Thursday, April 5, 2012

American Hubris

It is really depressing to see so many examples of this topic. Let's start with the drug laws. We now imprison our citizens at four times the rate of just back in 1980. The blame for this can be laid entirely at the feet of the draconian drug laws. The mandatory minimum sentences enacted at the federal level back in the '70's caused a number of federal judges to resign, as they could not in good conscience impose the draconian sentences required by this idiotic law. And over 90% of the federal judges signed a petition asking Congress to come to its senses on this issue. Of course, Congress has typically ignored the voices of reason.

Our hubris causes us to blame the supplying countries, and view the solution as cutting off the supply lines into the U.S. Blame the users in the U.S. for the problem? Of course not, nothing is ever our fault. Emphasize more and better treatment programs, instead of tossing folks in jail for using? Of course not, that makes too much sense.

European countries imprison people at 1/7 the rate of the U.S. But should we try to learn from these countries? Of course not, that would be admitting they have better ideas than we do. California now spends more on incarceration than it does on education! What kind of sense does that make?

A similar situation exists with regard to health care. European countries spend about half of what we do on health care, with demonstrably better results. But do we study how they accomplish this and try to implement improvements here? Of course we don't.

And in foreign policy, why do we think it is our inherent right to dictate to countries all around the world how they are to organize their governments? Would we stand for any other country doing the same to us? Of course not, in fact there was a big stink back in 2000 when it was alleged that Al Gore had received campaign contributions from China. Yet, we not only influence elections in other countries, but there are a number of instances in which we have assassinated leaders in other countries. We tried numerous times to assassinate Fidel Castro, without success, and he lives on to this day, in fact he just met with the Pope.

Why do we continue wars such as the one in Afghanistan? What do we hope to accomplish? Anybody who knows anything about that region knows we have already done all we can, and should pull out immediately. But we don't, even with a "hope and change" president at the helm.

I could go on and on, but I am already too depressed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading it. I agree with you.