Monday, April 21, 2014

Today as Conservatives National Shame Day

I believe from now it would be appropriate for the first work day Monday after Easter Sunday to be, Conservatives National Shame Day. At least until things have been worked back into their proper place and our country brought back up to its once again, deservedly respectful position as world leader.

Why? Because of what Conservative's mishandling of our country has led us all into. We've all head their craziness, their attempts at limiting voters who would vote against them, disrespect for women's rights long ago established, attempts to make corporations equal to citizens, and it just goes insanely on and on....

If you're not at least somewhat ashamed of the following information, then maybe you are one of those with whom our problem lay. We have a rather idealized view of how great we are and we have indeed done great things; but you can't rest on your laurels forever. That's how you eventually fail as a leader. That's how your country eventually falls. And now we have. We have fallen in the ranks of world leader categories.

The new Report on Social Progress from The Social Progress Imperative, is led by one of the most highly quoted experts in his field in the World, Michael E. Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School. His group has taken a look at the world and found the US severely lacking in so many things.

We are overall #16 in the world on social progress. NUMBER 16!

I am laying the blame for this on conservatives and Republicans, on their extremists mostly and those others for following them; or worse, for allowing them to lead; for the cowardly actions of their groups who are bulwarks of greed while arguing all along how compassionate they are and laying the fix for everything at the door of increasing their own personal wealth and that of corporations (who should not be considered "people" by the way). Democrats are to blame some too for not finding ways to push those conservative groups off our national political stage after those groups have consistently done so much damage to our country in the name of "progress"; when really it was about moving all the money to the top of the tier for personal and corporate gain.

Consider that just after America at #16 on the list comes Belgium, Slovenia and Estonia. Awesome! So we're better on social progress than Slovenia. Feeling proud yet? Rather, feel ashamed. Shouldn't we be over #1 New Zealand, or at least above #10 Australia, or Germany at #12, UK at #13, Japan at #14, or Ireland at #15. But no, we're #16 in the world.

We are #23 on Access to Information and Communications. This one I've known about for a while and it annoys me every time I think about it. Mobile Telephone Subscriptions put us at #83 behind the THREE tied for #1, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Russia. Even Jamaica beat us out at #82 and we are only one ahead of Latvia. Latvia!

If you've ever, even in good service areas, had a call not go through due to network over-saturation because the cell phone companies aren't keeping up to the demand, then you know what this is referring to; but it's more than that. It's also about how many places have little or no cell service. I've heard people who were backpacking in remote places around the world and were stunned to find how much better cell service was in those to countries where they had so little else to boast about. Not to mention the countries who get new technologies faster than we do here in America, the so called, "Greatest Country in the World."

We all should know now that we pay more than anyone and get less bang for the buck on Health and Wellness where we are #70; where we have so many who have no healthcare at all because they have to choose between bread and a doctor visit. At least we should know about that by now; and again, we should feel ashamed. Yes, those who can afford our healthcare can get very good healthcare, world class care in fact, but when put up against all those who cannot, we don't shine quite so well.

But we have intangibles right? Like Access to Basic Knowledge (things like enrollment in primary school) with Japan at #1, New Zealand at #2 and Norway at #3. Yet we're ranked #39! With Cuba (CUBA!) ahead of us at #35 and Georgia (the country not the US State, you know them as the people Russia attacked a while back before the current incursions to another sovereign nation by hitting Ukraine's Crimea), who are at #42.

Primary School Enrollment shows China at #1, Japan at #2, Iran at #3 (IRAN?), but the US is ranked at #77! Nicaragua at #78 and Iraq at #79. Feeling ashamed, YET? Okay, then hang on. Also consider our rather high drop out rates in secondary schools.

Consider, Freedom of the Press. We have to be top there, right? But no, we're ranked #21. Are you starting to not care that we're number one yet? Starting to devalue us to let yourself feel better, rationalizing, just thinking about ranking us as over others as our call to our greatness? If so, that's what we have been doing for far too long. Rationalizing our decline. Stop it!

You should be pushing in your mind for us being NUMBER ONE in as many things if not all, as is possible. Or at least for us to be in the top ten of everything. But see?  See how insidious that is? Because that's simply doing it again, rationalizing our decline. Why CAN'T we be number one all across the board? What the hell is going on? What has happened to us as a people? Could it be the corporations who have their finger up the nose of government, leading them along, have consistently beat us down decade after decade, taking not only our pay from us but our dignity; and rationalizing our self esteem until we should no longer have any at all (hey, chin up, we're not quite there YET, we have a few minutes before it's all over).

One word sums it all up that is killing us as a nation, and I'd argue that is: conservatism.

Look, it's got to go. Yes, we need some as a balance to getting out of control with too much progressiveness, but too much isn't none at all. Conservatism has gotten out of control and we need to not just start reigning it in, but simply reign it in. Now. ASAP.

We need to start looking at ourselves honestly and objectively. We need to stop talking so much about how wonderful we are and start being wonderful again, before we simply aren't anymore. We can get our status back so that when we brag, we are accurate. I'd actually argue we shouldn't be bragging, but then we have that status as braggart Americans to uphold that so many love so much (doing it, not listening to it, people around the world are pretty sick of our attitude, not our country, but our demeanor in many cases). Our status now is more of a general concept. If you try to get too articulate about it, it all quickly starts to fall apart. Just pull out this new report and your argument for greatness is dead in the water.

There is nothing worse however, than a braggart who has no leg to stand on. Or a has been, who is spouting how great they once were, when everyone in the room knows they are a has been. It's, pathetic. And our mindset isn't one of our being a pathetic entity in the world.

We're the US of A dammit! Let's get back to being who we know we are. We need to stop talking brave and acting like cowards in these areas. Because we're not cowards. Not at all! We have just let the cowardly speak too much on our behalf (making us, what?). They have taken over too much of our political system, repeatedly invoked fear in us over economics and pulled all the wrong strings in order to get us back on the right path. They have done this so much we don't even see it anymore when it happens.

The first thing we need to start with is putting conservatives in the back seat where they belong. Where they can cry out their warnings about how we are being too progressive, even when we are not, and not let them govern us anymore on the things we all know that we need to be doing. We need conservatives as a check on our progress. They mean well, but are too frequently deluded of late. But to let them run things is a huge mistake and we're now seeing the disservice they have done to us.

Let's get back to being the leaders of the world in all the right ways and not just in bullying the world with our military. Like our drone strikes which again have killed ten Al Qaeda on Saturday last (4/19/14) in Yemen, but also took out three civilians and so we have probably just spawned another thirty new terrorists, ten for each civilian killed. Let's put our money where it needs to be on the things we truly need. Let's do it because it's the right thing to do.

Because, it's who we are.

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