In the grand scheme of things, the US of A is a teenager compared to other older countries in the world. The fact that our democracy (actually a republic) has been so long-lived does not mean that we are that city upon a hill, a shining beacon for the lost masses of society to work towards. In fact, all things considered, we're an arrogant, unwieldy, corrupt little shit, with all due respect. We're the national equivalent of a wild teen snorting blow, starting fights, hitting on other people's girlfriends and skipping school b/c he already knows everything.
So, where's the Dr. Phil equivalent for our problem? Interestingly enough, the very people that should care, don't. We're supposed to be the parents, the ones looking after this country of ours, making sure we mind our manners while standing up for the rights of our citizens. A tricky line to walk, surely, but unlike Mr. Cash, we're not walking any kind of line. Most Americans couldn't give two shits whether the out of control teen steals their savings to buy more blow and pick more fights. It just seems to be par for the course.
In a recent study done by Stephen D. Morris and Joseph L. Klesner found that corruption in the government (the study was specifically done on Mexico's democratic government) leads to more corruption and a further disinterest in the citizens. Ummmm...huh? Yep, unfortunately it's true. And you shouldn't really need a study to tell you. Just look around. It's kind of like Pavlov's dog. We become conditioned to expect corruption so when we get it, instead of heading out to protest, we sit back, shake our heads and cynically say, "I told you so." When politicians make vast promises of change and hope, deep down, we don't expect anything to change. So when it doesn't, we piss and moan at our local bars over a beer, but do nothing to push for that said hope and change. It's kind of like we let that out-of-control teen attitude get to us. As if to say, screw it, if they're fucked three ways to sunday, why should I bother standing up for what's right?
While I can see the point in that argument, it's still crap. Whether we like it or not, our little teenager is a democracy and because of this twist, it's our job to change him. I guarantee it's not easy and I guarantee there will be a hell of a lot of obstacles, but it's our teenager and for the sake of the entire world which we have unfortunately also dragged into our day time soap opera, we have got to get a better handle on our own country.
So, enjoy your hot dogs, your beers, your fireworks, but don't forget the ideas you're celebrating, and the hard work it takes to raise a child, particularly this one.