Well, we have been told by various people, in various ways, that all America needs to do to get back on the right track is (insert bumper sticker slogan here) and everything will return to the halcyon days of the Fifties, when all men were like Ozzie, all women like Harriet, and the children were just like David and Ricky.
Except we got Ozzie Osbourne, instead of Ozzie Nelson.
Regardless of your position on our “moral decline,” step back a moment and consider whether your vote could truly change morality in America. We have often tinkered with laws attempting to legislate morality, often by denying free choice and violating the Constitution. The “War on Drugs” failed to reduce drug use. Laws attempting to regulate sexual behaviors have been ruled unconstitutional. Attempts to void “Roe v Wade” have only chipped away at the foundation of choice.
And now, unbelievably, there exists a possibility, that within the next year, laws restricting gay marriage may be stricken from the books.
So now, can we stop with the voting on what we perceive to be the moral failings of our fellow Americans and begin to address the issues that truly affect us all?
When you clean out your garage, often the best course of action is to drag everything out into the driveway, trash what you can, organize the rest and put it up in an orderly fashion. Well, let’s “trash” the moral divisions that divide us – we’re not going to change them anyway – and let’s get organized, prioritize and proceed in an orderly fashion.
While politicians and talking heads are flitting about, whining about the moral decay of America and what they think should be done about it, the actual issues of the day are being obscured by a fog of mindless partisanship and self-serving bombast.
Aaron and James are going to pay the same taxes as Erin and Jim, so let’s address that issue and not whether Aaron and James are going to burn in Hell. If James and Jim are both out of work and trying desperately to figure out a way to pay the mortgage, their bankers only have one issue in mind – money.
The so-called “moral issues” that divide us are going to matter little if we cannot unite as a country and deal with the real problem that face each of us.
This I know to be true; I had lunch with Aaron and Erin last week and they both expressed the same thought to me.
William Stephenson Clark
38 responses to “What’s the Matter with America? Part III”
A point is there a Constitutional right for Heterosexual couple to get married?
If there is and oddly shortly after I thought of that it was on the news that the SCOTUS had actually rule at some time there was. Perhaps during the mix-race issue of marriage, then that same right is there for Gay couples.
They both found their beginnings at the same time and the similarity between the Islamic Fundamentalists and the Neo-Conservatives did not stop there. Both saw that people were becoming aimless and without a core guidance as their freedoms expended. Along with that people did not seem to be aware of what they were becoming and losing by having such freedom.
Itolduso brought up a point yesterday that is true, laws tend to come about because of a perceived lacking of morality. That can lead to a dictatorship and/or a tyranny rule. That is one warning I would give, when ever your desire and intention is for the better of people.
And you pass laws that you think is for the welfare of the people that too is endanger of being a tyranny.
One failing in the Middle east and that of the Neo-Conservative is the assumption that we knew better what those people needed and should have then they did.
The same sometimes happens with the Democratic, I will defend that no one in their heart is wanting to rule the lives of people. Democrats actually have more love in their heart for their fellow human being then the Conservatives.
But, a unbridled Democratic agenda though the intent is totally different from the Social Conservatives.
Would end up having the same effects as a unbridled Social Conservative agenda.
Different goals and motivations but none the less the same outcomes in different areas.
Again what is perceived as moral and right is defined by the person and is not held by everyone.
It is just some of the bigger issues people do agree on like murder and the like.
Good question; I don’t know of any case that so holds (the Constitution being silent on this issue). I know there is a Constitutional right to procreate; discerned to exist in the 1940s, as (sometimes faulty) memory serves.
But wait: there can’t be such a right; the Constitution doesn’t say there is! /sarcasm
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…on someone else’s terms.
Find me where those rights are specifically enumerated and protected against governmental interference in the Constitution. BTW, the Declaration of Independence doesn’t count.
Declaration of Independence isn’t law, but it is THE SPIRIT of the laws that sprang from the revolution. All laws are based on our inalienable rights, granted by our maker. And I know you know about spirit of the law.
I DO know the difference between the two documents. I just typed the first thing that popped into my mind.
Next time I’ll cite my source. 😉
“…whining about the moral decay of America and what they think should be done about it…”
Right here among people I consider reasonable and then some, we couldn’t agree yesterday on what constitutes legislating morality. We moved into a different question to disagree about. Keeping alive the disagreement just in case we may have agreed someplace.
Some think laws are made based on morals, while I think laws are made based on someone abusing the space and / or property of another. It seems to me that some may think morals are only possible through religion, and specifically Christianity. I strongly disagree. We hear even from politicians running for POTUS that our Constitution needs to be rewritten to more closely resemble the Christian Bible. I see that as at least the beginnings of a theocracy and I certainly don’t see a Christian theocracy as superior to any other theocracy.
Until someone complains or is inconvenienced or feels taken advantage of we don’t hear the drum beat of we need a law. All too often when the complaining becomes loud enough a new law is made, it may conflict with an old law that already existed, but no one really checked that out very thoroughly.
