Is America getting worse or better? Is America going to be “great” again, whatever that has meant since the 1980s? But more to the point, what difference does any of it make? Let’s be honest here about the so-called future of the United States of America. Since the dawn of what humanity likes to call “civilization” (i.e. the ability of a government to rob honest people under the guise of taxation), very few governments/nations/kingdoms have survived more than a few hundred years. Now, the United States has had a pretty good run. We’ve done a lot and accomplished a lot, not the least of which is inventing the ability to destroy the entire planet.
Why are we so sentimental over this entity we call “America” anyway? I mean, what is this, some kind of family obligation here? Like the much-dreaded family Thanksgiving meal that always degenerates into a drunken brawl because Uncle Gus can’t hold his liquor or his tongue? What means this anyway? To be “great”? Does anyone know if Alexander attached “the Great” after his name himself, or did that happen after his demise? These are questions I shall endeavor to answer.
First, I suppose it causes some to swell with pride to know that we can annihilate the entirety of humanity and all other beings save for cockroaches. This, of course, in order to preserve our government’s concept of government and an economic system, which are now one and the same. Since we cannot be patient for Doomsday to arrive and movies don’t satisfy our appetite for it, we engage in wars as a kind of appetizer for the much-awaited main course. Or, rather, the final course such as the case may be. Now this is all rather fascinating to ponder, but my question is this: Why must I pay for it? Much as I have tried, I have not yet discovered a use for nuclear weapons myself. I should rather have my money back. And if the government wants Doomsday, well then, let them put a jar in every convenience store and beg donations for it.
Second, at what point was it decided America ever was “great” to begin with? This is merely what America has said about itself. When other nations have said this of us, it’s because they wanted something from us. Foreign aid, or grain, or weapons, perhaps. Maybe all three at once. Let us not forget that AMC Motors said the Pacer was a “great” car. Everyone says this of the flawed product they wish to sell, not the least of which is this product we call “America”. Myself, I am not thrilled with this product. At least the AMC Pacer was known to get from Point A to Point B on often enough occasions. Whereas, America still has not decided where it is going. To being “great” again? Where is that destination? I daresay it’s not on any map the government has.
Third, supposing we resume being “great” once more since we evidently cannot find where the former “greatness” disappeared into, what shall we do with it? Let me hazard a guess: Raise taxes and spend it all on the military. Then, having done that, get into several more no-win wars where the effectiveness and reliability of the costly weapons will be less than the other ones we’ve long since given away to other nations. When the citizens of the nations we are at war with mount an effective self-defense, we shall endeavor to exit the wars with something called “honor” by way of cease-fires. Again, my question is: Why must I pay for this? I tend to think that if the government wants to entertain delusions of grandeur in this fashion, they should seek psychiatric help and pay for it themselves.
Fourth, there is absolutely no evidence that some vague concept of restoring “greatness” is vital to happiness or national survival. History teaches us that the odometer of the United States of America is somewhere around the 150,000-mile mark. We might be able to squeeze another 100,000 miles out of it if we keep up with the oil changes and tune ups. But there is no way we can turn back that odometer, at least not legally. Since we are stuck with this clunker, there truly is no point to putting expensive chrome rims and snazzy tires on it, is there? Truly, the life of the vehicle is already well past the half-way point. Let’s not embarrass ourselves any further by putting in a loud new stereo system and drawing attention to ourselves. But more to the point, we should not be asked to pay for it if the government insists on humiliating itself even more than it already has.
Fifth, do I, at some point, feel warm fuzzies when I think of myself as an “American”? Not really. I don’t own an American flag. I couldn’t care less about the Fourth of July. I think fireworks are as much a waste of money as the military munitions they represent, which the government confiscates my money to buy. But at least people are paying for those themselves. On the other hand, often their local governments have dipped into everyone’s wallets to buy fireworks for shows of civic pride that we live in the “greatest nation on earth”. Now, hold on a moment. How can we restore greatness if we are already the greatest nation on earth? Is this some kind of “greatness race” like the Cold War arms race? Alexander the Great is called that, but his empire fell apart after his death. And who nominated him as “great”? What, was there a Classical World Oscars or something?
Sixth, this so-called “culture” we call Modern America has no tangible greatness to it whatsoever. How can anyone, with a firm hold of their senses, think the legions of dolts participating in Pokémon Go across this country, give us the ability to call this “great”? Great in what way? Great fads to distract the masses from the fact their own government is robbing them blind? If someone told me that Pokémon Go was the brainchild of the United States government, I would not be one bit surprised. It would, indeed, be a technological step up from the old Roman bread-and-circuses. Though, I suppose, food stamps would have to suffice for the bread. It certainly would make sense that Pokémon Go is the brainchild, so to speak, of the Pentagon and DARPA who hire scores of deranged scientists for such nefarious purposes. Great? Do tell.
Seventh and last, if there was some truth to this being the “greatest nation on earth”, we passed that pinnacle quite some time ago and are now descending. We’re out of rations to make another ascent, sorry. We must now return to base camp. If this makes some people sad, never fear. The fall of the old Roman Empire led one day to the creation of multi-national pizza fast-food chains a thousand years plus change into the future. That fact alone ought to make red-blooded Americans happy. I think the eventual collapse of the United States will bear good fruit into the future. Such as fewer wars, for example.
I am happy to report that the unavoidable Fall of the American Empire will not result in Doomsday, the End of Time, or the absence of e-coupons. It will happen slowly at first, but once it builds momentum, we can all watch it with glee like a geopolitical soapbox derby. No brakes, and it’s all downhill, but what a ride it will be! And, take heart. We’ll always have Paris, Texas.