Even though Obama won again and Hillary will probably win in 2016, I still feel as if something is deeply wrong in this country. I think it goes beyond just Democrats vs Republicans.
Does anyone else feel this way? This growing sense of anxiety that something really bad is going to have to happen in America before we can actually achieve real lasting progress? I think mass media and the technological age have pacified us and distracted us from the reality of what is going on.
We are slowly circling the drain and it amazes me that no one seems to really be noticing and those who do speak out about it get labeled as negative nancys or unpatriotic.
I hate whenever people say "Well if you don't like it, then MOVE!". Well that's like saying if someone broke into your house and broke all your belongings that you should just pack up and get out. No, you stand, fight and rebuild your home. That's exactly how I feel. I feel like something has "broken into" America and has destroyed what we were. Now it's time for us to stand up, fight back and rebuild.
You're not the only one, R1. I feel the same way. Everyone I've spoken to about this thinks there is something wrong, but no consensus can be reached on what it is--debt? widespread apathy? immorality? blinding selfishness? unprecedented, willful ignorance? the decline of average IQs? shitty educations? political correctness? blurring of national identity and national borders? erosion of privacy? an economy that won't come out of the shitter? a sense that all of this is permanent--until some new technology comes out to fuck up our lives even more?
It's all that, and more. And above all:
A sense that we're being lied to. Daily. Many, many times a day. That in a postmodernist culture, there is no "there" there--that truth doesn't matter. Lies. Lie upon lie upon lie. Who can you trust?
I like to tell myself that once the baby boomers have passed on, we will finally be able to catch up to Europe in terms of social justice and equality. But that still leaves economic woes which I don't see getting better until we revamp the entire system. That would mean dismantling the Federal Reserve. The top business schools are still churning out corporatist douchebags so I don't know. It's scary.
(LAT) At midlife, the nation’s 78 million baby boomers appear to be in worse health than the generation that preceded them, a new study finds.
Researchers from West Virginia University School of Medicine and the Medical University of South Carolina knew that American’s life expectancy has steadily improved, but they wondered whether that meant baby boomers were healthier than their parents or simply benefiting from better medical treatments.
Part of the problem is that our Representatives and Senators — with only a couple of exceptions, literally like 2 — no longer work for us.
[quote]Does anyone else feel this way? This growing sense of anxiety that something really bad is going to have to happen in America before we can actually achieve real lasting progress?
Mary, like you I am deeply CONCERNED!!!
Welcome to how it feels to live in a world power on the decline.
There is definitely something very "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" about 21st Century America. If the government would just give up on the military superpower bullshit and actually invest our revenues in paying down the debt, rebuilding roads and bridges, and improving public education and healthcare, then I think we'd be fine. But of course that's not going to happen.
One wonders what idealistic Golden Age the OP refers to, as conspiracy-theory and cynical fringees make their comments.
OP, are you aware of American history? Are you referring to that wonderful period before 1865 when people were enslaved here, with many of our most esteemed patriots being barterers of human flesh?
Or the period from European settlement on as genocide destroyed the indigenous cultures and communities across the continent?
Or the period before 1920 when women were second-class citizens without a right to vote?
Or the eras of post-Reconstruction recidivism, McCarthyism red-baiting, the wonderful 1960s and 1970s when political assassinations, false-basis warfare, nation-threatening political scandal and a sense of aimlessness led to the Reagan era of know-nothing jingoism?
Or the many forgotten periods of economic depression that reduced large portions of the population to penury?
Or the entire history of the country up until the last two years when gay people were systematically attacked and denied civil rights of the most fundamental kind?
I won't call you a negative nancy or anti-patriotic. I'll just say you need to have some perspective and not deny your own power, and note the tremendous progress that has occurred over time.
The greatest threats now are environmental, technological, and educational. In the world we're what we choose to be. And the better minds in the country are not going to be defeated by Luddites, Ultrabusiness or Krazy Kavorting Kristians.
