Looking Left and Right: Land Of Opportunity (Not)


To Republicans, inequality is unimportant because of another aspect of American exceptionalism, the unparalleled opportunity in the United States for those with ambition and grit to move up the economic ladder. They insist, and most of us firmly believe, that America is still the land of opportunity, that the probability of a rags to riches saga is much higher here than abroad. [1]

That’s part of the right-wing narrative used as justification for denying or depriving those not quite as fortunate as the wealthiest few.

If the playing field is level, with an economy humming along so that providing for or obtaining the bare necessities is not a daily concern—thus allowing citizens to pursue better opportunities and advancement—then this principle is just fine and dandy.  

Ah, but then there is reality—the ever-present monkey-wrench tossed into ideological nirvana.

The current reality is that the field is not level. It is, as is well-documented (more of those annoying fact-thingies), the economic and income field is tipping decidedly in favor of the very few. Just to make sure it stays that way—also well-documented—the Tea Party Republicans (or those who pay homage to the narrow-minded and shortsighted extremists without claiming membership) are doing their damnedest to make sure to deny or reduce benefits which might offer a least one small step up the ladder. More For The Few, So Fuck You would make a great bumper sticker. At least it would be true.

So as this state of affairs persists and efforts are made to entrench it all the more, who suffers and who benefits? Perhaps a more important question: What happens when the as-yet undefined but inevitable tipping point is reached?

For all their reasonings and passions about opportunities and earning one’s just rewards and takers and dependency on government and the destruction of motivation and work ethics, what guides these right-wing policies is usually a ludicrous amount of ignorance. Coupled with an absence of anything resembling concern for one’s fellow man (a biblical precept conveniently overlooked when it blocks zealous pursuit of self-serving interests) and ample doses of arrogance, we have a perfect recipe for greater inequality and the inevitable revolt against it and its purveyors.  

It’s a not-so-delightful aspect of the highly-touted exceptionalism rarely mentioned by these noble Christian patriots, but all too often painfully apparent nonetheless.

This is our best?

~ My Photo: Corona del Mar, CA – 02.18.14


Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows


* I invite you to enjoy my two new books [here and here], and to view my other   blogs–both at this website [see below] and also at Peak Oil Matters

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Life Will Answer Thought-provoking inquiries & observations about how (and why) Life does … and does not, work for everyone. [Inspired by my book of the same name]

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The Middle Age FolliesA column offering a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50


Be the change you want in the world – Gandhi

This blog is offered to encourage more enlightened public discourse—by sharing observations about the ideologies which motivate our political, economic, and cultural debates. The simple hope: shedding light on current “strategies” will prompt more of us to realize a different approach is at least worth considering … assuming a better future is worth pursuing. (It is!)

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anything – Albert Einstein


[1] http://onthecommons.org/truth-about-american-exceptionalism; The truth about American exceptionalism by David Morris – 04.19.11