Perspective, or “We’ve always been assholes.”

I feel like I ended up coming of age in one of the worst political and economic climates the entire world has ever seen, and that after I came of age it only got worse.  If you listen to any news service, it seems the United  States is in a nose dive of petty political infighting, the likes of which have never before been seen.  It’s always someone’s fault, but no one seems to agree on who that is.  One thing is certain: we’re all screwed and it has never been worse.

Then I remind myself that this statement is bullshit.

In 1798, President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts.  These were a group of four acts that, if you’ll allow the short version of things, gave the government the power to silence and imprison critics.  That’s right, criticism was a freaking crime…a crime 11 were tried for and 10 actually served time for.  This wasn’t some modern thing.  This was something that happened in the first 10 years of our country’s existence, and during the second president’s tenure.  This was at the dawn of our political existence, and it didn’t bode well for us.

I have no illusions about how bad things are.  I have no illusions about how much gun control, economic warfare, taxation, gender politics, military politics, politics politics, freed of speach, freedom of religion, bipartisanism, bisexuals, infighting, out there fighting, and every other topic under the sun are effecting our country’s well being.  I get it.  I understand this.  However, to listen to the news?  We are on the brink as we have never been before.  It’s the end of times….

…because that is what sells.  Fear.  Anger.  Hate.

I think back to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, and Jon Stewart’s moment of sincerity…

..the above clip cuts off one of my favorite parts unfortunately…which I have found a transcript of.

Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution and racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day.  The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals, or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do, often something they do not want to do. But they do it, impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make. -Jon Stewert

I wonder why CBS (the people who posted the youtube clip)  cut that part of his speech out.  Sort of a poignant omission, don’t ya think?

We’ve done stupid things…and we’re going to do stupid things again.  Same as always.  Same as everyone else.  I’m not going to make excuses for the foolish things our leaders do….but I’m not going to fall into the trap that does nothing but give money and attention to fearmongering tactics.

I’m better then that.  We all are.

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