So here we are, 2020, & where once America was the Promised Land for every hopeful person on earth, America is no longer the greatest, most advanced super power on earth. Why? It is not one single reason, but a multitude of missteps that have taken the light from Lady Liberty’s Torch. I probably don’t perceive them all, but here are the few that stand out, glaringly.
1. INVESTMENT IN WAR:
I’m not a Dove by the furthest stretch of the imagination. As long as humans give in to their base nature, the citizens’ freedom and wealth must be protected by the government, which equates unfortunately in some circumstance, to war. It’s unavoidable, sometimes.
However, when drafting the constitution, the Founding Fathers were steeped in the ideology of the Age of Enlightenment philosophers. And those philosophers were concerned with the ideas that create enlightenment. War is not one of the features, at least not a primary feature or concern, but arises more as a result of executing & protecting the primary features of an enlightened nation.
John Locke proposed a radical conception of political philosophy deduced from the principle of self-ownership and the corollary right to own property, which in turn is based on his famous claim that a man earns ownership over a resource when he mixes his labor with it. Government, he argued, should be limited to securing the life and property of its citizens, and is only necessary because in an ideal, anarchic state of nature, various problems arise that would make life more insecure than under the protection of a minimal state.
Thomas Hobbs proposed that citizens would give allegiance (and taxes) to a king in exchange for the king’s protection of the individual citizen’s ownership of property & individual rights; i.e: equality, peace, prosperity, happiness.
And yet, in the overzealous ambition of protectionism, the direction America has taken with militarism over social needs is the first & possibly biggest way that America has failed, and handicapped our Greatest Power status. Instead of putting money into Technology, Energy, Infrastructure & Education for and of the citizens, America spends 2/3rds of it’s wealth on Military Power, & wastes money, time and resources on war after war after war. War has squandered America’s resources, potential, & greatness.
2. GENDER BIAS & THE SUPPRESSION OF WOMEN:
Whether or not we personally subscribe to elitist white misogynistic Christianity or not, Puritanical underpinnings have impacted America for centuries, beginning during its colonizing period, and not at all removed from present day social ideology. It affects the mind of everyone whether they know it or not. The premise that one who doesn’t work, shouldn’t eat, and the Millenniums-long silencing of women has kept America from becoming the Enlightened Promised Land that Madam Liberty holds the flame for. Although the patriarchal silencing of & gender bias toward women traces politically, socially, academically, and religiously to Greek society, it is far older than that. It is the single most egregious human evil, far worse even than racism, because it affects 50% of the ENTIRE human race, regardless of color. This ideology stifles the social mind with fear of sex & liberalism & condemns nakedness, the woman’s body & feminism. America is the only Technically Advanced Premier Power country in the world that still hasn’t embraced a powerful women leader, & is still bogged down in modifying or restricting Women’s Rights. This suppression of half of every human, of the feminine voice and mystique, of the yin half of the whole, has crippled humans, crippled men & women, & has darkened the light America tried to shine on the world.
3. AMERICANS MUST PAY FOR HEALTH CARE & EDUCATION:
A nation where all the citizens are not healthy & educated, cannot be the greatest power on earth. Investment in its citizens is the single most important investment & action that can make America great. Investing in war over education, infrastructure, health and human services cripples our future, & handicaps each individual’s ability to reach their full potential. When the populace struggles, and 99% of the wealth is owned by 1% of the citizens, a country cannot flourish; the economic structure becomes a sort of modern-day feudalism. The only thing that Makes America Great is its people, and if they are not free, healthy, educated, & able to succeed, America can never be great. No might of arms, or power of wealth, or misogynistic white elitism can mediate the impoverishment of the 99%.
Until these things change, as long as war squanders America’s resources, and people are enslaved by survival & prejudice, America will not be great again.