Complicated Feelings

There are several things in our lives that aren’t as black and white as hating and loving. There are parts of it you may approve of but you hate most of it or vice-versa. In no particular order here are some subjects that I struggle with due to their “complications”.

Non-violence:

On paper it seems wonderful and if everyone attempted to be non-violent the world would be a more peaceful place. However, I know that if the situation called for it I would use violence, or at least believe I would. I wish for peace and admire non-violence but if push came to shove I really believe I could not honor it. Animal instinct would take over. I believe it should be reserved for self-defense or in the defense of others though.

Capital Punishment:

I am in favor of abolishing the death penalty because I think it’s barbaric, but at the same time if someone I loved was murdered I’d probably want them to die, especially if it was someone that I loved a lot. It could be argued that suffering in prison the rest of their lives would have it’s own horrors but I don’t know if that would be good enough to me.

The thing about the law is that it’s supposed to be an emotionless system so if the decision is made for life imprisonment it has nothing to do with wanting blood for blood. If the laws were carried out with emotion things would be a lot worse off. One of the reasons why people are for capital punishment because we have to pay to keep those people alive…but considering the majority of prisoners aren’t executed I have trouble seeing why this is a valid argument.

War Complications:

For the last 12 years I’ve struggled to pin point exactly how I feel about the war(s) and I’ve failed. There has been so many lies and complications it’s hard to pin point exactly who the bad guy(s) are sometimes. The last war voted on by congress was WWII and engaging in any war without that is technically unconstitutional. It’s true that there have been votes for the president to call to arms but it’s not the same thing as officially declaring war. Since WWII there has been five major wars and technically none of these were constitutional. This information in itself is controversial and many opinions vary on this because wars are never black and white.

Since then we’ve gone to war for various reasons and not all of them moral. Don’t confuse this with not supporting the troops. I may generally disapprove of the war but I don’t disapprove of the troops or the jobs/duties they perform. Regardless of what wars they fight for America and you have to cheer for the home team or get the hell out of the stadium. I think people feel aggressive towards the troops because of the less than honorable reasons they get sent to war and all the reports of rape. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of them and it’s not really fair. Those things are true but it doesn’t apply to the mass majority.

America in general:

Yep, I have mixed feelings about my own homeland. I don’t know if a lot of people feel this way or it’s just me. Ever since grade school I’ve felt intensely guilty about “white history” and how awful white Americans treated Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans and homosexuals (not all homophobics are white, but when you picture homophobics you typically imagine a white person) and generally anyone we’ve considered to be a threat to our desires. None of these things apply to me personally but I still feel guilty. In my mind we’ve been land-stealing, slave dealing, internment camp putting, religious pushing group of people (and all the other shit I didn’t mention for the sake of space) and it’s pretty shameful. A lot of American history is about white people doing horrible things all masked as the pursuit of liberty, manifest destiny or some other excuse.

Granted, a lot of white Americans even during the worst of times weren’t like that. For example my great grandfather was a doctor and would give free medical care to Native Americans at the local reservation because he detested how they were treated. There were plenty of people like that, they just aren’t remembered. These events in American history have shaped the nation and had lasting implications.

I know our country is relatively young and a lot of countries have committed similar or worse atrocities and for longer periods, but most of those countries were that bad before the United States even existed. You’d think we’d learn by example not to do that shit. Sometimes I wish that my family was still from their country of origin but I’d have just as many problems with the way they do things. All Americans can do is try to improve America with each generation…but each group of people seem to have a different interpretation of what improvements are needed. Is this a normal feeling? To be so conflicted about your home?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s