Thursday, January 28, 2010

If it ain't fixed, don't break it

Shades of the echo chamber effect! This entry is a response to Ellen Abbott's musings that perhaps the only way for the US to move forward is for it to be divided

Unfortunately, unlike the Recent Unpleasantness of the 1860's, we no longer have the luxury of convenient geographical boundaries in which to separate - amicably or (more likely) not.

Nor can we easily divide ourselves along party lines. Times change, labels stay the same, and everything goes topsy-turvy. The Republican Party of today is certainly not the party of Lincoln. Nor are the Democrats any more than a pale specter of a once staggeringly racist and oppressive movement. 

Even labels such as conservative and liberal no longer provide easy demarcations - save at the batshit-crazy extreme ends of the spectrum. Despite the historically conservative leanings of the US of A, most people ARE, whether they admit it or not, socially liberal. We are a community-minded folk, willing to help and share (you goddamn fucking commies). So political or ideological affiliation doesn't make for good borders (except, of course, for the wing-nuts, who, since they all seem to have shows on the TV, should be, as far as I'm concerned, shipped off to Reeducation Camps in the Nevada Desert). 

What about along income lines? Do we really need rich people, or, as the kids call 'em, douchebags (and isn't it about time we had a good disparaging term for fortunate pampered white people)? 

After all, study after study has shown that there is no link between being rich and being smart. And really, most of them just have the good luck to be born into fortunate circumstances, like living in a prosperous representative civil society, having a network of family and friends to provide privileged information, and the means and wherewithal to commit expensive mistakes. 

Douchebags really don't seem to do much except collect big bonuses and ruin global economies. Popular opinion would suggest they ("they" being, what, earning more than $150,000 a year, which is pretty much everyone on Wall Street and Congress) could easily be sent into exile. 

Well, that's really not fair, now is it? After all, it's quite possible you could get lucky tomorrow. Perhaps win the lottery, and then invest in a company that invents a robot that knows when to kick people in the nads at just the right moment, like when they use the word "paradigm", or "meme".

Okay, how about along IQ lines? That seems to make sense, right? But you know how that goes. Eugenics. And once you start segregating dumb people, why, ugly people are next, and then, quite naturally, homos, and spazzes, weirdoes, dorks, and then the next thing you know, we're right back to where we started - provided any of us have survived the gleaning process. 

Besides, I know for a fact that smart people can act as dumb as the next guy. We all deserve a second chance.   

So what are we to do? Should we accelerate what seems to be a world trend towards Balkanization? Split up our patchwork nation? 

I think that would be huge mistake. I'm sorry I don't have a better idea at the moment, but I'm thinking about a few things. 

Give me time.

1 comment:

  1. I don't for a minute believe that we can divide the country. We are too integrated. But, as dreams go, it seems like a good one to ponder. I'm not feeling too optimistic about the state of our nation (in case that didn't come through loud and clear). I fear things will get much worse before we can actually kick the politicians out, and I mean all the politicians, and vote in people who actually care about fixing things in this country more than they care about holding office (being in power). As it stands now, the only people who stand a chance in hell of getting elected are politicians, especially now that the supreme court has OKed unlimited donations from corporations to their favorite lackeys.