There is always one phrase on the news that gets repeated over and over again– America, the leader of the free world. First, that’s awfully pretentious. And secondly, it seems ironic that America also has the highest number of incarcerated adults per capita. The leader of the free world also has the most inmates. However, this isn’t the only example of hypocrisy in American.
Take note: this is not to bash America, it’s only to give you the facts so that you don’t blindly believe in propaganda that is blatantly not true. The most dangerous type of belief is blind faith. Don’t only listen to things that sound good, pay attention to things that sound true.
Despite constant railing against religious extremism, the US supports Israel and Saudi Arabia who are quite religiously stubborn and would like to force their faith on people who don’t believe in the same things they do. This is justified by the US’s invested interest in both countries.
America’s boasted democracy is limited to, at most, elections of the House and Senate. The President is elected by the College and everyone else in the government is appointed by other officials (elected and unelected). The two-party system is run by big corporations, with people from elite schools that has the same connections and the same policies as their predecessors. No wonder why even though America is a wealthy first-world country, it is definitely not considered one of the more progressive ones.
Another thing about America’s democracy: even though America says that democracy is the best form of government, the country has had a hand in overthrowing many fairly elected governments for their own interests, namely access to the other country’s resources.
America is a big preacher of civil rights to other countries, but there is a serious threat to such rights within the country. The gov’t admonishes other countries for their oppression of the people and being aggressive in their foreign campaigns, but they have no room to say any of that because of the problems that they themselves have in their country and their own foreign policy. The same can be said for the general American populace who seem to preach but their own conduct and situation doesn’t support their viewpoint. In terms of domestic affairs, Americans also can’t seem to keep their heads straight on what they want. They complain about gun violence, but they get defensive whenever someone so much as touches their gun laws. 9/11 remains a dark spot in America’s history, but the two atomic bombs the US dropped on Japan doesn’t seem to be much of a big deal.
An older example: the Boston Massacre that killed five civilians occurred around the same time as the veritable genocide of Native Americans. The death of entire nations of Native Americans didn’t deserve a name but a “massacre” of five people was widely publicised and the name is still used today. I understand that the word massacre was propaganda, but really, for Christians and preachers of freedom and liberty, you’d think that thousands of lives would matter more, if not to them then, then to us now. Instead, conflicts with Native Americans are at most marginal in US history classes.
Being part of a minority myself, I can’t help but feel the power of economic and political “persuasion” in everything America does and teaches in relation to foreign countries. The Nanjing Massacre at the hands of the Japanese was passed over in the unit for WWII while Germany, the Allies’ primary enemy, and its Holocaust has been put on a pedestal to overanalyse and discuss. In the end, Japan became one of America’s best friends when it came to like-mindedness of foreign policy and suffered little consequences and no long-lasting condemnation from the international community at large for its war crimes. In the meantime, Emperor Hirohito got only a marginal mention in history classes while Hitler takes up entire pages. There is a clear lack of knowledge when it comes to one event to the other although they are the same in importance and cruelty. When you don’t have background on certain countries, it becomes a lot easier to judge them for any current shortcomings. But that is an article for another time.
The US also has a history of doing anything to stop communism and socialism. For example, Taiwan was readily accepted as a country because it defied China’s Communist regime and also because it harboured many enemies of China, the Guomintang. For those that didn’t know, the Guomintang before and during WWII caused just as much destruction politically and economically as any other invading country during the last years of and after the Qing Dynasty in China. One of the reasons why they were chased out was because of this and the other reason was because Mao Zedong, who was seen as the savior of the country, defeated them in the later part of the Chinese civil war. Now, the reason why someone like him even rose to power at all was because the country was already in turmoil. Happy, healthy countries don’t feel the need to become communist or socialist. There’s a reason why the Chinese people accepted a Communist regime– because what they had before was bad and was made worse by powerful outside forces. All of this just shows how limited the average American’s understanding of world history, recent world history, really is and they condemn what they don’t really understand.
The US says that they are the guardians of liberty, justice, and freedom. That is just not true. The main problem isn’t this hypocrisy though. Being a country with a lot of power, I understand foreign policy becomes complicated and maintaining a consistent stance in the face of different situations is difficult. However, the main problem for me is the fact that the country preaches something it blatantly ignores due to economic and political greed.
That’s all for this time. I’ll talk to you again on Sunday.