Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I believe in American isolationism

"Isolationism - the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities."

from Dictionary.com


First, it is not necessary (or desirable) for us to impress our way of life onto the rest of the world. Americans like to talk about being a "melting pot," but we want everyone to look and speak and act and worship the same way. We don't REALLY value diversity, which is why we try to make the rest of the world just like us. It's no wonder the rest of the world hates us - most of the time, I don't blame them!

Seriously - I don't want to live in a tract home in a cookie-cutter subdivision with a minivan and 2.5 kids. If that's what life is all about, I'll just fast-forward to death now, thank you very much. I've been accused of trying to be subversive, of rebelling for the sake of rebellion, and I'll admit that sometimes I do - but only because I cannot stand that sheep mentality.

We, as Americans, have the same attitude as so many hotshot 18-year-olds. You know what I mean: "I'm an adult. I know everything. I can't possibly learn anything from anyone else." And really, as a nation, are we so different? We've been a country for 233 years - look at the age of European nations and then tell me we're not in our adolescence.

We don't have it figured out yet, but we want to tell everyone else that they're doing it wrong, and they should live like us. That's a nasty attitude - one I'm pretty sure no one would tolerate in their children. But that's the attitude we have as a nation.

Second - and this is the big thing: we have plenty of problems here! I am all about charity, and helping those who need (and want) help. But it makes me absolutely SICK to see every other tv commercial with a graphic stating "Text $10 for Haiti relief." Please don't get me wrong - the Haitian people quite obviously need help (and not just from Americans trying to kidnap their children). But what about the people who need help HERE???

I think most people just don't pay attention, but if you watch the national news, about once a week you'll hear something about [insert dollar amount in the millions here] being approved by our federal government for some kind of foreign relief. We are in the midst of an economic disaster! People in this country, in your community, are losing their homes. They are hungry. The fact that we are sending a single cent to a foreign nation is APPALLING.

And don't tell me that there is government aid available here. Have you ever tried to get government assistance? If you can qualify (and that's a VERY big if), you will be buried in paperwork and appointments required to initially approve and then maintain your assistance. People who are not looking for a handout, but who legitimately need short-term assistance (and therefore do not know how to manipulate the system) cannot get it. And if you are able to qualify for government assistance, and you are employed, you will quickly lose your job because you will never be at work - you'll be spending all your time in line at one government office or another.

I am all for helping those less fortunate than ourselves. And I believe that every person should help by giving or doing all that they can. But we need to fix this country first! No sane person would let their own family go hungry so that they could text $10 for Haiti relief - but isn't that exactly what we, as a nation, are doing?

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