CHARLOTTE, NC, January 23, 2015 – Every now and then a mysterious e-mail pops up that is filled with superbly rational wisdom. More often than not such messages are un-Snopes-worthy conspiracy theories, but once in a while they possess thoughtful common sense ideas that are profoundly logical in their perpective.
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh is an anabashed advocate of the concept that nothing of consequence in the world can be done better than it can in the United States.
But while Limbaugh perpetually points his foam “We’re-number-one” finger at the rest of the world, in many respects, the rest of the world is rapidly catching up and passing us. Often it is happening in areas once dominated by American exceptionalism.
Years ago someone commented that “today the greatest thing the United States exports is irrelevance.” Sadly, that anonymous source was not far from the truth. Especially today. What is worse is that it is not getting any better.
The profound e-mail was a Top Ten list similar to those David Letterman frequently uses on his late night talk show to demonstrate the absurdity of the news. Supposedly this message came from Canada, but the point of origin is of little consequence.
The content of the e-mail is that our once proud nation has become a laughing stock in the eyes of much of the world. Unfortunately for us, there is such a high degree of truth in the message that it is difficult to be offended.
Consider then the Top Ten questions that relate to evolution of American “stupidity.”
# 10 — Only in America…could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 per plate Obama campaign fund-raising event.
# 09 — Only in America…could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans
when they have a black President, a black Attorney General and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black while only 14% of the population is black and 40+% of all federal entitlements goes to black Americans. That amounts to three times the rate that goes to whites and five times the rate that goes to Hispanics.
# 08 — Only in America…could the two people most responsible for its tax code, Timothy Geithner
(the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), both turned out to be tax cheats in favor of higher taxes.
# 07 — Only in America…can terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and the media primarily reacts with concerns that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.
# 06 — Only in America…would they make people who want to legally obtain citizenship wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while politicians debate letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally ‘magically’ become an American citizen.
# 05 — Only in America…could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be called “extremists” when people who are daily killing thousands of people throughout the world cannot be defined.
# 04 — Only in America…do you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol but not to vote.
# 03 — Only in America…could people demand that the government investigates whether oil companies are
gouging the public because the price of gas goes up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half that of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).
# 02 — Only in America…could the government collect more tax dollars from its people than any nation in recorded history and still spend a trillion dollars more than it takes in each year (a spending total of seven million dollars per minute) and complain it doesn’t have nearly enough money.
# 01 — Only in America…could the rich – who pay 86% of all income taxes – be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.
The tragedy is that when American entrepreneurship is set free to create and adapt there truly is no place on earth that can compete. Every American living today has grown up in a country where its unrestricted creativity can alter the world in ways that defy the imagination.
And yet, we insist on relinquishing our role as the most powerful force for good in the world to nations who thrive on destruction.
Whatever happened to the common sense ideals, values and dreams that made our nation so unique?
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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