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This question has been persistently rattling in my brain of late, rising to a very loud crescendo at the pick of Paul Ryan as VP this weekend:

America:  Who are we?

This diary Book review: Is Obama’s America different than 'real America'? helped me collect my thoughts today.

Humane is defined as "marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals"

Is a person considered humane if that person doesn't include all humans?

Are you humane?

Can we debate humaneness in this Presidential election?

If the Right Wing has hijacked the American collective, it has done so by devolving into debates that do not include any consideration of the humaneness of Americans ergo America.

The Right Wing Media Machines rant 24/7 about Free Markets and American Nationalism and/or Exceptionalism, defined in terms to enroll xenophobes, bigots, and zealots.  Polling and vote counts reveal that 50% of Americans fall into these camps who don't consider humaneness in their models.

Ironically, the idealism of "individual freedom, anyone can succeed" has been trumped by the near nationalization of everything from Italian restaurants, hamburger joints, hardware stores, service industries to Charter Schools, making it almost impossible for average Americans to receive living wages, let alone start their own businesses.  

Most ironically, although through private corporations, we are on the cusp of falling into the same mediocrity we fault the former Soviet Union for:  Nationalized institutions that despair the workers, who eventually become mediocre workers because they know there is little reward for explemplary work ethics.  Why try?

If 50% of Americans are either xenophobes, bigots, and/or zealots, is America a humane society?

Albert Einstein stated that "Nationalism is an infantile disease... It is the measles of mankind."

Like Einstein, I prickle at the use of the word "nationalism"

The right wing is fraught with jingoism in their efforts to answer my question.    

I am concerned about the left joining a debate to define nationalism, when the concept of nationalism itself is too easily hijacked by many disparate groups, each with its own definition.  The efforts to do so seem divisive to me.

In short, the question "What type of nationalism is best for America?" is the wrong question!

Is it possible that, in seeking a broad spectrum definition of nationalism, we fall into a trap of transcending what, to me, is more important?  Specifically, the basic tenets of what it means to be a humane society?  

The happiest peoples of the world live in humane societies.  Specifically those Scandanavian countries who govern with the model called Democratic Socialism in which the people share sufficiently to guarantee each citizen a solid, basic standard of living which includes health care, higher education, vacations, job security, and a social safety net for those "hard times."

Americans fund and support humane programs for pets and whales, to name a couple of humane groups, with vehement passion and lots of money.

America was founded on humane principles, not nationalistic principles, albeit based on rigid principles of Jesus Christ's teachings.  

I'd like to hear the word "humane" used more frequently, quite frankly, especially in light of the draconian, even Dickensian proposals to "balance the budget" set forth in the Paul Ryan Plan for America which is, in every way, the total anti-thesis of humaneness.  

In short, the right wing GOP's answer for "healing America's ills" are MORE tax breaks for the uber rich which will be paid for by withholding food, shelter, and medical care for our most vulnerable:  Children and the elderly.  The GOP is proposing inhumane solutions.

Is it humane for a corporation to spin out a national chain of plumbing services (just an example) making it impossible for local plumber to compete?  Is it humane for such a national chain to succeed by paying low wages and few benefits to the expertise of local professionals whose wives are now forced to work because her plumber husband isn't paid a living wage?

Shockingly, no pun, even former NeoLiberal, Shock Doctrine Golden Boy, Jeffrey Sachs, agrees that the most humane form of governance is that of Democratic Socialism.

Note:  I prefer the term Humane Democracy.

Is there another way of framing the definition/view of America for the Americans who have more compassion and empathy for others than the "free market" worshipers and/or the xenophobic fear mongers?

If, in fact, a solid majority of American citizens do not have a marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for all other American citizens than I must conclude, sadly, that America is not a humane country.

If the majority of Americans feel that fancy buildings, perfect roads, and new airports (just examples of how our tax monies are spent locally) are more important than funding to properly educate and protect our children, even providing excellent day care for America's mothers forced to work because of low wages paid by national chains,

tears are literally flowing as I write this conclusion,

America is not a humane country.

In November my question will definitely be answered.

If America elects Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and if the GOP gains a majority in the House and Senate, a strong majority of Americans are inhumane.

I hope President Obama, Joe Biden, and the Democrats will transcend the wrong debates put forth by the GOP and



Is America a Humane country

10%3 votes
48%14 votes
17%5 votes
20%6 votes
3%1 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Food Gas Lodging, imokyrok

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:47:33 AM PDT

  •  I vote YES - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    If America elects Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and if the GOP gains a majority in the House and Senate, a strong majority of Americans had their emotions manipulated and thier votes stolen..

    I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012.

    by Food Gas Lodging on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:55:31 AM PDT

  •  No. America is not a humane country. (4+ / 0-)

    Americans still allow capital punishment to exist.

    Americans vent a lot of hot air about "pro-life" and "family values" but oppose paid maternity leave, vacation time, Head Start, public libraries, public schools, or any other program designed to strengthen family life or support working families.

    The defined benefit retirement plan is dead in America. In its place, workers are at the mercy of unscrupulous financiers who manipulate the stock markets for their own personal gain. Medicare and Social Security are next. The next generation of elderly will be in dire straits not seen since before the Great Depression.

    The majority of Americans oppose universal health care that is not tied to employment.

    The majority of American "charitable giving" goes to causes and organizations whose beneficiaries are similar to the giver (think universities etc).

    The majority of American foreign aid goes to buy arms and munitions or to support American corporations and agricultural concerns.

