The Retardation Of America: Truth Or Consequences

What does the future face of America look like? There is still a large faction of extreme right-wing, anti-intellectual, bigots spouting threats of a “take-over” in 2012. Now it just remains to be seen whether or not enough Americans bite into that worm-filled apple and propel this country into its death-throws, or whether or not there is enough common sense and practicality left to allow this moment in history to be a genuine growth spurt.

With Sarah Palin’s recent comments suggesting a possible presidential run in 2012 (perhaps the Mayans were right!), one has to wonder if we’re all just crazy enough to place a 4 year old behind the wheel of a Mack truck and expect that it won’t smash headlong into an electricity pole. After taking out hundreds of pedestrians first.

“I think that it would be absurd to not consider what it is that I could potentially do to help our country… I won’t close a door that perhaps could be open for me in the future.”

How easy it will be for someone like this (it doesn’t have to be Sarah, mind you, there are many potential nominees with a similar mindset ready to fill that slot) to twist this country into a knot so tight it may never be able to be unwound. After all, anyone who suggests that Rahm Emanuel (a man I have no great fondness for) should be dismissed from his position for calling liberal groups “fucking retards,” while supporting Rush Limbaugh using the exact same term in commenting on those same liberal groups with:

“They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was using satire … . I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with ‘f-ing retards,’ and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there.”

This is the kind of “logic’ that will allow any person in charge to do whatever they want because there will always be a statement that can be made to support their actions, no matter how heinous, regardless of common sense or reality. Not to mention someone who needs to jot down her core principles (“Energy”, “Tax” and “Lift American Spirits”) on her palm like a cheat sheet for fear of forgetting them during a post-tea party Q&A (“Budget Cuts” was also written there, but with the word “Budget” crossed out as an apparent afterthought) .

Not much better are men like John McCain, who said in 2006 in regard to the much-debated “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:

“I understand the opposition to it, and I‘ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.”

But now that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has openly proclaimed to McCain and the other Senators that:

“It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is the right thing to do… No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”

McCain has responded with a resounding and harsh dismissal of Admiral Mullen’s recommendation with a statement that the law should remain unchanged while any war is going on. Thankfully, smarter, more honest men like Gen. Colin Powell rebuffed McCain’s statements with:

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

So what is the biggest reason given by those opposed to repealing this law? It is to “protect troop morale and cohesion.” Really? Is that what this is about? Because, I gotta tell ya, like those same fears of gay marriage ruining families, this retarded logic feels all too much like that very same fear that was spread when Harry Truman, in 1948, ordered racial integration of troops in the American military. The largely southern opponents to this action claimed that it would create “situations destructive to morale.” This turned out to be anything but true. And to think today of not having an interracial military would be offensive. As this current argument is.

Admiral Mullen continues:

“It does, again, go to a fundamental principle with me, which is, everybody counts. And part of the struggle back to the institutional integrity aspect of this… and putting individuals in a position that every single day, they wonder whether today is going to be the day, and devaluing them in that regard just is inconsistent with us as an institution. I have served with homosexuals since 1968… Everybody in the military has. And we understand that.”

A dear friend of mine, a Desert Storm Veteran, had this to say on the issue:

“I served 3.5 years on a submarine. I have spent 1.5 years under water on 5 patrols. We would go under water with 150 men, of which, some were gay. What a shock. It was common knowledge and everyone knew for the most part…it’s hard to keep a secret after being under water for 3 months. It wasn’t an issue. We trusted each other with our lives.”

We have a choice as Americans. Do we hold onto our old, tired fears? Our illogical excuses for not moving forward? Do we chastise those we don’t like while rewarding those we do, even when they say the very same thing? Come 2012, we will see what America is. If someone like a Sarah Palin finds their way into office, we will have told the world of our intent. And we will have many more enemies than we have today. And they will be of our own making. Anyone who would put their vote behind one of these people is, and I say this with no illusion to respect, an idiot of the highest degree. Mislead, fearful, uninformed and dumb as a knuckle.

The choice is yours.

The Retardation Of America: Truth Or Consequences