The only times the country in its history has "felt good" have been times of backward complaisance and overwhelming propaganda. You have to make your own America work, not flail over something that never existed.
I do feel for OP, I love my country too. R7 has a point. I was interested that the US has "warned" the UK not to leave the EU. Once again, the US thinks it's in charge of the world. A few domestic problems could be sorted out first, guys.
One of the things that needs to be done is to wean ourselves away from dependence on fossil fuels. Bringing train transportation more into the overall American transportation picture similar to what is available in Japan and Europe should be one of the goals for this country in the remainder of the 21st century. If North America falls apart it will be partly on a racial basis as well as regional. I don't think we are in what could be comparable to 5th century Rome, but perhaps 4th century; the question is, if there is going to be a Constantine, who will it be and under what circumstances?
I agree that the baby boomers who grew of age during the 60's and went from hippy dippy love and peace to take all you can get for yourself need to die off and maybe we can start resolving our issues. Bill and Dubya sex and drug/born again issues clearly signified those problems. We have been lied too and manipulated so much so like a battered wife we believe everything a man says or nothing at all. We don't have our moral bearings. That was a fun but useless generation and I can't wait until they are all buried and gone so we can start cleaning up the wreckage.
Oooh, I just wish that I could come back to see the fucking mess R11 and fellow shit-for-brains will continue to make when we " fun but useless" lot are gone and can no longer be blamed.
R11 was correct.
R12--it's going to take a hell of a lot more than one generation to clean up for the damage you and your fellow shit generation have done to this country. You do know that the people who are going to be taking care of you in your senility have absolutely no affection or respect for you? You couldn't even have enough kids to ensure that somebody would pay for your Depends--too busy "finding yourself" or boogying or venturing with capital, I guess. Soylent Green is Baby Boomers--music to everyone else's ears.
I feel it, too, OP. It's everything. It's not hard to pinpoint some of the reasons. We were once a very proud nation that took pride in the things that we built and made. American-made meant something was made with pride and with quality. We were proud of the things that were produced in America and countries around the world trusted products made in America. Now? We outsource everything. We're inundated with cheaply made products from China and 3rd world countries. The same quality we bought back then is now a luxury. You can not get the same quality without paying more.
Bridges and tunnels and structures built in the early 20th Century are still in use today. The men back then did not have the ease of technology. Everything was pride and hard work. They made it happen. Now, again we outsource the jobs to 3rd parties who will hire the cheapest labor they can find. Cheap also means least skilled. The sturdiness of our structures today is nothing compared to those built in the early 20th Century.
I can go on but this post is long enough.
R13. Some of what you and R11 say is true. It's also true of how I felt inheriting the world in the 50's / 60's. And every generation before.....
You guys won't get very far by generalising and hating a whole generation.
P.S. good luck with how the next generation treat you! No hate.
The baby boomers were a hard-working generation. They have shaped modern America, for better or for worse. The generation that we should all fear are the Y-Generation and to some extent the X-Generation. The current crop of teens and 20-year-olds are some of the laziest, dumbest people to ever be produced. Entitled and proud to be ignorant.
Thank you, R8, you are a voice of fact-based, adult thinking and reasoned perspective in a thread based on bullshit and fauxcern.
OP, "the battle for America" really? How very Glen Beck of you. When will you be marketing your freeze dried stroganoff? We'll want some for the post-apocalyptic Fortress America you're planning. The people you don't exterminate right away will need to eat.
The OP is a nasty little troll who should die in a grease fire.
r8 is right. People are almost always nostalgic about the past, mostly it's without a good reason really. Just imagine how Americans felt in the 30's!!! America not only didn't come to an end, it grew stronger.
ILMAO when I hear enemies of this country predicting the demise of the US. Just look at the fucking world!!!! The middle east is imploding and it will get worse! Europe is on the brink of collapse. Japan has it's own great problems with natural disasters, rapidly aging population and economical problems.