    American foreign policy is based primarily on protecting American financial and strategic interests abroad and very little on the legitimacy of the regime being supported.

    America, the country, is neither humane or moral.

    •  Wealth disparity ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, Food Gas Lodging, kbman

      % of the population in prison ...

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  % of minorities in prison ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, kbman

        The prison system itself ...

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:18:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And the legal system and politics to go along (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          with privatized prisons, prison industries' labor, etc..  lobbyists for those private prisons pushing for stricter laws and longer sentences to boost their client's bottom line, and compliant/complicit legislators and judges who pass and enforce these laws..  This resulting in more real-life human beings having their freedom taken to feed their greed for MORE, always MORE.  Too much is never enough for our Wall Street driven plutocrats.  

          I foresee a huge backlash on the west coast this fall.  The will of the people is being crushed in California by the federal government.  I'm talking about marijuana and the crackdown on dispensaries in LA.  There are already a lot of people upset about the ongoing federal crackdown.  The forced closure of all these dispensaries is going to be the proverbial last straw.  Oregon and Washington are poised to pass full legalization.  How will the feds react to that?  And how will the people respond?  I see the anti-pot laws crumbling like the Berlin Wall, in a surprisingly fast manner once the initial breach is accomplished.  This, in turn, will immediately go far in de-funding the prison privateers.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:44:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope you are right. An occasional toke (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            would diffuse a lot of the tension in the USA.

            Also, it would really help chronically ill people, especially chemo patients.

            Marijuana covered the hills of much of America at one time until the BLM destroyed it.  Can't have free meds now, can we?

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:13:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Ok, I am in tears now. Literally (0+ / 0-)

      If my country isn't humane, I am a stranger in a strange land as are my fellow humane members of our society.

      For some reason the sadness of this realization so late in my life is overwhelming.  Maybe its hormonal.  LOL

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:39:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  break the power of money and liquidate the empire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    America is not a humane country and never will be a humane country until we at the very least do those two things.

    Tax the rich.  Tax them heavily.  Don't worry so much about the income tax and go after the taxes that pretty much only rich people play - capital gains tax mainly - as well as the loopholes that only the rich can take advantage of.  Raise taxes on corporate profits to get at the shareholders, and raise them high enough so that the company can't just reduce expenses and raise prices without harming its profitability.  Make a long-term project to deal with toxic corporate culture that elevates profit to a moral code.  Try to cap executive compensation and definitely try to decouple it from stock prices.  Police Wall Street.  Reinstate "mark-to-market" accounting.  Reinstate Glass-Stegall at the very least and ideally make it tougher.  Create a tax on financial transactions: stock trades, etc.  Repeal Citizens United at the very least, and ideally go even farther and explicitly restrict constitutional rights to flesh-and-blood human beings.  Medicare for everyone to flat-out remove the profit motive from the provision of health care.  Beef up public education to take the wind out of the private schools' sails for basically the same reason.  Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.  Enforce and update anti-trust law to break up media conglomerates.  Close the revolving door between government and the private sector; significantly restrict the behaviors of lobbyists; significantly broaden the definition of corruption and prosecute it vigorously.  Create a national credit union that can compete with privately-owned for-profit banks, especially for the regular old cash deposits that make up most of the only real money banks have.

    We have to renounce our superpower status and pretty much wash our hands of foreign policy.  Withdraw all our overseas military and civilian personnel and assets, close all our overseas military bases, camps, FOPs, etc., significantly reduce the size and technological sophistication of the military and refocus it towards protecting our physical territory rather than global power projection, hell, stand down the peacetime military, just like what used to be the norm before WWII.  If problems exist overseas, get passive-aggressive and make it so that it no longer affects us.  Instability in the Middle East?  Get off oil!  China rising?  Rebuild domestic manufacturing!  Failed states failing?  Stop supporting corrupt and violent governments!

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:48:10 AM PDT

    •  Excellent list. (0+ / 0-)

      Capital gains - Make it a progressive tax so the little people can get ahead.  More would invest if regulated making the markets more stable and the whole system could become more egalitarian with the other changes you propose.

      Interest rates - I like the federal credit union idea.  Could help with cash flow.  I'm a senior and now make almost ZERO interest.  It's tanked my "retirement plan" and see the day when my reserves dwindle to the same ZERO.  Then what?

      Taxes.  The progress tax system after WWII which stayed in place until the 1970s is the system that works, although we now have to factor in the sad reality that most workers in America are not paid a living wage.  Therefore, the best corporate tax deduction should be what is paid for median wages, not average (to help eliminate the CEO immoral windfalls they presently enjoy).

      Convert the MIC into the EIC until we fix our environmental/energy/structrual problems but maintain proper defense for national security.

      Of course, as long as corporations run the show, we will remain inhumane, sadly.

      I agree with all you say.  A kindred spirit.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:00:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aren't you confusing nationalism with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    nationalization? And of course you define the word humane in such a way that it's unlikely that any country in the world is humane. US certainly wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list.

    •  I interweave the two. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The RW idea of nationalism seems to be bowing at the altar of "Freedom = Free Markets" while beating the war drums.

      The question remains:

      Is America a Humane Country?

      I used the dictionary definition of humane.

      Scandanavian countries are much more humane.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree about Scandinavian countries. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        But still find that nationalism has nothing to do with Soviet analogies you're making.

        •  The Soviet Union reference was about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the same outcome via nationalization of businesses.  I interweaved nationalism and nationalization.  I can see the confusion.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:07:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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