The Left

America Isn'T That Crazy


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the london Riots remind us that "crazy" is relative.

First it started with the News Corp. scandal. James Cameron's top aides, and police chief resigned upon staggering evidence that Murdoch's empire had been bribing officers, tapping phone lines, and engaging in a culture of "journalism" far overstepping the lines of legitimacy. Not only illegally hacking into conversations of celebrities for the latest tabloid breakup scoop, but top officials, murder victims, and in the states still under investigation possibly 9/11 victims. A far-reaching, cozy culture of top officers and top executives from arguably the world's most influential media conglomerate.

Then to top of it off, recent frustrations by an enraged public about a variety of issues, including police brutality, dissatisfaction with a seemingly disconnected government and a wide gap between the privileged and not fortunate sparking into deadly and deeply destructive riots.

Prime Minister James Cameron is under pressure on two fronts now, both relating to his government's police force. Corruption and a lack of response time to the riots, many now claiming the lack of action allowed for far more destruction mayhem than ever should have come to fruition. In all of this, we can watch and sit back for a moment and think back to our last wide spread major riot with burning cars, buildings, smashed properties and widespread looting. Maybe Katrina, but then, that was under the chaos of an incredible natural disaster and the wreckage of that event. On 9/11 there was no such reports of looting or opportunism. Even with the Tea Party as outrageously angry as they are, bringing guns to rallies and what not, we've seen overall relatively minor cases of violence. Some have been vicious and uncalled for, but no overall rioting. On 9/11 last year over the Ground Zero Mosque, we witnessed perhaps one of the craziest US protests and screaming matches in recent American history, but without any reported deaths or severe injuries or burning buildings.

This by no means is to imply the US is perfectly civilized, our government's inability to forge a negotiation in the debt ceiling was beyond embarrassing, but next time someone wants to lecture you that Americans are nothing but uninformed, gun-totin', bible-grasping rubes, maybe give them a friendly reminder of their own country's follies. Putin, China, the EU, every country seems very quick to viciously criticize the states, but for all of our troubles, we are a nation of a wide variety of cultures that operate in relative harmony. This may be a difficult time, but we are a nation that elected Barack Hussein Obama. So race, and culture didn't stop us from electing whom we saw as the better candidate. Maybe people have their doubts now, but that would not be on policy, rather the politics of this administration. When Donald Trump brought up "the birther" issue again in his own disgusting self-pr strategy he was met with disgust, dismay from the mainstream, and ultimately humiliation as he called off his Presidential run after Obama caught Osama Bin Laden. Suddenly the goofy conspiracy theory birth certificate thing seemed a whole lot less relevant. Even if Obama wasn't born here, (which we all know is uncannily unlikely) killing Bin laden earns you your native citizenship. For all the ridicule Democrats had to take for years over being the party of wussy, nation pandering, UN lapdogs, our Democratic President took on a risky and bold mission, doing something all those like Bush, who had to mention 9/11 in every sentence, and create that embarrassing color coded warning system couldn't do.

Sure, we have the new wave of Republicans and it seems like they're angrier and crazier than ever, but when you look at their rage, a lot of it is just at the system. In a sense they probably support what Obama spoke of when he ran more than they realize, but became disenfranchised by a President that negotiated so much, suddenly the politics of "change" became a huge slap of the the "same." I think in some odd ways, maybe the biggest problem with our country isn't our lack of sanity as so many would accuse of being, but our lack of bold eccentricity. I think we've started becoming a nation of a small-minded, scared, and isolationist people. We're so worried about our debts that we have given up on our entire government. We've become so scared to admit that our people do have the ingenuity and creativity to change the world, but instead worry that Shanghai beats our underfunded schools on math test scores. Our greatest minds came from all over the world. Our backgrounds vary, but the idea of being bold is what always kept us relevant.

While I would by no means suggest us go down the path of European riots, I do think our new found engagement in the process is a good sign. It is a prelude to true change. While I disagree with the Tea Party, and their what I view as deeply flawed vision of solving problems, I am glad to see enthusiasm. I think Democrats can gain that enthusiasm too, and ultimately we can recover from the mind-numbing, fear-mongering days of the Bush administration and find our own hint of crazy again. It's that idea of making the impossible possible that has always made this country great. It reminds us that perhaps when people say America is crazy, we're not necessarily the bad kind of crazy, toppling cars over and burning them, but the bold kind that does what no one else thought could be done.

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Updated May 6, 2017 6:01 AM EDT | More details

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