I wonder how many times laws come about because someone who owns something feels threatened in some way? Because it seems if no one owns something, no one cares. It’s only when we are protecting what we perceive is ours that we get most riled up. Do some people think marriage is theirs and belongs only to those who are like them? It’s what I hear. It’s their province and can’t be shared with ‘those others.’
Are there some things we will always own in common? Will someday somebody homestead an ocean? Did BP recently take liberties with what we think of as ours, not theirs?
Speaking of reasons for laws, does anyone know why ice cream on cherry pie is unlawful in Kansas? As I understand it, it’s only cherry pie, not apple, peach, or any other.
If that is still on the books, I surmise (too lazy to check) that it had a public health purpose; either that, or there was “fake cherry pie” being baked and sold in this state, attempted to be disguised by the application of dollops of ice cream thereon.
Really? Is it a misdemeanor or am I in jeopardy of committing a felony?
That makes about as much sense as anything. Ten or fifteen years ago is the last I noticed it mentioned. There were others, but that’s the only one that stuck in my mind. Maybe because I love cherry pie? Which reminds me of a song, but we won’t go there. LOL
Perhaps someone choked on a cherry pit. Peach pits would, of course, be more noticable in a pie and apple seeds are too tiny to do damage.
I think I should find something worthwhile to occupy my mind this morning. 😉
“Maybe because I love cherry pie? Which reminds me of a song, but we won’t go there. LOL” -wicked
Aw, c’mon; where is the fun in that? 🙂
Hmmmm, maybe what’s the matter with America is too many laws.
This from the Coffee Party Movement today on their Facebook page —
“America, we can do this. Let’s take a deep breath and hit the reset button on our political dialogue and priorities so that we are actually talking to each other in a constructive manner–as fellow Americans–about the many critical challenges that we currently face as a nation. As Lincoln said, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.”
Oh, if we could only get there, we really would be on our way to solutions! But it seems more important to protect the divisiveness and score points. All this scoring of points is so we can get our side elected and then watch while they are absolutely no better than the other side.
I’ve been paying attention to some who have won primaries who had Tea Party support. There are some who may be even worse than the status quo we had.
“I’ve been paying attention to some who have won primaries who had Tea Party support. There are some who may be even worse than the status quo we had.” – fnord.
Yesterday I read where Palin’s endorsed candidates – so far – has been 10 wins and 8 losses.
If Social Conservative Republicans are so hot and heavy to post the Ten Commandments on the public square – then why do they have no problem with breaking one of them every time they pass on the latest gossip about Obama –
It’s the commandment about not bearing false witness. In other words – lying.
I guess that lying goes hand in hand with the other commandment that seems to present no problem with alot of Republican men –
that adultery one.
Trash the moral issues?
I’m right there with you, Will! You are absolutely right that no attempt to legislate morality has worked and that it has only served to divide us.
And, if we are honest with ourselves we will see, that, if there is a decline in morality that has negatively affected our society, it is only a SIDE EFFECT of the bigger problems we are having in the governance of our society.
If we trashed the moral issues, how would the Grand Old Party keep their base all whipped up into a frenzy?
Those whipping boys of abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration are working just fine each and every time those poor boys are brought out to be whipped and the GOPPERS yell for more.
Meanwhile, the real issues of our country’s future goes unresolved.
To set the record straight – I do not think of abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration as social issues – but obviously the Religous Right Republicans do.
Case in point: The Kansas Legislature this past year. Which was more important? Schools and cities doing business as usual or no business at all OR the KS abortion law tweaked yet again?
The bumper sticker in the thread picture made me remember what that moderate Republican that lost his primary to a Tea Party Republican (I think it was South Carolina) said to Chris Matthews.
Being stupid is one thing. But to be proud you’re stupid is something entirely different.
Some laws I read about:
It is illegal to go whaling in Tulsa Okla.
Somewhere in Pennsylvania it is illegal to carry a ice cream cone in your pocket on Sunday.
Both stuck out as the first question that came to mind was is the a real chance of hunting whales in Tulsa Okla?
How big a problem was there of people carrying ice cream cones in their pocket on Sunday or any other day?
The creation of laws can have several different motivations, not sure how much it happens in larger towns and cities. But I witnessed in that small town that often those running for city council would have that one issue that they wanted to do something about and that was why they ran.
A good example was one council member would spend all his free time grooming and decorating his yard.
He took a great deal of pride in his yard and would be upset if other did not put in as much care and time with their yards.
First thing he did once on the council was to push through a new ordinance dictating how high your bushes and grass could be. demanding that all yards must be kept in a orderly and trash free manner.
LOL he even had the city once a month award a certificate of recognition of the most beautiful yard in the town. Well this was rural Oklahoma and most people had other concerns and things to do then yard sculpture and hedge design.
Not much of a puzzle as to who won the certificate every month!
The same town also had a ordinance against dancing within the city limits not even in your own house could you dance. I so wanted to bust someone for dancing, take that to court and see the fur fly!
You will love this, my niece and the Senior class she was in found out something.
Until this the Senior prom was always held in another town but her class while looking over a map of the town discovered that the High School agricultural barn was ten feet outside the city limits.
