We’re number one! You see it on little signs and hear it mouthed on a daily basis. But what does it mean? If you’re that lone Cubs or Cowboys fan sitting in a dark corner loyally waving your little sign and hoping nobody else sees it, not much. But if you’re using it as the slogan for an entire country full of people it by damn ought to mean something. Otherwise, you’re just another little fan boy spitting slogans and sound bites with the credibility of a cockroach (or Sean Hannity, whichever comes first). And that’s just about where we’ve come to with this whole “America is Number One” thing as the list of things we’re number one in but probably shouldn’t be continues to grow. And one of the ways we’re definitely number one is in our national hypocrisy.
One of the things that really pisses me off America right now is that most the people in charge… the ones who get plastered all over the media and held up to the world as “representative” of the American people at least… are such sorry assed hypocrites. America’s “Do as we say, not as we do” attitude has been pissing me off for the last thirty goddamned years, ever since the right wing started dismantling the moral and ethical standards that had made this a truly great country. The United States of America now functions on a platform of nearly pure hypocrisy and has gone from being the true moral and ethical leader of the world community to being if not a flipping virtual pariah nation, at least a damned laughing stock among developed countries when we attempt to mouth our moral platitudes about freedom and democracy and try to look down from a lofty position we no longer hold.
The fact is that in spite of all the blithering and blathering by the politicians we can’t do a damned thing right anymore, at least from a moral and ethical standpoint. For example, we can’t provide adequate health care to anyone but the richest among us in spite of having the world’s most expensive health care system. Because ours is the only purely for profit health system in the world, it is easy to draw direct comparisons between the level of service and the dollars spent and we’re lucky if we rank somewhere in the middle in most categories. But by god, the jingoists say we have the number one best health care system in the world and they wouldn’t lie, right?
We have a rapidly evolving private prison industry which basically means that we will have to keep providing a steady supply of serfs to populate the systems, once again in order to increase dividends for the shareholders. But the jingoists will (FALSELY) tell you that we’re number one in protecting our citizens from the rabid criminals out there.
We have managed to privatize every part of war, turning the whole operation over to Wall Street… well, except for the actual fighting and dying which we still reserve that part for the poor and working class… and for Wall Street to do the only thing Wall Street gives a rat’s ass about doing, we have to have ourselves at least one never ending major conflict, preferably several at once, going on somewhere in the world. In other words, our children and their children and their children’s children will have to be fighting and dying somewhere in perpetuity in order for Wall Street to keep it’s shareholders happy. But the jingoists say we’re number one and it’s therefore our duty to see that the rest of the world doesn’t get too damned uppity.
At least we’ve stopped pretending that we’re trying to be the “world’s policemen” and have taken the first steps toward admitting that we are instead the world’s bullies, not afraid in the least to send thousands of our (poor and working class) citizens to fight and die in any worthless sand trap as long as it means huge profits for our energy, aircraft, arms and munitions companies and huge bonuses for their amoral and totally ruthless CEOs. of course the jingoists will tell you that we’re number one so we have to force feed our version of number oneism to the rest of the world.
We’re number one at advocating torture as a viable means to an end and in using robots to kill dozens of possibly innocent civilians in order to get the ranking Al Qaeda dude of the week. But the jingoists will tell you that killing civilians and torturing prisoners is necessary to keeping us number one at… well, at killing civilians and torturing prisoners, I guess.
On the home front, we no longer have a reliable safety net for those affected most by the games Wall Street plays with our money and what is left is being constantly eaten away as the ultra rich attempt to cram more and more of the country’s wealth into their own pockets with little to no regard for the consequences to the rest of us. People with more wealth than they or their descendants for the next ten generations could ever possibly need are literally stealing food from the mouths of children in this country and astonishingly, half the population will look you right in the eye and tell you that’s somehow a good thing because the jingoists have looked THEM right in the eye and told them that we’re number one and staying number one depends on Wall Street being in charge of the whole shooting match.
We blow up flipping mountains and fill in flipping valleys in our zeal to force even Mother Nature into Wall Street’s mold and remake the country into one massive slag heap that will stand for millennia as a monument to the greed of the Wall Street barons and don’t give me that bullshit about our energy needs. We are capable of providing our own needs for years to come without sacrificing the environment and the well being of our citizens.
If you’ve got half a brain cell left, you know damned well that that the energy companies couldn’t care less about being responsible stewards of what are after all, OUR natural resources and that more and more of that coal… along with ever increasing amounts of this country’s other natural resources… is finding its way to places like China and India where it is used to help turn the US into a third rate economic power dependent on other countries for its very being at huge short term profit to the energy companies. Those energy companies aren’t doing a goddamned thing but stealing the future of this country and selling it for short term profit and the sooner the ignorant among us realize that, the sooner we can start taking steps to preserve what’s left. But the jingoists will tell you that we’re number one and that selling off a little… Ok, a lot… of what makes us number one will help to keep us number one.
And so it goes. All in the name of the almighty god Capitalism, which like most gods down through history, has been perverted beyond all recognition and turned into little more than a club by which to keep the masses in line so that they might best serve the ruling class. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a true believer in capitalism through and through. I just have no use for the current VERSION of Capitalism which has been thrust upon us by Wall Street bankers and their lackeys in what used to be OUR government.
If some of us choose not to worship at the altar of this perverted god then by damn we must be “socialists” and we all know what that means. Means we hate America and want to see it “fail”. Isn’t that what your well financed Tea Party elite and your whored out politicians get paid to keep telling you?
Make it sound noble or righteous enough… make it appeal to the basest instincts of “my country right or wrong” jingoism and you can sell anything to a certain segment of our society. And that’s really about the only thing our fearless “leaders” are really number one at, innit?