What a shameful place to find ourselves in at the end of 2015. If all I knew about America was what I heard from our presidential candidates, I would wonder why anyone would live in a country that lacks the tiniest shred of decency. Are we nothing but a pathetic conglomeration of liars, bullies, and racists?
Yes, Donald Trump can come off like a bad joke who takes advantage of people mistaking his blustering political performance art for serious policy statements. On that count Bobbie Jindal’s histrionics over Trump being a “madman”1 weren’t that far from the truth. Trump’s behavior also reveals the scariest thing about the man: we, the people.
Show me a country where competition isn’t fueled by greed and I’ll show you a country not worth living in. In America greed makes us great. Just look at the lines at your local convenience store when the lottery jackpot soars. Quick, easy money is an impossible lure. People want to be rich. No matter what values we endorse, deep down we know that rich is great and greed gets us there.
There was a time when we prided ourselves on being able to do anything. We watched one of our own walk on the moon. We told Khrushchev to get his weapons out of Cuba – amazing by today’s standards – and he did. We built the Panama Canal. For better or worse, we made the first nuclear weapon.
Here’s a great suggestion for any fast-talking conservative who wants to lead this country with a new-fangled vision for America. Instead of wasting your media dollars and our time rambling on about a “new day,”1 “telling it like it is,”2 “a New American Century,”3 going from “hope to higher ground,”4 or scoring a victory against the “Washington machine,”5 try offering us something we haven’t heard before.