China is mostly a huge lie. They have enormous problems that will only get bigger. India is growing but has huge problems too.
South America is mostly shit, one step away from a military coup, one greatly corrupt leader after the other.
That's not to say the US doesn't have problems that should be addressed and fixed but enough with the doom and gloom predictions.
Why don't people like r17 just fuck off? OP's topic is very relevant. It's not a conspiracy or a liberal vs conservative thing. People feel it. Statistics is backing it up. We are no longer high up in the list of health care, education, lifespan, etc. There is a whole host of problems.
A lot of your problem is that you are a funamentalist Christain country - as bad any of the Muslim fudamentalist countries.
really r20? You seem to know so much about America. Please do continue with your wisdom and expertise on American culture.
If you think it's bad now you should have seen it in the sixties.
There's just a huge amount of cultural, economic and social change going on right now (both positive and nightmarishly bad) and due to the unbridled and unregulated state of the mass media the loudest and craziest are the ones who get the most publicity, but they're not necessarily the ones with the most power and influence. If money and power were everything then we would have sworn in President Romney last month. We are still a democracy and we need to WORK IT.
I would bet my dog the OP is our resident, shit-stirring Canadian.
Bet. My. DOG.
OP expresses a legitimate feeling that many share. The answer for why people feel that way depends on what expert you ask. The internet and the virtual world most of us live in now makes reality a questionable thing and contributes to the feeling of alienation and anxiety. We feel like we have an endless amount of information now, but the truth is that we don’t know more about the world around us than people in previous years. In fact, we feel like we know less.
This might be one of the reasons why religion, instead of declining in power as previously expected, is actually getting stronger. People look for some sort of certainty and for someone to tell them what’s wrong or right.
Politically speaking, yes the US has lost a lot of its power, but I’m optimistic that Americans are good people at heart and when the time comes to defend human rights against the evil lurking ahead, they will rise up and fight. History repeats itself. Recession, confusion, war, prosperity. All the players have been lining up in recent years and confrontation is inevitable. In a strange way, war is the positive outcome because the other option is succumbing to something far worse. Basic human rights should never be taken for granted.
Some people expect overnight changes which will make things better for good.
To the critics Obama was supposed to clean Bush's mess overnight or be branded as an utter failure as a president. He was set up to look like a failure, because the Republicans used every dirty trick in order to stall or prevent his attempts to make changes for the better that will benefit the general US citizen (and not the 1% in that regard where money gets into their pockets immediately).
There are no overnight changes when it comes to problems the US are burdened with. The process of change will most likely take several generations and if only one generation gives up and goes off the rail (thanks to being corruped by power hungry and profit oriented jerks) the whole process of change has to start from zero again.
Did OP live in the past he feels so good about? To me it sounds more like a glorified version based on rose tinted nostalgia.
Society always struggles, because it constantly evolves. Some members embrace that kind of expansion without hesitation and others (aka. conservatives) reject or try to stop it (until they figured out a way that makes these changes benefitial to them - and only them). But change / evolving is never easy, because you don't know what to expect and how things turn out in the end.
A lot of my problem with American society is that we live in a culture that teaches us to consume, consume, consume in every way, shape, and form at all times.
The average American is in crushing debt. The average American is obese.
We are being fed these messages so subtly it's almost like we're being indoctrinated into them, and when you bring it up people look at you like you're crazy. Like I'm literally insane because I don't *need* to dine out 3x a week and buy $200 jeans and pay $200/month for cable that I never watch.
It's insane. I just turned 30, and I'm becoming more and more anti-establishment as I get older. I'm paying off my credit cards by the end of this year. I'm moving the bulk of my money out of Chase bank into a community bank.
That doesn't mean that I'm gonna become a nut living in the woods, but I question a lot of different things that we're "supposed" to want. We are a country of greedy, greedy people with an insatiable need for "stuff" that the big banks prey on, which is why they've all got most of us by the balls.
