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The Problem with America

I have been mulling the topic of this blog post over for quite some time now, but I have still yet to come to a conclusion on how I feel about it. And to be completely honest, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get my ass handed to me by several of my readers and will probably lose subscribers. Ah well... You live, you learn, right?

I don't have the balls to stand here in front of you and say "I have this all figured out." Because let's face it, I don't and most likely never will. But I do have some points to make and would love open and civil discourse in the comments below.

So let's begin, shall we?

America has a huge problem, and no one seems to be willing to address it.

I'm not talking about misogyny (of which there is plenty) or gun control (which would require an entirely separate post all by its onesies). I'm not even referring to the unnecessarily long-reaching arms of the government or the fact that our education system is complete and utter drivel (Common Core can suck my left ovary). No, I'm talking about Americans. It's us. We are the problem. And we are the only ones who can fix it.

Sometime in the last several decades, we American have forgotten what it is like to stand up for ourselves and who we are. Sure, if someone says something that is outright awful, we'll say something, but generally, we're content to sit idly by, hand over our rights as if they were nothing, and praise Big Brother for allowing us to do what we want... sometimes.

I don't know when it happened. I don't know how it happened.
All I know is this:  
we have a problem.

A good example of our seeming lack of a backbone is the current "bullying crisis." Now, I will be the first to admit that bullying is awful, and it needs to be stopped. But instead of trying to stop bullying, we're attacking the perpetrators and getting rid of them, one by one. To some, that might seem like an effective strategy, but I see it like this: bullies are like Hydra; cut off one head, and two more come out of the severed neck. It's a futile effort that is merely causing more problems.

What we fail to do is ask WHY. Why are kids being terrible to one another? Why are kids taking guns to school and shooting people? Why are we not recognizing the signs before they become an issue? Why are kids unable to stand up for themselves when they're being bullied? Why are there bullies in the first place? Why, WHY, WHY?

And that's the question I am going to ask of you today.


Why do people like Elliot Rodger grab a gun and a schload of rounds to enact revenge on complete strangers? No, it's not because those girls didn't have sex with him. No, it's not because of the violence in games. And no, it's not because of guns.

We have an huge underlying issue going on here, but no one is saying anything about it, and no one is stepping up to take responsibility. It's cultural, and it is our fault, myself included.

We are set in this reactive holding pattern, and until we can become proactive, nothing is going to change. We need to address the problems at their roots instead of the branches. Cutting off a branch doesn't kill a tree, but destroying its the roots most certainly does.

SIDE NOTE: Removing guns does not remove the problem. It simply removes the symptom.

Maybe it's because I'm a part of it, but my generation seems to be the worst of all. We are masters of walking on eggshells so as not to upset someone else, bastions of false tolerance so we fit in and don't appear to be intolerant bigots. We are lazy, selfish, and lack any sort of ambition. Again, I am a part of my generation and am guilty of all of the above, so don't think I'm picking on anyone here.

The frustrating part is that we have such great potential. Look at all of the technology and knowledge that we have at our fingertips! Just think about what we could do if we stopped resting on our laurels and reaping the spoils of previous generations because it's easier than going out and reaping some of our own.

It is up to us to turn this bus around.

 I will leave you with this gem from the very first episode of The Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels. It's 8 minutes long, but it is pure gold. I implore you to watch until the end if you haven't seen it already.

Please don't misunderstand this post as being Anti-American. I love my country dearly and am proud of my citizenship. What I'm trying to point out here is that there is a giant problem here that no one seems willing to address. We keep punching blindly at symptoms, but uninformed attacks on symptoms do nothing to solve the problem.

Absolutely nothing at all.

What are your thoughts? Please feel free to chime in (be it flames or not) in the comments below. I really want to know what you all think.