I love you America, I really do. It’s why, despite ample oppurtunities over the years, I’ve never left you for good. But it’s long been a rocky relationship. The decades of abuse. The saying this but doing that. The self serving and the serving of your sugar-daddys. I’m not sure off hand, without referring to the almighty google or wikipedia who oined the term “Stockholm Syndrome” but maybe they should have named it the “american syndrome”
I loved you from an early age. But you worried me from an early age too. Watching the nightly body counts during the vietnam war. Worrying about family, friends family. The horror of Kent state. The people in my town who didnt come home- or came home different- a bad kind of different.
Then the joy of your 200th birthday. High times. Followed by the gas lines, the craziness with iran.
Then the dark- oh so dark 80’s. The constant fear of nuclear war. The fear of those evil communists that led people to arm themselves like soldiers. Build shelters and stockpile supplies. The drug war. The war on gays, the war on sexuality, the backlash against feminism, the rise of the police state, of swat teams, the dirty little wars throughout south and central america, the middle east. The christian war on america- jimmy and tammy faye. The moral majority. Jesse helms and newt. The war in the west over logging and development.
Then the good times of the early 90’s. Rolling along. or so it seemed. Like the kind but blacksheep uncle of the family. Doing a lot of good. Or trying to. But the other relatives dressed in red constantly plotting. And of course you fumble again and again- whether your proclivities or your well intentioned failures (free trade agreements anyone?)
And then the new century starts another great darkness. An election stolen because nice guys finish last. An attack on us resulting in a horribly planned response (how, exactly, was that possible when so many of the players had the experience of the previous war in that theater?). Another war based on lies…for what- to avenge your father? For greed? Unchecked greed and corruption nearly destroying not only our country but much of the world.
And then hope. but matched and raised by hate. by fear. by bitterness. An uncle we’ll never really know how good or bad he was, because he was handed a mess no one could ever hope to deal with and has suffered the worst familial infighting I’ve ever had the displeasure to watch.
And well, all our brothers and sisters out there. Well. I’m not sure what to think. I know you’ve put them through the wringer as well. And I don’t get to visit enough of them anymore. So- am I just hearing the loudmouth uncle (probably drunk)? The loud mouth aunt- who always has to have an opinion on everything even those (which is most) she really knows nothing about? And what is with this fear? do you really need yet another gun…to protect you from what exactly?
So, really- I don’t know what to say anymore. Yes, we’ve had our good times. And I’ve never met anyone quite like you. But, and it’s a big but, this relationship has been dysfunctional as long as I can remember. You’re killing yourself. Sometimes a wonder if you’re still alive? Just a shell of yourself?
I don’t know. Happy Valentines Day. I do love you- and there can never be another like you. But I don’t know how many Valentine Days are left for us. If things don’tchange it will be time to (finally) “man up”, and move on.