Tuesday, September 07, 2010

We're not Europe, get over it

Some people just want to see the world burn. Others, like our current President, don't understand the meaning of the term "American exceptionalism" and cheerfully look forward to us splitting up into little sub-countries like the Balkans. Because we're so smug with our Coca-cola and big cars and not having to stand in line for bread and stuff, like they had to. And look, we're arguing vehemently with each other, just like all internecine wars start.

American exceptionalism (certain presidents and Europeans, kindly make a note) means we're different, not better. European countries (and the Balkans) came about because a bunch of peasants minding their own business got incorporated by successively grandiose warlords into larger and larger tax-territories. Government by accretion. Since they weren't *asked* about joining up with those dog-eating vermin peasants in the next valley they'd been feuding with for the last few thousand years, the glue of comity created by this legal fiction was, shall we say, not very strong. Of course when the heavy hand of authority was removed, or weakened, the natural impulse to draw boundaries sprang loose, much like the recoil spring of a 1911 suddenly released from its confinement. Not that I know anything about that. Or hunting for a violently-ejected bushing cap...

The United States of America, on the other hand, was consciously created by the people. We even say so in the very first words of the highest law of the land. We don't really care much about the strangers knocking at the door wanting in--mostly we just want to be sure they agree with the law we created and the reasons behind it. How can you keep a good ethnic feud going if ANYONE can be an American? We marry around a lot, we move a lot, we make friends wherever we want, and unless they go to the same house of worship most Americans would be quite puzzled to identify their neighbor's religion. We remember that everyone here, even the Native Americans, came here from somewhere else. So, we don't have those ancient boundaries to fracture around. The Balkans had it easy, they'd got it all set up and in place for thousands of years. Plus, with the moving around thing, we have friends and relations and ties ALL OVER the country. I am not splitting to form Cascadia if that means I need a passport to visit my friends in Maine.

There are times when I, too, get tired and just want to pull the plug and go straight to Mad Max anarchy, but it won't happen. And that's a good thing. Even though this slow fingernails-on-chalkboard political process is driving me nuts.


Anonymous The Jinxmedic said...

I would like to republish this post on the "Feed Tacoma" news feed. I will not do so without your permission, however.

11:25 AM, September 17, 2010  
Blogger Snarkatron said...

Jinxmedic, feel free. You may need to translate the bit about the 1911 for those who have never experienced the joy of disassembling that otherwise perfect gun ...

11:34 AM, September 17, 2010  

Post a Comment

<< Home