R5 I fucking love.
Fundies, right wing racists in powerful positions, apathy while greedy corporations plunder the economy with full complicity of the government, willful ignorance of the masses, poor education system, immigrants wanting to make this a copy of their home country.
The battle comes from clashing agendas which are pushed down other people's throat for a variety of reasons (insecurity, profit, fear, superiority, etc.).
Reject any of them and you are enemy #1
Refuse to play the game and you are enemy #1
Believe in common sense and you are enemy #1
r25: Yet the Obama administration has continued the lack of transparancy of Bush, while quietly muzzling the supposed "freedom of the press".
The President's private, imperial 'Kill List' is very disturbing. And most of the supposedly progressive press protected him the way Fox propped up the Republicans.
Civil war is coming. The union will prevail once again though.
OP, it's too late. Not just for America. The human race is fucked. It's okay...the sun will eventually engulf the planet anyway, if it doesn't get pummeled by a giant asteroid first.
Here's some advice for you:
[quote]A lot of my problem with American society is that we live in a culture that teaches us to consume, consume, consume in every way, shape, and form at all times.
They Live was a prophetic movie. Couldn't find a pic with one of the billboards saying "consume" so this one will do.
Right now we are witnessing the death of the 2-party system and that's good. But getting to a 3- or more-party system may be tough going.
On the national stage, the Republicans are fracturing. The $$ and the moderates cannot control the Teabaggers. Eventually the Dominionists/Theocratists will break off and the 30% of the population that support them will form their own party. The Republicans, as we used to know them, will eventually be another 30% minority party, and Democrats will be the nominal majority - but will need a coalition to govern.
On the local level, states will start to govern very differently by region until there is a constitutional crisis brought about by Federally-mandated court rulings protecting the disenfranchised, or outright civilian revolt. This is where it is going to get ugly.
r25 forgets how quickly we went from a booming Clinton economy with a surplus, the the deficet-heavy, perma-recession under Bush that has continued under 0.
[quote]If you think it's bad now you should have seen it in the sixties.
I don't recall a 9/11, the longest war in US history, terrorism all over the place, suicide bombers, domestic religious nuts in power, etc. The 60s were a cakewalk compared to today.
Thanks to globalisation all countries are linked like a computer network. And you know what happens when one single computer gets a computer virus. The virus spreads.
Too many people benefit from global trading and their connections with foreign people, countries, cultures, and opportunities. It has become too benefitial for most of us to give that up.
We cannot go back to 'more simple' times (and neither nostalgia nor regret will solve anything), because we can only go forward. It comes down to us deciding which baggage and tools we want to take with us while moving forward and if you want to move forward with someone whose baggage and tools are greed, hunger for power, insecurity issues, intimdation rethoric (like, bully tactics), and bribing.
I'm not saying that America was some idealized place. Obviously we all know America's sad history. But putting that to the side for one moment...
Just think about this. From the end of WWII till Bush II we had a steady growth in the middle class, the backbone of the nation. During this time there was much social progress between African Americans, women and gays. People had decent jobs and home ownership was skyrocketing.
Reagan sowed the seeds for the economic crisis all the way back in the 80s but it wasn't truly felt until 2 decades later. We had 50 good years of prosperity in this country and THAT is what I refer to when I say I want what we once were.
Globalization is just another form of imperialism but instead of guns, germs and steel TPTB use economic constraints, debt and "diplomacy" to exact their exploitative agendas.
People are going to have to be turned out on the streets in droves before anyone actually stands up and fights.
The best response in this full of shit thread:
[quote]Does anyone else feel this way? This growing sense of anxiety that something really bad is going to have to happen in America before we can actually achieve real lasting progress? (OP)
[quote]Mary, like you I am deeply CONCERNED!!!
by: wringing my strand of pearls anxiously (R5)