Sunday, October 19, 2008

Of Melting Pots

The enigmatic issue of what makes someone American has been raging on in that crazy old place I like to call to a head. The stem of such confusions comes from America's greatest asset, its diversity: racial diversity that is probably unsurpassed and economic diversity that follows that same trend. Most important of all is the huge differences between the stereotypes of the states. In very few other countries could there be such a scattering of mindsets and affiliations. The open-arms attitude of, say, San Francisco to the blatant intolerance that my arch-nemesis Jeremy Clarkson revealed in Alabama.
Whilst such demographics will likely be at odds with one another, that is part of what makes America so unique, so remarkable. That such different people can all fit under the same umbrella is simply amazing. To think that a little over 100 years ago, the survival of the union was in jeopardy just adds to the achievement of the country. Largely, this a consequence of a government that has checks and balances stuffed into every perceivable corner. Most people are kept satisfied because their view is accounted for. Those that aren't have suitable avenues to pursue their grievances but most of all, the government has legitimacy. It has never been fallen victim of a coup. It subsists thanks to a constitution designed for the people, by the people. Most importantly though, American civilization has survived thanks largely to internal pacifism. True, the Native Americans and Mexicans suffered at the hand of overzealous American expansion but in the case of the Native Americans, this was largely due to their inability to bond together and fight back. On the other hand, the settlers united in a common cause, so called Manifest Destiny and unquestionably achieved their aims.
Therefore, it is more than a little perturbing that the Bush Administration and thus 150 million people didn't mind tearing apart two countries, if not the world over the need to institute a democratic political system. Surely by now the government might actually understand that stability must always take a front seat to political change. It simply does not work to set up a democratic government by means of force. The notion that such a theory might work is in itself a paradox. Democracy, rule by the people just can't be put into place without a democratic process. It has to be an evolution, or if not that then popularly welcomed revolution. That a naive teenager can recognize this whilst the cabinet of the world's mos powerful nation cannot beautifully illustrates how America has got itself and thus the world into such a hole.
This brings me onto my next point. Brains are obviously required to govern any country, few more so than the USA. Once again, I am baffled that about 140 million of my compatriots see fit to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin to the White House. How the presence of a notorious womanizer and a local, corrupt former beauty queen in the Oval Office would benefit our ailing reputation is beyond me. Let common sense prevail. See that Barack Obama and Joe Biden take the reigns.

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