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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Patriotism


Thought for the day: When exactly did being a "good American, ( person, whatever)" go from being willing to self-sacrifice on the behalf of others....even unto the point of death, to just being a selfish asshole defiantly doing whatever you want whenever you want regardless of how it impacts others?

21 comments:

  1. I can't answer your question, but this is a fun read that touches on it: https://www.amazon.com/Asshole-Nation-Trump-Rise-America-ebook/dp/B078B35SH1/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=asshole+nation&qid=1607881688&sr=8-1.

    It's total mind candy, but everyone needs to indulge in some guilty pleasure every once in a while.

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  2. When society is so sick ..........

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    1. Sick or selfish?

      When I was about to turn 14 my biggest interest was being old enough to volunteer at a hospital a town away from me. You had to be 14.....so my first day there turned out to be my 14th birthday. I did it for 4 years in addition to a few other volunteer things......working with the handicapped, a bit of child daycare, you get the idea.

      So I think it's when our idea of "social action" (the name of the club that organized these opportunities) went from volunteering to selfies.

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    2. I just read about some demonstration in Washington - where the Bully Boys (that the right name?) were marching and stirring up trouble and 4 people were stabbed! sorry - it seems more sick to me ...

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    3. Proud Boys, but I like your name better. There is a difference between what they are for......which is sick.....and the general feeling of pervasive selfishness in our society. Though the latter does tend to encourage the former.

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    4. I agree, though I always wonder whether this period is truly unique. I wasn't exactly politically aware of what was going in 1968, but when you look at the rioting that took place at the party conventions that years, violent demonstrations over Vietnam, political assassinations . . . I have my doubts about whether we can really say that this period is unique in terms of the level of acrimony or division.

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    5. Dan: In terms of division.....no. Acrimony...also no. Don't forget we had a freakin' Civil War at one point. No, this question is geared specifically towards when selfishness replaced altruism as an American ideal.

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    6. Ever since the election, it has really been sticking in my craw that even after four years of seeing the corruption, stupidity, incompetence and cruelty of this administration, half the country still voted for him. I mean, it has really, really been bothering and puzzling me. Then, this morning after listening to something on NPR about voter participation, I started working my way through it in a way that led to a less dark and disturbing conclusion. Here is what I came up with:

      -- There was record turnout in this election. Almost 66.5% of eligible voters. Biden got about 80 million votes and Trump about 73.9. BUT, about 80 million people did not vote at all. So, for about a third of the eligible voting population, we have no idea whether they favor Trump in anyway or, conversely, share your and my general opinion of him. All we know is they didn't vote. That also means that while 73 million people voted for Trump, 160 MILLION did NOT (they either voted for Biden or didn't vote at all.)

      -- So, if two-thirds of eligible voters did NOT vote for Trump, I already feel somewhat better about things.
      -- But, I don't think we can really say that 1/3 of eligible voters voted *for* Trump. Some pretty substantial percentage voted *against* what they view to be Democratic policies that are too liberal. I may not agree with them, but it is a least a legitimate, policy-based difference of opinion.
      -- Some other substantial percentage voted Republican because they are straight-ticket partisan voters. They would *always* vote for the Republican candidate no matter what. I don't have much respect for that kind of voting, but it isn't exactly equivalent to liking Trump.
      -- I think there is some fairly substantial percentage out there who genuinely do question Biden's mental competence at this age, and he has given some performances that would make that a not totally irrational concern. Again, their vote *against* Biden should not necessarily be taken as an endorsement of Trump.
      -- Then there are those who genuinely do like some Trump policies, particularly his efforts to rein in China. And, there are some who care about, and only about, low taxes. And, let's not forget the pro-gun crowd who are always going to vote Republican as long as the Democrats keep agitating for more gun control. I can disagree with many of these positions but, again, they are genuine policy agreements.
      -- Finally though, there are the true Trump acolytes who we see acting like idiots and saying moronic things at Trump rallies. These are the people who laugh when a Trump supporter tries to run a Biden staff car off the road on a Texas highway or who storm the Michigan statehouse carrying their AR-15s (which are basically just protest signs saying "I have a little dick and am proud of it) and clap when Trumps encourages police to assault protesters at his rallies and who laugh furiously when he calls opponents third-grade names. Hillary called them deplorable, but you can just as well just call them assholes. They aren't redeemable and part of me wishes they all take Julie's recommendation to be cautious about taking the vaccine and that it results in a mass Darwin-award die off. BUT, what was heartening as I walked through this analysis is those people do not add up to remotely close to half of my fellow citizens and, in fact, is probably more like 4 or 5% at most.

