The Passive Aggressive American

As an Asian who knows many other Asians, I am surrounded by conservatives on a day-to-day basis; and while they all agree that gay marriage would destroy morality in America, none of them would personally go up to a gay couple’s house, knock on their door, and tell them to disperse. Of course not. That would be absurd! But they are all fine if the government does it for them. My conservative friends proved this fact on November 4, 2008, when they all cast their ballot: ‘Yes’ on Proposition 8.1

Then there is our military. “Support out troops,” we say, and with good intent. But if being part of America’s military is such an important and noble deed (as it very well may be), then why don’t more people join the army? Why does only one Republican congressman have a son in Iraq? Could it be that we put forth emotional investment, but are simply too lazy to do anything about our beliefs?

I see this apathy in bloggers as well. Bloggers are, perhaps, the most outspoken lads of this generation. We passionately write entries detailing our beliefs, our philosophies, and our ideas. But how many of us actually act upon our ideas? I know I don’t. And I suspect that very many others do (or rather don’t do) too.

The average American has outsourced his beliefs. We hold them — many beliefs — but we leave other people to do the dirty work.

If the terrorists attack us, we let the government take care of it for us. But they sell away our fundamental rights with legislation such as the PATRIOT act, and they attack the wrong countries. We don’t like that one bit, but we seemingly don’t care. And instead of grand protest marches remembered in the 1970s, we sit at our homes, watch television, and speak, “Hey Honey: That Bush is at it again.” Honestly, could you imagine the antiwar protests of the seventies occurring today?

I know I don’t have the ability to. Because I was born into a world where apathy and outsourcing your problems is commonplace. We care about the issues, but we let the government take care of our problems for us. Seriously America: What happened?

1 For those not in the know, proposition 8 was a proposition to once again ban gay marriage in California.


5 Responses to “The Passive Aggressive American”

  1. Speaking out is doing something. Identifying the problem is the first step needed to solve it. And debating suggested solutions is doing something too.

    But I get your point about people hiding their shameful desires behind other people’s authority. It is not a uniquely American phenomena. It is too bad that it happens.

    That’s why there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. It is the business of church to deal with cultural issues within the confines of individual churches. The government’s job is to keep everyone, including churches, from impeding each other’s quests for happiness.

    So, this issue is none of the government’s business. Civil marriage is really a matter of business partnerships. If regulations of business cause a civil rights issue, then chances are the government is overstepping it bounds.

  2. i do not see how the beginning paragraph about conservatives have any coherency to the rest of your article. are you implying that conservatives are particularly apathetic to the issues around their world?

    i know that i would vote no on prop 8, but i never went to any gay couple’s house to tell them to stop because:i do not know any gay couple; that would be extremely discourteous; that would be annoying, like the Mormons that go around houses.

    i believe that music is good. i feel very strongly about that. but i do not go around houses to tell them go play an instrument. i like cars. i don’t go around telling people hey buy this car it’s so cool. that does not mean i’m apathetic. i’m supposing that your “friends” cannot vote. they can spend time debating to their friends about issues, wasting time on views that they cannot change, or they can do something that better their lives. if i am one of the people you referred to, then i chose the latter option.

    there is nothing wrong with being interested in politics, just as other people are interested in basketball, computer building, painting, fishing, etc. but simply because you are apathetic about what you are passionate about does not mean that you are born in to a world of apathy.

    here is simply a speculation about one of your response: politics have a much greater effect on us than say fishing. that is on some basis true, but i respond with something like this: the presidency between clinton and bush did not really have any effect on my life. i do not feel any difference(economy is not caused by one person) no difference at all. state senators had no effect on me. i life went on regardless of whoever’s in office. if i don’t care about politics it’s not because i’m apathetic, it’s because i have things that affect me more closely.


  3. @ Bosnia: I believe you may have misinterpreted the article (as well as get confused over what Prop 8 was). As for why I started with conservatives: It’s fun to bash them.

  4. I don’t think you understand what Proposition 8 was about. California has civil union laws in place that gives gay people all the legal rights of married people, and those have been widely voted upon and approved. Prop 8 was about use of the word “marriage.” Prop 8 was voted down with substantial help from Obama supporters in accord with the view espoused by Obama (and Bush and McCain) that gays should get the legal rights of married people, but not the word “marriage.”

    In a democracy, I don’t think that it is best to go out and act by demonstrating in a way intended to intimidate people. It’s better to speak out and work for candidates and issues.

  5. You haven’t met my conservative friends.

    Also, a civil union is very different from a marriage. Civil unions are only recognized on a state level. According to the GAO report, civil unions take away “the right to take leave from work to care for a family member, the right to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes, and Social Security survivor benefits that can make a difference between old age in poverty and old age in security”. Couples in a civil union can not claim to be a “family” on government forms, among many more things.

    Furthermore, argumentum ad verecundiam. Presidential candidates do not define what is correct.

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