Editorial: The Convenience of Complacence Proclamation

We are Americans. And ever since our eponymous scion, Amerigo Vespucci, arrived here at the beginning of the 15th century, we have been plundering this land for all it is worth.

We are Americans; indulging is what we do.

It started when we liberated this sumptuous land from the rugged presence of savage natives. We were steadfast. We colonized and civilized – built churches everywhere. Then we liberated ourselves of those bloody British people who had repressed us for so long. We divided our colonies into states and, trusting in God, we were able to build the first American subway system in Boston in 1897. Two years later, we started to bottle the ever-so-refreshing Coca-Cola.

By the beginning of the 20th century, there were fewer than 150 miles of paved roads in the United States and one in seven homes even had a bathtub. One in 13 households had the luxury of a telephone. This strive for comfort was the ideal America inherited from our forefathers.

But a great value change has occurred in America accompanying the ever-increasing convenience of life throughout the 1900s.

We used to fight wars that we supported patriotically. During World War II, Americans planted Victory Gardens in order to supplement canned food rationing. This way, we could actually support troops on the homefront. It took a concerted day-to-day effort in which people plowed the fields and literally reaped the benefits of manual labor.

When we fought against Germany, we felt passionately about stopping their authoritarian atrocities. We battled Japan with an air of righteous anger. We were patriotic.

Patriotism lives on today, but in a different way. We support our troops differently: the commercialization of red, white and blue kitsch. After the tragedies of September 11, President George Bush simply told the Americans to go shopping in order to fight terrorism on the home front. It’s convenient to buy “Support the Troops” stickers for our cars. It’s convenient to emblematize our patriotism with T-shirts depicting bald eagles.

Our leaders have even conveniently found us new enemies. Their weapons of mass destruction were obviously abounding, according to our expert intelligence gatherers.

Nowadays, our peers are sent to foreign lands and aren’t even privy on the real reasons. In this brand of Fast Food Nation, most people are more complacent, apathetic or even unconscious of our war time status. They find it more convenient this way.

At one point, in this great nation, we confused complacence with convenience.

Perhaps, if we strive harder, we can battle this confusion and other destructive maladies – like our lack of a fully functional and accessible health care system. We always, after all, find a way to fund our wars for freedom.

We have idolized the struggle for freedom: from the revolutionary war unto our constant, current problems. We are Americans, it’s what we do.

Happy July 4! Indulge in the freedom. Spread the joy, with hamburgers and fireworks for all.

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