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    7. I'm not really sure what to say. This is a whole issue in and of itself. I have had conversations with people who explained their initial choice for him as a "businessman outsider" and had high "drain the swamp" hopes. But even these people make me ask them: OK but if that was your goal, what made you think HE was "the one"?

      As for people still with him? I'm no longer sure it's any different for them than the people who will support even the most absurd positions on the other side. No analysis, no independent thought. Just tribalism. We are a stupid nation.

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  3. My guess is somewhere around the Regan era. Or the Thatcher era for those of us from the UK.

    Prefectdt

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    1. Time-wise I believe you're right. Altruism ended with Carter.

      Yep, the more I think about it....that's exactly when I remember seeing the shift. Thanks!

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    2. Agreed--it was Ronald Reagan who made petty selfishness publicly acceptable as an alternative to true patriotism.

      As the 'yuppies' stated, "I've got mine, so screw you, Jack!"

      In regard to intentionally making politics acrimonious and knee-jerk oppositional, the #1 villain was/is Newt Gingrich... --C.K.

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  4. Hmmm. My guess would have been Jan 20th, 2017.

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    1. Perhaps, but I think that was just when the festering pustule erupted to the surface. The beginning Hortic suggested: the Reagan years, resonates with my own feelings on this.

      I don't see Trump as the problem but a symptom. He did not take over with tanks and soldiers.....people wanted him....and many still do.

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  5. Trump didn't create all these assholes, but he certainly unleashed them. He is a narcissist and everything is about him, rules and social dictates be damned, so people follow that example.

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    1. You think they follow it because of him though? He has been an extreme aberration, but I still think he's the unfortunate result of something brewing for much longer. I think these people were always like this and he just gave them a hero and a platform.

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    2. Agreed -- he is the personification of all the ugliness. Absolutely, it existed before him. But it was underground, festering. He turned over all the stones and exposed the maggots, and now they feel free to express themselves, whereas before they didn't have a world leader validating them.

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    3. That much is probably true. He has become the hero of the boorishly ignorant and uninformed, the patron saint of the proudly stupid.

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  6. Being Trumpy followers for many of the proudly stupid provides them with a feeling of belonging to something bigger than themselves. Often these are people who are feeling left out and marginalized. Being a follower of something makes them feel better about themselves. That also fits in, I believe, with being sports fans. This clicked with me when I passed a store selling Trump memorabilia.
    Of course! The rallies, the hats, the flags. These suckers buy these things so they can feel a little surge of passion over something.

    What has saddened me for the last four years is the impression that flag waving "patriotism" has been taken over by trumpies and republicans such that displaying the flag tends to mean that you identify with that group. Maybe just my own feeling about that, but still annoys me that "patriots" are considered by this group to be one of them.
    Just like the one Trump supporter in my town who has a sign on his lawn that says "Patriots don't surrender". Of course this is in response to the election which these idiots still have not given up on, of course because there dear leader has not either.
    Bah humbug.
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. I agree with you analysis and comparisons. And I agree about certain fringe groups adopting symbols that are then tainted forever with implications not ever associated with them in the past. I felt this way a few years back when I was contemplating getting a Gadsden Flag for my flagpole only to discover that this symbol had been co-opted by the Tea Party. I realized that if I flew it now, people would assume I was a Tea Party follower. I was so furious!

      Flag-waivers have traditionally been hypocrites. Even before Trump. It's easy to wave a flag......a bit more effort is needed to understand history and politics.

      And your last point is equally infuriating. But then again who ever fought a battle feeling they were on the wrong side? LOL

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