I’m guessing that because yesterday was Labor Day in the U.S., that there was a parade somewhere. And parading will be folks that glorify in the stupidity that is rampant in this country. Somewhere, signs will be held aloft stating one’s believe in the Tea Party group. Others will insult our President, possibly calling him a Muslim or scribbled with a lightly veiled racist comment, quite possibly misspelled. When Americans gather to celebrate our country on national holidays, the voices of the ignorant ring out the loudest.
Why is it that Americans are encouraged, or even coerced, into equating patriotism with ignorance? The less we learn about or question our government, the more patriotic we become in the eyes of the flag-waving public.
Don’t believe me? Remember in the last presidential election, those who did their research on the candidates and wanted to ask them questions were called intellectuals in voices tinged with disgust. And the candidates themselves? Those who were educated and employed a varied vocabulary were also called intellectuals in voices filled with disgust and then equated with communists.
We are so quick to poke fun at other countries and laugh about their methods of mind control. In North Korea, loud speakers praise the Great Leader and countrymen are expected to believe every word. Many countries (attempt to) ban all media from outside sources and to trust their leader and their God at any cost.
We label those here who question their government as treasonous or communistic. We are quick to believe anything we hear in 20-second “news” reports without bothering to know or care who owns the news station. We sit in front of our televisions watching reality shows while eating genetically modified foods without knowing or caring how this food arrived on the non-recyclable, microwavable plastic tray in front of us. Our reading material is Us and People magazines. Our books, if we have any, are “self-help” books written by televangelists. If we are “connected”, we are embedding cute animal videos on Facebook.
I am fortunate to live in a Democracy. I don’t have to worship a Great Leader. I still don’t have to wear a Burqa. I have the freedom to write this blog. I have a brain and it has great capacity (less as I age, however). I am fortunate along with more than 300,000,000 people. We will, however, find ourselves much less fortunate in the near future if we shirk our duties as citizens. It is our duty to learn and contribute (not just financially) to our country, not just sit in our overstuffed recliners and let corporate government feed us soft drinks and Twinkies.
We’re not doing ourselves or our country any good by remaining complacent, ignorant, and running up our flags of patriotic stupidity on every national holiday.