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The search for the Anti-American makes for passionate political sport, which doubles as a fantastic method for silencing dissent. It has brilliantly succeeded in intimidating the American Left into ceding the patriotism debate to the right wing, shriveling a once vibrant movement into a faded facsimile of its former self. Anytime there is any sort of criticism about our government, the right immediately screeches in lockstep and accuses the left of hating America. In their view, people of my ilk are nothing more than just a bunch of soft-headed masochist losers who let their misplaced guilt get the best of them.

For the record, soft-headed masochist losers come in all political, racial, sexual orientation, gender, and ideological flavors. Believe me when I say that the left has no monopoly on this particular demographic. But in all seriousness now, how can you tell if someone loves or hates America? Is there some kind of FAQ or short quiz that can help suss out the haters in 10 minutes or less? Do all Anti-Americans look and dress a certain way that signifies their true nature?

Given my criticisms of American foreign policy, it’s easy for many people to mistake my views as anti-American. As an American living in America, the last thing I want is for my country to go down the drain and for me to go down with it. To state the obvious, living here means I have a vested interest in its success and livability. I am a believer and practitioner of enlightened self interest, and opposing the belligerent policy towards Russia–a country with advanced nuclear weapons (!)–is not only logical, but extremely Pro-American. Avoiding nuclear war won’t just spare Russian lives–it will spare American lives too, as the warmongers and desktop warriors like to forget.

The people currently in power do not represent my interests, nor do they represent the will of the vast majority of American people. Our leadership are wealthy and far removed from the concerns of the typical citizen, who continue to slave away at dead end jobs, only to make enough money to go back to work the next day. If a nuclear holocaust does happen, they have their doomsday bunkers to retreat to, which may account for their cavalier attitude towards antagonizing Russia. When the end of the world does come, the hoi polloi will be simply shit out of luck.

Given the recklessness of our current foreign and domestic policy, a case could be made that our leaders may be the true Anti-Americans. I don’t make this charge lightly. An honest accounting of our current state of affairs bears out this unfortunate assessment:

1) Our infrastructure is going to shit.

2) Most of the good jobs that disappeared have been replaced with low wage service jobs. Sure you have a job, but good luck being able to afford anything else besides rent. The current minimum wage isn’t enough to live on, and unions are no longer a viable counterweight to the all powerful corporatocracy.

3) Criminally irresponsible stewardship of the environment is standard operating procedure in almost every state in the union. From the mismanagement of freshwater resources to state-mandated denials of scientifically proven phenomena; from polluting public aquifers with injected fracking waste water to hiding the true cause of man made earthquakes; anything and everything can be deemed acceptable when done in the pursuit of company profits. You don’t have to be an environmentalist to be alarmed over these developments–even the most calcified, selfish capitalist should understand that sickening and killing customers are ultimately bad business. Not because it’s bad PR mind you (though of course it definitely is), but because sick and dead people can never be repeat customers.

4) We still don’t have universal single payer healthcare. What we have is Obamacare, which is a corporate giveaway that does nothing to control rising premiums. While the ban on denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions is nice improvement, it doesn’t change the fact that you are still overpaying for substandard care. Other countries have mandates that limit hospital and pharmaceutical price gouging, but we can’t implement this common sense practice here because the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies will never let it happen.

The grim diagnosis should be obvious by now without having to list the entire assortment of America’s problems. What is currently happening to America is definitely by design rather than by accident. The country is reeling from massive damage to its pride and its finances, with the lower and middle classes decisively flattened by the impact. So who is truly responsible for the death of the American Dream? Who can we blame with absolute confidence?

Vladimir Putin didn’t inflict man made earthquakes on Oklahomans, nor did he order the injection of carcinogenic waste water into our public aquifers. China didn’t crash our economy in 2008, Wall Street did. ISIS is not responsible for the sorry state of our roads and bridges. Ebola is not the reason behind our ballooning health insurance premiums. It’s should be clear by now that feminists, gay rights activists, atheists, communists, environmentalists, civil rights activists, and other left of center political groups can’t be the reason behind the decay of this country, unless you’re a Fox News devotee.

The sad truth is that the people who inflicted this hell upon the American people are also fellow Americans. Artificial enemies and scapegoats can only mask the stench of civic rot for so long–sooner or later, we as a society must address our self-inflicted decay, before our country putrefies beyond our control.

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