to follow in this country?  We pay out some $700 billion dollars a year in defense spending.  That is more than the next 17 countries behind us combined including China.  What are we doing?

I want to live in a country where education is valued.  Where being smart and informed, curious and hungry to learn are qualities honored and rewarded.  I don’t want lazy thinking given some place of respect in America.  I don’t want to be led by bullies and dumb asses and people who live only by their impulses instead of their brains.  That’s what we have in our Congress now and most of them are useless to our future.  They are a disgrace to the genius and hard work and innovative thinking we used to give elevated praise to in America.  And who says only rich people have the right to lead this country?  I’m not impressed with millionaires and billionaires who have become God to everyone.  So they made a lot of money?  That doesn’t mean anything unless what they make has any value to society and not just to them. I want leaders who possess decency and compassion, who read and love the arts, who have backbone and independence, who know how to negotiate and mediate, men and women who have heart and substance and aren’t afraid to love.

I want to live in a country where religion is not consumed with cotton candy theology and gross ignorance, where the church is not some laughing farce led by clowns in fashion jeans and designer shirts.  I’m tired of American religion that makes God into some kind of pathetic neurotic browbeater and antagonizer, who hates gays and women and is scared to death of liberals and thinkers.  I’m so weary of Jesus being used by disgusting pretenders to get political votes and sell books filled with baby food ideas and completely ignore all of the real teachings of Jesus and his gigantic life of love. 

I want a better country than what we have now.  Let’s quit pretending how great it is.  We’ve got big problems.  It’s time to fix them.

© 2012 Timothy Moody


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