On this side of the Pond, the Right and the Left argue about petty stuff and both sides use the weakest possible arguments to get their points across; the Left has the added bonus of never being able to forgive past mistakes regardless of context (Thomas Jefferson owned slaves when it was legal! Paul Reubens is a sex offender!) and any good from anyone who's done something bad previously is wiped off the table - which is one context where the Right's obsession with religion should come in handy: let he who has never committed a bad action cast the first stone, where no one over the age of 3 would be able to do so.
The Big Topic of the day is that of Refugees.
There needs to be a debate, and each country has to decide whether to take them in or not, and how many, and how. NOT ALL COUNTRIES NEED TO OPERATE THE SAME WAY. Honestly, we really need to start accepting other cultures' differences more, whether we agree with them or not, whether we think their practices are humane or not, whether they go against our values and/or common sense and/or our conception of rights or not.
This will be the subject of a much longer exposé eventually, one that encompasses a worldwide minimum wage, universal dual citizenship, a complete repeal of the death penalty, and the ability to exclude or deport citizens who do not conform to one place's chosen way of life. Not everyone wants the same life or lifestyle, and freedom includes letting others live their lives the way they want to.
But I digress.
Here is the text that lies at the bottom of the Statue Of Liberty:
The New ColossusIdeally, these are values I would like to strive for. But it's hard. Even Americans can't do it all the time. And I live in a country that I, myself, do not feel a part of, among people who refuse to stand up for themselves and declare their independence, their Humanity, and choose their own paths, despite all the old ones having failed.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
I want to live in a place where people's differences are appreciated and encouraged. Where the only place religion has is as an equal to sports, meals or TV shows - as something you share with people close to you, people like you, that you can talk about in public but has no incidence on how the State operates. Three main rules: don't kill, don't steal, and don't fuck it up for everyone else. Where health and education are priorities and are NEVER cut in government spending. Where people don't get offended over the smallest fucking detail (or worse, WORDS!) because in this place, ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL, ALL THE TIME.
It's not about the past and all about the future, because this place hasn't existed yet.
Those who do not like it do not have to live there; they can go anywhere where their values are best reflected, because every place should have differences - we were not all meant to evolve at the same pace, nor should we force anyone to follow any rules they do not agree with when they can go to places where people think like they do, the same way we wouldn't like being forced to abide by shit that goes against the very fiber of our beings.
It's 2015, people. There are 8 billion of us. Either kill us all, or let's start tolerating our differences a little better, eh? And that includes intolerance as well, by the way. If, as a whole Russia seriously wants nothing to do with gay people, just make it clear to their President that jailing/killing suspected homosexuals before they become adults is wrong and punishable, and when those people turn 18 (or 21), help them to new lives in places where they'll be accepted better.
Speak French with a tendency to root for the underdog? Anywhere in Québec.
Big dreams? New York.
Same goes for people with all sorts of problems.
Which brings us back to refugees. And today's special, Syrians. Not every country can afford to take in huge masses of people - perhaps international aid would help, not just to pay for the refugees themselves, but also with a slight incentive, a bonus, to help the country itself and those already residing there who could use the pick-me-up (Greece, Spain, Québec) - that type of incentive would also invalidate any false sense of racism that refugees cost money, because they would actually bring in money.
We might also need to start planning long-term a little better: there are always a dozen wars raging, and there are always mass exoduses, and we need to start thinking about a permanent physical location where we can take care of their basic needs while they wait to be processed and sent to the best place for their needs, be it short or long term, depending on how badly they want to return home upon conflict resolution.
This is but mere reflection, possibly just the first step of a larger scale. But we do need to start thinking outside the box, because our old ways have always ended with the same old problems, and they have yet to adapt to this New World.