A Long List of Things Americans Should Be Tired of

tumblr_m54yv5trWc1qfoepfo1_500Today a headline on CBC.ca read "Navy yard shooting: Americans 'sick and tired' of mass killings". It seems to me that Americans are, or should be, tired of many, many things. Most of the problems that plague American politics haven't changed substantially in decades, despite the fact that the problems have solutions. The difficulty, in the US, is that things that are established 'facts' in most of the developed world are 'controversial theories' in the United States. The recent naval yard shooting, for example, is hardly an isolated incident. It is just the latest in a series of mass shootings that seem to happen every few months in the US. Better mental health treatment, reasonable restrictions on the purchase and ownership of firearms and working to curb the glorification of violence that permeates American culture would all help with this problem. And make no mistake, I don't mean video games or movies, I mean the official, public glorification of war and violence. None of this is done. If anything, guns are becoming more available. Gun violence though, is just one example. Most people in the developed world:

  • Know that arming and training dangerous ideologues around the world will come back to bite you.

  • Know that bullying foreign governments will only win you friends so long as you can maintain military supremacy.

  • Know that climate change is real and, mostly caused by humans and will be one of the greatest disasters of human history.

  • Know that cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations does not create jobs, increase the tax base or do anything to help the poor.

  • Know that deficits have little or nothing to do with gross domestic product (GDP).

  • Know that ensuring equal, human rights including equal rights for women, LGBT people, people of color etc are a mandate for a legitimate democratic government.

  • Know that the right of women to govern their own reproductive systems is a basic part of the human rights above. If men carried children, this wouldn't even be an issue.

  • Know that people who do not have proper health care cost the system more in the long run.

  • Know that Darwinism is not just a theory, and that only science should be part of science education.

  • Know that a strong public education system and strong national infrastructure is necessary for a healthy economy.

  • Know that personal privacy, free speech, freedom of the press, the absolute right to vote and government transparency are the most important parts of constitutional democracy and not (again) the right to bear arms.

  • Know that poverty is bad for every level of the economy, the rich as well as the poor, big business and small and that great disparity of wealth only breeds resentment and division.

  • Know that sending young people to prison, mostly for petty offenses, rather than to college is dangerous to the future of a country in a wide variety of ways.

The list could go on, but the point is that Americans should be tired of a great many things. There are many times when I want to write about or comment on American politics but don't. It is not that I've given up, or that I'm apathetic about it. It is more of a desire not to sound like a broken record. I have been making the same points, about the same issues for decades in many cases. I sometimes have trouble thinking of something to say that I haven't already said a dozen different ways. So, I've no doubt that Americans are sick and tired of mass killings. I imagine that there are many things they are sick of and how US politicians get away with never fixing any of them, with actually making many of them worse after each election is one thing that remains a complete mystery to much of the world.
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