2016-07-19

The Problem With America

“The world outside our borders is a dark place, a scary place,” retired Navy Seal Michael Luttrell said to applause. “America is the light.” 

I found this quote in a Guardian article on the Republican national convention. It surely can be found in many news stories about the convention. This quote (and the fact that many in the audience applauded) sums up much of what is wrong with America. That a member of the military who, for whatever misguided reasons, chose to partake in the slaughter of Afghans, as Mr. Luttrell apparently did, should feel fear in some parts of the world is not surprising, but to claim that the entire world outside the US is frightening is truly amazing.

Does this fear extend to Canada? How about Japan? Italy? Is Italy scary?

Or was the gentleman perhaps exaggerating a bit? Possibly he is not really scared of the Irish, for example. Maybe he only fears brown people. Or Muslims. Or could it be that he is only afraid of people from places where he and his comrades committed atrocities?

As I sit here writing this in my house in one of the "dark" places outside the "light" United States, I see out my window trees swaying in the gentle summer breeze and I hear children playing. On the television, I see they are showing news of yet another American mass shooting. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that American is a much scarier, darker place than the country in which I have chosen to live.

It also seems to me that much of the darkness in the world is the result of America's efforts to spread its "light" or whatever it is that it is trying to bring to the dark places. Possibly, instead of invading other countries and drone attacking brown people, America needs to look inward and fix its own problems.

If being "light" means being like America, the rest of are better of left in the dark.

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