Modern America.

I find myself wondering as of late if philosophy has a place in modern society. There used to be a premium on the open and honest discussion of our place in the world and universe but I wonder if that time hasn’t passed. As I’ve come of age during the 90s, 00s, 10s, and now even into the 20s, I’ve noticed society backsliding.

Just for context this is the observation of a person living in the Midwest of the United States who has never really known much in the way of struggle as it is universally understood. This bends my observation as any lens does, but it is not from lack of trying on my part. I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states (I’ll come see you when it is sane to travel again, Hawaii) and seen how each one functions and what kind of values they hold dear. We are a wildly diverse nation given our small size in terms of population. This is a fact we should be proud of and should foster.

But as I’ve seen in the aforementioned decades, the false ideal of American Exceptionalism has once again reared it’s ugly head. What is really on display is some form of spurious nationalism. The flag-waving, self-congratulating, celebratory masturbation kind of nationalism.

Phrases devoid of meaning and brimming with xenophobia such as the following:

“If you don’t like it here, get out.” – Typically muttered at someone such as myself. I’ve seen other countries, have you?
“America was founded as a Christian nation.” – This is just patently false. It was certainly founded BY quite a few Christians, though. The rich, white, slave owning kind.
“Support our troops.” – How long does this support last after they’ve returned from the foreign soil they were “defending” us from? Does your good will extend to the homeless veterans numbering somewhere around 40,000? Because your support seems desperately lacking for these particular troops. Do your cries of “too lazy to get a job” apply to them? This is a platitude that has grown to monstrous proportions. Lip service to one of our oldest and most sacred cows.
“We stand for the anthem.” – This is a meaningless argument. It’s a way to put people you disagree with into a neat category and apply a label to them.

Our political institutions were established to give us guidelines and be an approximation of right and moral action. These institutions have been ransacked by a lust for power and monetary wealth. This kind of unsavory activity used to be reserved to the fringes as the anomalous events that they were. Now it is completely in the open. It is, in some sense, more honest. Showing your true colors is in fashion, so long as they are red, white, and blue.

My diatribe is protected by the First Amendment. And if that offends you, don’t worry, I don’t believe the Second holds as much water as it’s been made to carry.

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