OP-ED: America the Preposterous

By Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick

Lest  any reader even think I’ve given up my dedication to the United States, let me assure all  my commitment is even stronger…but now more fearful!

Why?  It’s simply complicated.

At a time when power brokers spent close to $4 billion to get registered American voters to tell our governing folks what to think, only a reported 37% decided it was worth showing up to fill out ballots! 

That is just Part I of America the Preposterous.

Continuing along this bumpy uncertain road is the further preposterous reality that, even if only a few people show up to vote, someone and some party will still be declared winners!  And the fact of those recorded “decisions” will insure that those “winners” will assert they represent the will of the people.

That is Part II of America the Preposterous.

So what could be worse, you ask?

Well, consider how much of the world never even gets the chance to vote on anything, or, put another way, how much of the world better damned sight vote a particular way or else….or else being taken to some threatened punishment for not voting “right.”

And then you get a huge idea why we Americans, with all these lavish freedoms, look preposterous, especially  with so many blaring politicians, media and PR types screaming how wonderful it is in this great country….but also warning that if you disagree with the most lavish spenders, you might just be a traitor to our disappearing sense of patriotism, or, more important, justice.

That is, as you suspected, Part IV of why America the Preposterous!

And, yes, there is more about how we make ourselves irrelevant and preposterous by squandering what we have and few others even dream about.

What is Part V?

Well, consider that we have the freedom, not merely to choose whom we want to govern where we live but, just as important, we have the freedom to think, instead of following lemming style the prejudices and marketing stuff that seem to play powerfully  to our prejudices and then ratified by our votes.

In my family, for as long as I can recall, arguing about politics and lots of other issues has been important and traditional, simply because all of us were raised to be independent in as many ways as possible.  Oh, sure everyone tends to quote the news reporter or other propagandist whose copy hit our funnybones, but, then, the challenges help to figure out the ultimate beliefs we come to ourselves….because we want to register those opinions to people who might just make a difference.

Apparently more than 63% of those who could have made a difference this past election day either didn’t care or didn’t have faith that, if they did, those who might get their votes would care.

And that is Part VI of America the Preposterous…or, worse: America the Dangerous…or worse yet:  America  the Irrelevant.

We all know that it’s just plain dumb to do make dumb mistakes once, but it’s repeating the same dumb mistake over and over that defines who we are.  We seem to be in that appalling state now, no matter what your and my political beliefs might be…with the only saving grace being the lighter loads for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver ballots.

That, together with all the other realities expressed here are what tell the world about America the Preposterous!

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Honick is president of GMA International Ltd with offices on Bainbridge Island, WA.  He is an international consultant to business and writes on a variety of public affairs issues.

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