Smells Like Team Spirit
That’s team loyalty. It’s harmless and even fun for millions of fans of the Patriots or any other professional sports franchise. But what’s cute when applied to the Patriots is a poor substitute for patriotism, so here’s why America is doomed: too many people on both ends of the political spectrum bury loyalty to individual principles beneath loyalty to Team Republican or Team Democrat.
The left wing’s wallowed in it ever since Obama came to power, the ones who firmly opposed the TSA on civil-liberty grounds back when it was a Bush baby, then became TSA boosters once “criticizing TSA” entailed “criticizing Obama and his political appointees.” That’s how the prison camp at Guantanamo could be a civil liberties travesty when George Bush refused to close it, and a vital plank in our anti-terror platform once Obama wouldn’t.
And the right wing’s no improvement. Too many Tea Partiers whose concern for “unsustainable national debt” or “out-of-control government power” didn’t materialize until the exact nanosecond a black Democrat started wielding that power. Where the hell were they during the Bush/Cheney years? I remember: crying “traitor” when people like me suggested, “Government’s gone out of control since 9/11” or “Congress and the president are spending too damn much money.” No, the right wing brooked no such talk when Team Republican held the White House and the legislative branch too.
Which is why I halfheartedly favored Team Democrat up until it won Congress in the midterm elections, then the White House in 2008, and everyone did the exact opposite of what they promised: not curtailing military spending and expanding civil liberties, but vice-versa.
The country’s falling apart. We can’t upgrade our crumbling infrastructure because our money supports a military more costly than every other military on earth combined. The poor and middle-class see their taxes raised and their benefits cut to fund bailouts, pork and ridiculous corporate welfare.
My state bribes rich movie producers to come film here. My taxes are going up, but at least I have the following state-subsidized bragging right: “Hey, you know the ‘corpses float downriver’ scene in the Tom Cruise War of the Worlds remake? They filmed it right near my house! Impressive, no? You can touch the hem of my garment, if you wish.”
Maybe they’ll cut the movie budget, but they’re still putting nude scanners in the airport and I’ll have to pay for that too. And there’s no way to fix anything, not when the majority of Americans put team spirit and partisan loyalty over love of country and every noble principle ours once claimed to stand for. Best thing that could happen to America would be if the party-line Democrats and party-line Republicans all got together in a big bipartisan love feast and choked on each other in flagrante soixante-neuf.