Sunday, June 25, 2017


Conservative Republicans say that entitlements are crippling America, and I believe they’re right.

America has always been a land of entitlements. Our country was born by men who believed they were entitled to govern themselves. Entitled to be free of English taxes. Entitled to control their own destinies.

As the fledgling country grew, its citizens believed they were entitled to the lands of Native people. They believed they were entitled to own slaves. They believed that Manifest Destiny entitled them to carry out genocide against any people or species that stood in their way.

They believed that “progress” entitled them to round up Native people and force them to give up the lifestyle they had lived for 12,000 years. They believed it entitled them to tear Native children from their families and “Americanize” them.

Self-righteous white Americans believed they were entitled to “own” other human beings and treat them as farm animals. They believed they were entitled to break up slave families and forcibly impregnate their children.

Once these slaves were freed, white landowners believed they were entitled to exploit the newly freed slaves as sharecroppers. They felt entitled to prevent them from voting. Entitled to don white hoods and lynch them.

Professional hunters felt entitled to literally eliminate a species that had lived on this continent for a half-million years. They believed they were entitled to destroy 40,000,000 bison in less than 40 years to provide drive belts for American factories leaving their carcasses to rot where they were killed, even as there were starving Native people on reservations.

As the Industrial Revolution gathered momentum, corporate barons believed they were entitled to exploit women and children by exposing them to physical danger in unsafe factories. They felt entitled to trap laborers in a cycle of indentured servitude by forcing them to work long hours for low wages and live in factory housing and shop in factory stores.

In the 20th Century, the American military/industrial complex felt entitled to develop weapons of mass destruction and then use them on civilians in countries America was at war with. This entitlement justified the killing of millions of innocent civilians in Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, North Korea, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

America’s thirst for oil entitles us to overthrow governments around the world. Americans feel entitled to consume more than 25% of the world's energy and generate half of the world’s solid waste, even though we are only 5% of the world's population.

Americans feel entitled to drive gluttonous SUVs and pickup trucks to drag trailers hundreds of miles carrying their oil consuming/pollution spewing ATVs and snowmobiles to despoil the country’s wildernesses.We feel entitled to live in 5,000 square-foot homes.

Wealthy Americans believe they are entitled to better schools, better healthcare, better homes and better lifestyles than their fellow countrymen. They believe they are entitled to the lion's share of the country's wealth. And they believe they are entitled to lower tax rates than their less fortunate neighbors.

And conservative Republicans feel entitled to dismiss Medicaid and Medicare as undeserved entitlements.

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