America the Free. America the Brave.
Words I've been hearing ad nauseum for damn near three decades now.
Americans have been bred with an ideal that individualism is sacred. That everybody is a snowflake, unique and entitled. Heck, that creed is basically stated in the "America Dream." Rags to Riches. Every single person in this country deserves to be rich and famous.
Nowhere is this more prominent than my home state of Sunny Sunny Golden California.
This is the home of Hollywood and get rich quick schemes. Hundreds of thousands of people migrate here every year for their shot at the brass ring.
Why? Because it's promised to us. Eddie Izzard said it best, and I'm paraphrasing, America pursues happiness. With a shotgun.
I was born in this country therefore I should and will receive housing, money, happiness, love, etc.
In other words, we are a selfish country.
One of the reasons Communism was so vilified in this country was that it put the needs of the many in front of the needs of you. Americans can not even begin to wrap their heads around that concept.
We ask proudly, what can my country do for me?
I've lived on both coasts for a long time. Eighteen years in California and eleven in West Virginia. My wife and I have been thinking about home ownership and looking at websites for both California homes and Pennsylvania homes, one big difference is readily apparent.
California homes are surrounded by steel.
Fencing, walls, gates, window bars. If I were to take a medieval knight and stick him in Los Angeles he would ask when the Huns were attacking.
This entire state is populated by people who live the American Dream by making sure every one else stays the fuck away.
In perhaps unrelated news California is more crime ridden, poverty stricken, drug laden, and lacking in all areas of education. In all ways that socioeconomic status is determined California reigns king.
I blame the fences.
If I don't have to face my neighbor it's easier to step over a bum, to turn a blind eye to crime, and to formulate negative stereotypes.
The protection of the individual is harming the collective.
Or maybe I'm just too much of a liberal now a days.
California is supposed to be the weird state. Full of hippies, actors, and gays. Yet we don't allow a significant part of the population the same rights as the majority. Why?
This fortress California.