Much to the town fathers and the local preachers distant, her Senior prom was held in the high school agricultural barn! And yes one of the songs they danced to was Footloose.
But as a result within days the city council annexed another half a mile around the town.
And some people have way too much free time on their hands.
Get a life…
Or is this a case of someone in a small town wanting to be the big fish in a little pond?
Seven churches for a town of 1,300 people. The religious nuts considered dancing to be the same as vertical sex.
They did come up with a compromise.
The boys would dance with each other in one room.
And the girls would dance with each other in another room and they could not see each other.
Yeah…. that occurred to me right off too!
I guess it is OK as long as they do not get married!
I received an email from the Raj Goyle campaign about this incident and then went to HuffingtonPost blog site because they had picked up the story.
I heard on the 6:00 lcoal news something about Mike Pompeo apologizing for something said on Twittter but it gave no details – because it was set for the 10pm news.
Now I guess I know the story……
Is this really the America we want?
What nasty childishness and he wants Kansans to give him a job representing the interests of our state and her residents?
Unfortunately, I do think he represents a certain percentage of our residents’ interests..
And that’s the problem – in my opinion.
I saw the poll on tonight’s 6pm news and Goyle and Pompeo are pretty close in the general election.
But I noticed that Goyle beats Pompeo with the Independents.
I wonder how this Twitter mess will play with the Independents. Will they believe Pompeo when he stated it was an honest mistake?
Time will tell.
What is moral?
Some people think “moral” is whatever someone in authority tells them is moral. For years, self-described conservatives have been trashing the concept of “harm”–fascinating, in a perverse way, as they argue in the same breath that harm is actually caused by their inability to control thoughts and actions that do not, but terms of common sense, anyway, cause them actual harm.
(As a weird humorous aside, one of my Yahoo accounts–where I receive updates from Joe Solomonese at the Human Rights Campaigns–decided to give me “updates” from random gay men in Wichita–despite not being gay nor living in Wichita nor requesting such “updates.”)
Hoo boy, we got a long way to go on that one.
I said earlier that Thomas Frank was a prophet. In spite of some of his odder speculations (and believe me, I have some withering criticisms), punk rock poet/composer Jello Biafra nailed it in 1999.
We are becoming a feudalist state. I don’t discount what Obama actually has done and–get this–I actually understand how difficult it is to get anything done.
What Obama and Gibbs and Emmanuel and anyone else is who isn’t quitting now fail to grasp is sometimes you have to fight even if it means losing.
At some level Obama has repeatedly expressed this sentiment. But, viewing him most charitably–as a Mr. Smith who found himself chosen by Harry Reid for his brains and eloquence–the politics will not not care of itself so long as the politics are more important than the reality.
And that’s why I don’t give fucks if “Obama succeeds.” I don’t even know what that means, and those who actually listening during the campaign–and took the very well-crafted, attentive-to-reality rhetoric–know it’s not about him, and shouldn’t be about him.
It’s about us.
And if we fail this nation, indeed this world, it’s because that not only Mr. Obama didn’t have the courage to stand up–or Mr. Reid–or indeed, ultimately, even Mr. Grijalva–it’s because we all–myself not even excepted have been fucking cowards.
The Washington Post recently had a serious detailing the creepy degree of national-security state Obama inherited. The degree to which his adminstration–even before he was elected–have indulged the indefensible is indeed creepy.
Fuck you, Mr. Gibbs. It’s not about the politics, at all.
Yet so much that Obama ran on was so much what America needed, and so artfully dissected the reality, from his Cooper’s Union speech in 2008 to his speech at his nomination for the presidency.
So who is this guy? I vote: compromised pol, playing the power game, and unexpectedly going further than he expected faster than he expected, because the Democratic candidates–the well-funded ones–were already tainted by the Bush legacy. He already pissed off people in Chicago, and not just by running against his old mentor.
His team fails to grasp that, even when your party is in power, you use–vetos. Regularly. It’s called being an independent branch of government.
67 votes eclipes 60 votes. Yes, that means legislations dies. Sometimes that must happen. It’s a judgment call.
But using the bully pulpit to make that point with the ultimate vote–the people–is critically important–especially when corporate propaganda and throwaway stupidity drowns out most rational argument.
Most cynically, the spectacle–the PRESIDENT VETOES–gets attention–particularly in recent years (ahem).
What do you stand for, Mr. President? I am not radical in the usual sense–the culture has become one of radically stupid self-destructive irreponsibility. In the name of responsibility, no less.
To paraphrase your VP’s 1987 slogan, “Got mine, up yours.”
And, yeah, we–us– have allowed a dependency relationship where financial institutions are just a part of commerce—they have become behomeths that run the economy of the world. And rules?–heh!–if you’re controlling three trillion in assets and facing imminent catrastrophe, if you’re some who is not me, you will abandon any and all ethical rules to make this happen–all the more so to keep your private banking customers satisified (the rich folks who matter, even if your very own unconscionable practices have utterly predictably devastated your own balance sheet–wise fools).
The tail has been wagging the dog for so long, the dog is dead.
So what now?
WOW. Bowl me over, Zippy. That was some good stuff.
What now, indeed.