Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What is wrong with us?

What is wrong with us? To quote Jon Stewart, what the fuck is wrong with us?

Sure, nothing is too petty, too insane, too stupid for the Republican Party these days, but can't we expect even slightly better from our news media?

Shaking hands? At Nelson Mandela's funeral, no less? And it wasn't even with Fidel Castro, but with his brother, Raúl...

OK, OK, this is all just a big joke, right? John McCain is just trolling us, isn't he? That's got to be it! And our news media were all in on the gag? Oh, I'd really like to believe this. I mean, I'd really like to believe this. Can't I hang onto even one scrap of my belief in America?

But perhaps we should think just one minute about our Cuba policy. Yeah, it's hardly even mentioned these days. It's the new 'third rail' of American politics (now that Republicans are openly trying to gut Social Security and Medicare). Even a handshake with a Cuban leader is cause for hysteria.

And what has this get-tough-on-Cuba policy accomplished? Absolutely nothing. Fidel Castro remained firmly in power from 1959 - yes, 1959 - to 2008 and only transferred power to his brother because he was getting too old and too ill to continue. For 54 years, American policy has been a complete and utter failure. Yet, for some reason, it remains untouchable.

Meanwhile, we shook hands with leaders of the Soviet Union, and it's long gone. We shook hands with leaders of China, and they've become one of our biggest trading partners. In 54 years, we went from being an ally of Vietnam to fighting (and losing) a war there to full diplomatic contact. (And they, too, have become a big trading partner with America.)

Nowhere else in the world have we been this intransigent, this insane, this stupid. Sure, we've gotten nowhere with North Korea, but that's mostly because of their stupidity, not ours. And even there, you can bet that a handshake with Kim Jong-un wouldn't be met with this level of hysteria. (And from our news media, no less! That's what makes this especially infuriating to me.)

But when it comes to Cuba, we're completely batshit crazy, and we've been that way pretty much for my entire lifetime. What in the hell is wrong with us?

PS. Naturally, John McCain wasn't the only Republican trolling America:

Of course, Cubans are the only Hispanics Republicans actually like. But that may not last long. From what I hear, younger Cuban-Americans, like younger Americans of all ethnicities, are trending Democratic.

No comments: