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?
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
APPEAL TO AMERICANS HUMANENESS!