6.26.2013

Letter of Discontent to the United States

I sometimes make pseudo-political posts on this blog (though it certainly is not my preferred platform for them) with vague disclaimers about how I don't like getting into politics on here. Today however, I am angry, and this post will consist of possibly-ranty discontent with the state of things in my country. Come at me, NSA. Those who disagree will disagree and that's fine, but rude and hateful comments will be removed. After all, this post is about respect.
This is what the Republican side of the Senate floor looked like as an abortion bill was "debated" on Monday in Texas. Tons of eyewitnesses attested to the fact that many proponents of the bill were not only not paying attention to the debate but openly engaging in jeering conversation. Furthermore, when they did speak, they showed an inexcusable lack of knowledge and a horrifying intent to misguide and manipulate voters under the guise of "protecting women." I understand the moral opposition to abortion, I really do. What I don't understand is the use of shaming, misguiding, and derogatory rhetoric to further an agenda that could not be further from protecting women. If you want to debate morals and ethics, fine by me, but do not disrespect my intelligence by telling me you're protecting women by trying to deny millions of women not only access to abortions, but other critical health services as well. If that wasn't enough, the behavior of senators during those proceedings makes it clear that not only are senators being deceitful, they are not doing their jobs. They're mocking their constituents, colleagues, and the entire foundation of the democratic process because they've gotten complacent and it's disgusting.

Sure Texas is notorious for this kind of behavior, but the federal government hasn't been doing a much better job of protecting democracy either. On the one hand they're touting their attempts to defend our country by persecuting Edward Snowden, and on the other subjecting our minorities to voter discrimination by suspending Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Snowden was within his rights to report the surveillance actions being taken by the NSA, and threatening other countries with retribution for not extraditing him rather than addressing the issue (breach of constituent confidence and violating the constitution in a gross way) is making the country look like a petulant and scared bully in the international sector. Some supporters of the surveillance say "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," (a prize to the first to recognize this quote), which is all well and fine for now. I would bet that 98% of Americans have nothing to hide beyond a little sexting or maybe pot use. The problem is when it becomes not all well and fine. Because this was kept secret for "public safety," there are no guarantees of provisions that this information will not be used to eventually distort innocent information to paint people as immoral, deviant, and treasonous. We're not good at looking at the whole picture in our justice system (just watch this TED Talk), and this has the potential for extreme and widespread abuse.

Second, we need to have some perspective on terrorism in this country. Just a quick Google search for "deaths from terrorism" yields numbers that are staggering. Since 1985, we've had maybe 3500 deaths (and about 5000 crippling injuries) attributed to terrorist attacks (most of which were 9/11). The number of deaths from any form of cancer in the US last year alone is about 68 times that number! And we want to scrap the Constitution and our liberties and run toward a 1984-style surveillance state? What? Sure, new weaponry and technology has made it much easier to execute terrorism than in 1985, and I don't think we should do nothing, but surely there is a better solution than decimating the Constitution and the very values of the foundation of this country to entrust my liberties to a government (for "protection" from a seemingly minor threat) that has an awful track record for targeting minorities, ignoring civil rights, lack of transparency, abuse of power, violent overreaction, and possibly the most inflated ego the world has ever seen?

I love this country but what we need is a little "back to basics" focus. The government needs to regain our trust by showing itself and its people a little respect; by treating humans humanely, domestically and globally, and restoring the values upon which our country became a great nation.

2 comments:

  1. mugdha, i agree. my husband told me about this situation tonight. this is when i don't like living in texas. i don't feel like the majority of my philosophies are shared politically here. we are glad our representative stopped the vote with a filibuster.

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  2. i'm not really an expert on political issues (i know i should show more interest, though), so thank you for this very informative post! :)

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/
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