I’m going to take you on a small little journey, simply to make my point that much easier.
So often in the US you’ll come across those that are called ‘the backbone’ of the US; these people are white people, heteronormative people, Christians, small business owners, or any other people ‘whose rights are slowly being taken away’.
These people are put up on a
rickety pedestal by Republicans…a pedestal that they slowly push down into a hole in the ground.
Now these people don’t care that they’re being pushed into a hole in the ground because, Hey! They’re on a pedestal! It doesn’t matter that the top of the pedestal is below the ground above the hole. They’re on a pedestal.
This is the attitude that conservative people hold. They don’t see the forest for the trees. (Or the ground for a pedestal, as the case is.) They believe that, because they aren’t touching the ground, it’s all good, even as the hole is slowly getting deeper.
(Keep this in mind; I’m going to be coming back to it in the future.)
Surrounding them is a sea of people on pedestals: large, secure, golden pedestals. But they’re reduced to a
rickety pedestal. In a hole. That’s getting deeper. And flooding. Because the 1% is not only slowly deepening the hole, no, no; they’re dumping polluted water in it.
(I’ll talk about DAPL this week. If I remember and don’t get distracted by something else. I may push it so I can do a really nice, in-depth post about DAPL, rather than what I usually do, which is condense it down to small talking points. I’ll do that too, but I want to show how important DAPL is by really digging deep and researching, posting facts, sourcing, etc.)
These people on these nice, golden pedestals are the 1%: career politicians, big businesses, millionaires, billionaires, etc.
Going back to the ‘backbone’… they still believe they’re the same as those other people on pedestals; they still equate themselves because they all have pedestals.
At the bottom of the hole are people who don’t even have a pedestal. They’re stuck there with no means to get out of the ever-deepening, flooding hole.
These people are the disenfranchised: the poor, the racial minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, the religious minorities, etc.
Ever stuck in a hole, the disenfranchised are desperately trying to get the person on the pedestal off of the pedestal, onto the ground above so that they can slowly climb up the pedestal and get onto the ground themselves.
The backbone, still in the hole, mind, is pushing and shoving the people down as they climb, not understanding that they’re just trying to get him back on the ground so they can get there too. But he doesn’t want them on his pedestal.
They’d rather sink on the pedestal than get onto the ground, onto safety, and allow them onto what he believes is his, even as they’re all slowly sinking.
Because, see, they’re on a pedestal. They believe they’re exactly the same as the 1%.
They dislike looking at context, at critically thinking, because that would put their own views into question, both of themselves and of everything else.
If they really think about where they are (on a pedestal in a sinking, toxic, flooding hole), and what’s really going on (the people below), they have to eschew their pedestal, their privilege. They have to get on the ground, off of that pedestal. They have to face the fact that their pedestal isn’t as good as the 1%’s pedestal.
The vast majority of the people on the
rickety pedestals are the ‘backbone’, rather than the backbone and the disenfranchised. (Who, I mean, I could easily argue that the disenfranchised are the actual backbone, but…later.)
They don’t take into account that their pedestal isn’t the same as the 1%’s, because they see themselves as prospective capable genius millionaires.
To anyone outside (Or with half a brain, really…), this is ridiculous. Of course everyone isn’t a prospective millionaire. (Let’s have some focus here.) Of course context matters and the type of pedestal matters. (Even though pedestals shouldn’t exist, but that’s another post entirely.)
Americans are taught all throughout their lives that they’re better; that they’re more capable, smarter, and richer.
But Americans are also taught that you can do anything; not a bad thing, in and of itself, but it’s paired with the idea of ‘The American Dream’: the core idea of which is that, if you work hard, you can achieve anything.
Which makes sense, though when taken in context, it’s not only flawed, but toxic. This is where the problem lies. It’s not obvious, and it may seem like it’s not even there with these two specific things paired, but let me explain, because it’s not just those two things.
While, yes, telling people (children especially) that they can do anything, that the world is their pickle* is a good thing, because it removes limitations, when it’s paired with the ‘labor = achievement’ aspect, the broader ‘American Dream’, and specifically, especially, the belief that they’re better, it creates a sort of ownership, a superiority, over the pedestal and over the disenfranchised, respectively.
Because they’re already told that they’re better, then they’re told that they can do anything, especially if they work for it (which gives them complete ownership over them,) then they’re given a pedestal because of their achievements, those individual aspects put together, that alone are fine, warp.
Except for the idea that they’re better; that’s trash. And also the root of the problem.
The idea that Americans and the USA are better than any other nation or its people is wrong. It’s wholly un-American.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Declaration of Independence
This is where the initial cognitive dissonance is in all of American politics.
Because, see, you’re taught about the ‘American Dream’ and America’s supposed superiority before you’re taught about the Declaration of Independence in most cases.
Even if the term ‘American Dream’ isn’t used, the idea of it is everywhere; it’s in our television shows, our movies, our books, our music.
You consume any media set or made in America:
- There’s a non-American; “I came to America to make my dreams come true/give my kids a better life/etc.”
- There’s an up-and-coming celebrity/musician/billionaire/businessman; “I worked for all that I’ve done and all of this is mine (and Jesus’), you can do it too!”
- There’s a person from a less-progressed nation/society; “Here, let me teach you the right way“/”I’m so glad I’m not from there.”/etc.
That’s typically American’s first introduction to what America is. Not through any harmful means, but just because that’s what our society is.
It’s not a real view of the world; it’s a view of the world through the lens of, again, a prospective capable genius millionaire.
By the time you do learn what the USA actually is, you’ve already been bombarded with all of the other views. You’re either conflicted, think nothing of it, or go with logic and reason and change views, getting rid of the toxicity.
You realize that, no, you’re probably not going to become a famous millionaire, but you can be happy; you can be a good person.
But that’s not what America is. America is full of prospective millionaires; of ‘backbone’ people who are on a pedestal (or disenfranchised and not on a pedestal) who see the other people on pedestals (the 1%) and equate their
rickety pedestal with the sturdy, golden pedestals.
People, please! You are not a prospective millionaire.
*If you recognize this, you’re awesome.