The Ugly American Author: BobRDate:01/06/2016 13:52:17
Historically, the term "Ugly American" has been used to describe the American tourist abroad. We have a reputation for being self-centered, loud, inconsiderate and ignorant of cultural norms and customs, and generally tacky overall. In a lot of cases, that description is valid - a bull in a china shop, as it were. What's disturbing is that here at home there is a growing subset of Americans who revel in being inappropriate, offensive, and mean-spirited. Where we once were a nation of intellectual growth, ruled by statesmen, we have become "Idiocracy". We don't have a TV show called "Ouch - My Balls!" - yet - but there are plenty of videos on YouTube that meet that low standard.
Nothing seems to bring out the ugly like guns and race. Ever since President Obama was elected, there has been a concerted (ineffective) effort to prevent him successes and nullify (unsuccessfully) his triumphs. There was an immediate cry of "Obama wants to take your guns", and the stupid paranoid selfish American subculture swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. This has gone on for seven years, with attempts to quell any discussion of common-sense gun regulation after every bloody shooting spree, regardless of how awful.
They truly believe they are the "well-regulated militia" described in the 2nd Amendment that was the ostensible requirement for gun ownership, and have created an "us against the US Government" mindset that is not only misguided, but ironic, considering it's the government that guarantees the rights to own the guns they think can be used to overthrow the most powerful military in the world. This confused mindset is what led a group of armed "insurgents" to commit sedition and commandeer an unoccupied federal building on federal land that they have been allowed to use for grazing their cattle.
Despite the tepid response by the local, state, and federal authorities (compared to - say - shooting a 12-year old black boy on sight for having a toy gun), we can rest assured that they will face charges. This will apparently occur after they've been starved out. It's a shame the police can't show the same patience when the perpetrators aren't white.
The reactions to President Obama's most recent Executive Orders attempting to curb gun violence in any way he can without the necessity of creating new laws via Congress have been disgusting and - sadly - expected. During his announcement he couldn't hold back the tears when talking about the murdered children of Sandy Hook. FOX "News" further debased and discredited themselves (of whatever credentials as a "news" organization they may still possess) by suggesting that President Obama had an onion on the podium to generate crocodile tears. The only thing missing from making it an "Idiocracy" moment was a shirtless brawny newsreader sitting next to her.
The Republican candidates took this as a moment to appeal to the NRA voters by condemning the measures. In NY, an attempt to limit the ammount of ammo a person can purchase was met with a passive-VERY-aggressive attempt to do a "Gabby Giffords" on the two lawmakers pushing the legislation. If ya can't beat 'em - shoot 'em appears to be the thought process here. In their minds, ANY regulations on guns are a step too far. "Gun regulations won't stop criminals from getting guns", they say. Following that mindset, why have speed limits if people are going to break them? Why make murder illegal if it's not going to stop murderers? Because guns are guaranteed in the Constitution, you dummy! Never mind about the well-regulated militia part - that's strictly anachronistic.
Along with the rank and file (and I do mean "rank" in every sense of the word), even state leaders are getting into the act. The governor of Texas (yes - the governor) puffed out his chest and dared the president to try and come take his guns, proving that his reading comprehension on the executive orders is nil. Never mind that that scenario is nowhere in the same solar system as what the president is doing, this gives the redneck from the mess of Texas a chance to pull a "from my cold dead hands" Charlton Heston impression and create a stupid "come and take it" flag that you will be seeing ad nauseum on social media.
It's all very ugly, and embarrassing to me as an American. How must we look to the outside world, if we look this stupid, crazy, and obnoxious here at home? Here's a clue - from Taiwan, an animation describing the situation in Oregon.
Those Mexicans in the old western movies shooting their guns off in the air? That stereotype is now how the rest of the world sees us.