Monday, October 20, 2008

Yes, We Can’t

Yes, I am old and crotchety. But I still remember the can-do attitude that prevailed through most of the twentieth century. Then, the United States could do anything we put our minds to – build the Empire State building in one year; the Hoover dam in five years, the Golden Gate bridge in two years; win two World Wars; tame nuclear fission and fusion; make viewable movies; build the most massive engineering undertaking by man – our interstate highway system; put a man on the moon; and invent most of the technologies that are now manufactured in foreign lands. But this national spark seems to have faded as we limped into a new millennium. Today we are, unfortunately, a nation of can’t-dos:

- We can’t exploit our natural resources such as oil, coal and timber
- We can’t build a strategic missile-defense shield
- We can’t smoke tobacco (other herbs are OK)
- We can’t win any war into which we are drawn
- We can’t build nuclear power plants
- We can’t wear fur or perfume
- We can’t control government spending
- We can’t exercise our national hegemony
- We can’t keep unqualified people from having mortgages
- We can’t control who immigrates into our country
- We can’t execute serial or cop killers
- We can’t discipline our children
- We can’t preserve our time-honored traditions … such as marriage or Christmas
- We can’t stop killing full-term fetuses
- We can’t eat meat or animal fats
- We can’t keep uneducated students from graduating
- We can’t encourage our residents to learn English

And the sad irony is that those who mostly espouse the above taboos are the ones who are noisily chanting the mantra, “Yes, we can!”


DEN said...

Dear Mr Negativity, I am certain that your usual sycophants will applaud your clever refrain, but I cannot stand idly by and listen to such nonsense.
We Can and DO:
Exploit significant natural resources
Smoke Tobacco in restricted areas
Win Wars when we drop atomic bombs on the bad guys
Deny mortgages to homeless (veterans)
Execute convicted murderers (in Texas)
Eat meat, (and lots of it)
Let 99.88% fetuses live (if their host mothers agree)
Allow traditional marriage and Christmas
Allow freedom of speech

Anonymous said...

It didn't happen in the late 20th, more like the latter half of the century. after the seventies
- We decided we couldn't keep NASA and space exploration as a priority. The Chinese and Indians now have a free pass to colonize the moon. We planted a flag. BFD.
- We decided that getting better MPG was no priority so 1908 Mdel T got the same MPG as a 2008 F-150.
- We forlornly look at a whole in Manhattan that in seven years is sad. In so many ways.
- We decided that having global hegemony was our destiny. So we spent (who actually gets the money?) lavishly on machines we dare not really let apply their destructive power.
- We decided that unilaterally invading sovereign nations without provocation was acceptable action.
- We care more about moral positioning on gender and reproduction than we do about the welfare of our citizens.

We lost our compass. The priorities became living large, beyond our means, and beliving that the 21st century is the century for America to focus on the Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity together with bold greed and risk. I only hope we can get our orientation back. Whether or not you can smoke tobacco or eat red meat is trivia. And I'd vote for power plant near your house...rather than my backyard. And I'll gladly clock your kid for you...