My Problem with Exclusivity

The Silent and Brave revision page #104 (yes, I lost a few, but I’m making progress in the long run . . .)

Back to the political arguments. I don’t know if this is left vs right, or old vs young, or me vs them, but I have a problem. It’s the buzz I hear, out of people’s mouths at the bar, or on the tv,  about “them coming”. It’s usually accompanied by a story about how this country is not what it used to be, how we can no longer expect the things that we deserve, and the fault is always someone else’s, usually someone from another country or background, or possibly another political party, who has “taken” what should rightfully belong to white Americans. Sort of a reverse manifest destiny. And the answer to this problem is always the exclusion of the offending person or people.

Here’s a good example of this story. It’s the argument that low wage jobs exist in this country because of migrant workers who are willing to accept them, to do harder work for less money, in effect bringing us all down. So we should kick out all the illegal, under the table working migrants, and then there will immediately be this new crop of good jobs that everyone wants to do, like washing dishes and pulling weeds.

I call bullshit. The responsibility for low wages lies with THE EMPLOYER WHO PAYS THE WAGES. No one else. The wage paid is a decision made by the employer, not by the workers. Blaming the person who is trying to earn a living is political double speak.

I believe in something that seems very scary for a lot of Americans. It’s called competition. Competition is scary because we were born with the idea that we lived in the best country in the world, and that we deserved more than the next guy’s got, without having to work for it.

But those ideas don’t lead to progress. They lead to stagnation.

All of these people out there yelling that “We need to make America great again” don’t really want America to be great. They want America to be great FOR THEM, by kicking out everyone they don’t like, who they feel threatens their way of life. They want the land of fruit and honey they were promised, and they want it to be theirs, exclusively, so they don’t have to do any work to keep it.

I believe in a different philosophy. I believe in working hard and reaping the results. I believe in knowledge. I believe that the cream rises to the top. I believe that we need more diversity. I believe that we need more cultures to learn from. I believe that we need more acceptance. I believe that we need a larger world view, not a smaller one.

Does that mean that the “American” way of life is passing? Maybe. Maybe it’s time for it to go. Because more and more, the American way of life doesn’t seem to be about quality. It seems to be about exclusion, about the few versus the many, and I can’t get on board with that.

Oh, and if you want to hit me with some of your “love it or leave it” crap, I’m not leaving. But you can. I hear Canada is nice this time of year. Just make sure you’ve got your papers in order. Apparantly, they’re getting kind of tired of taking in all our drunk felons up there.




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