Sunday, December 30, 2012

'Fiscal cliffs' and a fistfull of guns!


The USA is an enigma. It espouses values that most people would agree with and it’s Constitution on paper looks like a model that countries around the world envy. Look a bit closer and at the day-to-day play out of this constitution and the holes will begin to emerge, if not for the simple fact that people are people and that human frailty and greed go against the spirit of any paper document. Having said that, I am not arguing against the Constitution of the USA, even though we need to remember it was written many years ago when the USA looked very different to the nation we see today.

Now we have a nation that extends its tentacles to all regions of the earth and then reacts like an angry kid losing its toys when other nations dare to challenge the American hegemony. The rise of China, (while the USA was off fighting wars all around the globe) India, Brazil and the re-emergence of a strong Russia, has brought about a ‘new world;’ one that the USA has yet to come to terms with.

On the national front, the USA is at war with itself.  The ‘fiscal cliff’ and the guns law issue is showing the inability of the USA to pull itself back from divisive politics and disparate groups. On the fiscal cliff debate, maybe the politicians are posturing and will come to a deal at the last moment or risk plunging the USA into a deep recession. One wonders if those hard-butt Republicans will ever agree to pay their fair share of tax, while many Americans cannot even afford basic health care.

With the guns ‘love affair,’ another group holds fast to the right to bear arms, while they watch the statistics that show the USA up as having one of the worst murder rates, using guns, in the world and the nations that come close, are not seen as anything more than ‘failed nations.’ I wonder if the vast majority of USA citizens will ever be able to get through to the likes of the NRA and its supporters, along with the selfish ‘hold on to our assets’ mentality of the mainly Republican dominated Congress. Then again, I return to my opening statement. Humans are basically selfish and the laws we make do not lessen that tendency, no matter how lofty they look on paper.

I believe that there is a strong will amongst Americans to live in a country where its citizens should have a ‘fair go,’ not much different to that we hold in New Zealand, but they are being held ransom by selfish and power hungry elites. Just watch Fox News if you want to see it played out on a daily basis.

I hope that my blog proves to be wrong on both issues facing the USA. I’d love to be wrong!