Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.
There’s often a debate that takes place between opposing viewpoints that goes something like this. One person supports an aspect of government policy. They argue for it. Another disagrees, and argues against it. Sometimes, the other person will be accused of hating America for opposing a government policy or two. Usually a conservative person accuses a liberal person of hating America. I’m not sure why this is; it seems like opposing health care reform could be hating America as easily as opposing a military action, but whatever. That’s the way it goes. I don’t especially care. Because I think I really do hate America.
Am I allowed to do that? I think I might be.
Of course I don’t hate people. Or the land. I like the forests and the mountains. Right now there is a foot or so of snow on my lawn, and I am quite fond of the snow. American snow. But I hate the government. I really do. I want to like it. I want to like roads and water pipes and schools. I think they’re great. But I have to hate them, because they are all jumbled up with laws and customs and habits that don’t work for me. It’s a shame. It seems like roads and water pipes and schools could really work together to make a natural space suited to human habitation. I guess it doesn’t work out that way in practice.
There has been a lot of talk in the wake of the Tucson shooting about civil discourse. I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Discourse isn’t going to make any of the pieces of this country work together. We probably should just disband. There’s a way to divide up the infrastructure that still survives, right? Maybe our zoning committees could become unzoning committees, and we could have an orderly division into millions of separate households with no legal obligation to each other.
It means all those conservatives who said I hate America are right. Of course, they hate America too. We just focused on slightly different parts that we hate. Some of what we hate overlaps. That’s nice, even if it’s inconvenient for the dividing up part. Maybe the unzoning committees have a solution for that.
It makes the entire United States experiment a somewhat philosophical enterprise. We are a group of disparate individuals who tried to get together based on our uniqueness. Very meta. But not terribly sustainable. Oh well.
I wish we could get together and make a country. I’m not sure how that would look. I think a country might include education, health care, roads and hospitals. A nice transportation system. An energy grid that balances need and waste. That sounds fun. Too bad. We could have tried that. If we didn’t hate America.