I dream more often than most and love that things unsettled in my awake brain find a way to sort out in the midst of sleep. This one was odd though. Telling though. I was on a tour bus full of people not really on a trip but sort of gathered. And represented was every country. The bus came to a stop and as everyone rose to politely get off, two Americans pushed their way to the front. How did I know they were American mid-dream? They had on red, white and blue and lacked the coolness of the French and the horrid teeth of a Brit. Stunned people in the back, including me, began to ask, “Why are you pushing to the front when we all need to get off?”
The two Americans turned back, incredulous, “But we’re American.”
It’s unfortunately true. We have an entitlement soaked in the assumption the world revolves around us. Even today, as Abbas spoke at The UN asking for acknowledgement of Palestinian Statehood my initial thought was about my safety, as an American. Would war be declared on Israel, our ally in the Middle East? Would my safety be in danger? “But We’re American.”
It’s arrogant and foul and for such a new, nearly infant country we have balls the size of China to push our way to the front of a bus line or a negotiation or shower the world with our aid dollars every time there is a natural disaster. We don’t have the money to save you but our arrogance says we must live outside our budget and be the red, white and blue hero.
Our arrogance and greed caused a global financial meltdown that rests on shaky legs. Our arrogance spends money we don’t have for causes that are not our own and ignores the homeless and the poor and the unfed just under our American feet. Our arrogance wants applause and cheers as we roll, tank first, into countries across the globe when our deepest concern is not people but the protection of oil. Our arrogance ignores the Mexican being tortured, gutted and dumped down the street because he does not provide an economic value to my American life, or so my American brain thinks.
We are a passionate country. A brave won. A sometimes quick to react and not think through ten years later type of country. We respond with force when our resources are in danger. We respond with silence when torture happens with our NAFTA partner just steps away.
It’s arrogant. It’s globally immature.