Monday, September 1, 2008

Stormy Weather

It is labor day weekend and, once again, we are watching a hurricane bear down on Louisiana. Three years ago, when Katrina ripped apart New Orleans, Scott and I watched helplessly in the Norfolk Airport as she took aim at a place that I've never visited, but mourned anyway. Milo was a wee one then. We were returning to Iowa from my brother's wedding. As the story played out in the national news, I couldn't believe the destruction and devastation. I was saddened by the loss of history.

Face it, this country just isn't that old and we don't have the millenniums of recorded history like other places in the world have. Yes, we have fossils and such, but the largest part of this continent stood wild as civilization grew in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Funny how consider ourselves the most civilized lot on the planet, huh? In world history, we're sassy, brassy interlopers.

I have always felt like my personal politics are out-of-synch with a lot of my country. I remember on 9/11 wanting to rip down the "God Bless America" banners people had afixed to their minivans or the Old Glory funeral flags jammed in the windows of expensive, foreign sedans. Wasn't that the sentiment that caused the whole issue? That we believe we are blessed more than the cradle of civilization? I remember thinking, "Gee... I bet a little bit of humility might go a long way right about now..."

I am personally infuriated by the whole cowboy sense of foreign policy that we're living with right now. As if we need to show the rest of the world how the West was won... The rest of the world has been warring a heckuva long time longer than we have and even though we have the bigger guns, they're simply more experienced in the ways of fighting than we are. If it doesn't look like a video game, we don't know how to beat it.

I think this is why I am so confused about some of the political ads that have been crammed into network TV -- is it really a bad thing that Europe likes Obama? Really? I kind of think it might be nice to have European friends right now. Especially since we're not really making freinds in the Middle East and we're playing a high-stakes game of poker with Russia over Georgia.

I don't know what to do -- I don't want my kids growing up in fear of attack, but I really don't think that we're making friends by pissing in the swimming pool. Whoever is leading our country into the next decade isn't going to have an easy time of it -- that's a given. I just hope that they can weather the storms better than New Orleans has.

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