Monday, April 18, 2011

And now to alienate the rest of you!

Since this is my forum, I can choose to talk about what I would like. Today I would like to wax prosaic about politics. I have a strong scouting background and tend to lean Democratic (Think "lean" as in a motorcycle sport bikist leaning into the turns of a grand prix at 100 miles per hour and not "lean" as in a positively phototropic chlorophyll laden eukaryote producing a little too much auxin.).

Scouting has badges in both personal finance and environmental science scouting is apolitical. Why should scouting suggest the left as opposed to the right or any party in between? Consider the Scout Oath, "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty, to God and country. To obey the scout law. To help other people at all times to keep myself, physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." Its that "help other people at all times" clause I really like.

Some would question the logic of helping the impoverished class suggesting that there is a certain percentage that abuses the system, that milks us the tax paying citizenry for all our generosity is worth and still chooses to remain poor. To them I say, this is probably true, but lets give them the chance. I would shudder to think what America would be if the American Dream had an exclusivity clause. Though the impending international debt implosions implore us to introspection, I suspect that even in a recession our country is strong enough and powerful enough that we can pull those stuck in the mire of poverty free without being pulled in by those who relish its murky embrace. Should we cast aside our corrupt capitalism for the chagrined communism? Nay. Capitalism has been given its chance and though its ideas are noble, in practice there will always be greed and thus an inequitable allocation of wealth. People should be able to work hard, work for their entire life and have something to show for it. People should be able to accomplish their dreams and become whatever their heart desires. The altitude of one's ambitions should not be abridged by another's intent.

But there is a temperance to this lofty idealism. In our race for our personal summits I do not believe we should walk on another nor should we destroy our environments. The analects of scouting again offer us a creed:

As an American I will be clean in my outdoor manners, be careful with fire, considerate in the outdoors and conservation minded.

I think art, music, theater and all the trimmings of a well enlightened society are essential to the education and empowerment of the human soul. All of these are completely necessary to the human experience. I think in addition to this we must preserve and protect the breeding ground for such ideas. I believe we need to protect our American environments and uniquely American vistas, else what good is an American Dream if the world we live in isn't worth aspiring too? Whether you are globally thermophilic or thermophobic protecting our planet offers unimaginable dividends. As Dr. Ghistle once said humming fish do not hum if their gills are all gummed. All of America is a crowning gem of beauty. But how can we appreciate our fabled spacious skies and purple mountains of majesty if all we can see is smog? How can we live in a land were the people are free but the water is dammed? What would it be like if our national bird, the majestic bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus )symbol of kings and nations existed only in zoos and aviaries instead of wild and free? America is America and it is up to us to protect what makes us unique, our people and places not just our things.

I have one more thought to add to my stream of consciousness political ramblings. We cannot achieve any of our ends if we are always embattled asses ( Equus democratis) versus mammoths (Elaphus republicansis). How did that ancient proverb go? " A house divided under Republican control?" Sorry. If one side refuses to give a little, refuses to work for the better good and refuses to represent his/her constituents and not his/her pocket book then that man or woman is a Utah State legislator.


leoele said...

As you know, I spent nearly as much time in scouts as you did (up until we turned 18), but I humbly disagree with most of your positions.

I typically hate to use the word offensive, mostly because liberals run around saying things like, "I was sooo offended when..." but your generalization that Republicans don't like helping people out is offensive. Did you see the video of California Representative Sanchez who, when asked if she'd be willing to give up her paycheck in the face of a government shutdown, likened herself to "most Americans, living paycheck to paycheck." A salary of nearly $200,00 per year and she's like the average American? Give me a break. Sanchez, and the rest of Congress needs a lesson in fiscal responsibility.

I love the idealism of the American Dream just as much as the next American. However, there is a dark side to the American Dream that you failed to consider. People get so focused on the materialistic side of things, they overlook the well being of their peers. If you want to try and tell me that that's limited to one political party or another, I'd call you damned fool. It stems from greed; our human nature is flawed and imperfect.

The problem with the American Dream is that many Americans are too lazy to actually rise above their circumstances. I go to school in North Philly in a neighborhood that as a Utah native, I still sometimes have trouble fathoming. Most of the people don't really seem to care. The houses are completely falling apart, and piles of trash blow down the streets like leaves in the fall. It's disgusting and filthy, but no one really seems to mind.

Once over dinner, a classmate of mine explained how his dad came from India with $53. That's it. He used the money to buy a suit, and then went out and found a job. He lived in an awful neighborhood, and on more than once, literally ran for his life on his way home from work. Now, he owns rental properties, has a wonderful house in Valley Forge, and has sent two sons to college and graduate school. That's the American dream.

Because of our failure to look after our fellow Americans, the Federal government has attempted to intervene via social programs. The problem is that our government is just as inept at distributing aid as the rest of America. Standing around and pointing fingers at why we have social issues is not going to help. The solution starts with you, and me. As citizens of this country what can we do to help others? How are we going to encourage our peers to get involved as well?

As a future health care provider, I'll do my part. Just don't point at me and say that because I'm a republican, I don't care about helping people. You couldn't be more wrong.

Boom said...

Touche. I admit I am wrong. You are right I do know a great many people of all political persuasions who are the most generous and helpful people I have met you and your family are definitely among them . Apologies.

Boom said...

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