Reading the news, as usual, brings out the worst of me. It brings out the fight and the kick and the ‘that’s just not fair’ attitude that will bite back at anyone who opposes me. Now, I’m not closed-minded about politics. I won’t sit here and tell you that your opinion is wrong, but boy do I get angry over certain state decisions and how they effect the thinking of the people effected.
I was reading an article about how the prime minister of Japan just stepped down a few days ago amidst the roe with the US over the base at Okinawa. The US has had it’s base there since the end of World War II in order to better keep power in the East, but Japan is avidly against the base. First of all, it’s a giant patch of the city taken over by a foreign army. Second, after the 1995 rape by three US servicemen of a twelve year-old Japanese girl, the people aren’t too happy about having the soldiers there. I understand that there’s probably a need to have a base, but I also think that Japan and the US should come to some agreement that can keep both sides happy–rather than the problem being so large that the head of a country ups and leaves.
It also got me to thinking about something way long ago. Back in sixth grade, I remember a teacher who would basically shove his political opinions down our throats during class. While I now thank him for forcing us to read Animal Farm (as it is my favourite novel), I do not thank him for the animosity he taught us against President Clinton and those who supported other nations. He complained about how Clinton had sold a part of the US to Japan for a base in California, and how terrible this was. He would lament on about how he knew some guy who flew his American flag upside-down for all eight years of Clinton’s presidency in order to show that he was in distress from the politics. For an eleven year-old, what our teachers said was solid truth, so I believed for still some years that Clinton must have been an evil politician and that Bush was the way to go. Of course, it only took me three years to find that things weren’t quite that way. It was around the same time I ‘woke up’; thinking for myself just became natural, and I began to question my conservative upbringing in the same way that I now question my early liberal views during high school. (I’m a libertarian, if you should need to know.)
But what struck me was that my teacher was so angry over Japan getting the same rights that we have in America. America makes bases all over the world, so why can’t other countries do the same? Sure, Americans will yell, ‘But they can’t! They’re (insert nation here)! They could be terrorists or communists or socialists, et cetera!’
But, really, if we have the right to go and make military bases all over the place, why can’t other countries have the same right to have military bases in the US or around us? What makes us so damn special? For the ‘Land of the Free’, we certainly don’t seem to like giving freedom outside of our borders. I guess equal rights end at the imaginary lines we’ve created.
But it does invoke a lot of passion in me when someone will criticise me for thinking this way. The people who say, ‘well, if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?’ just end up sickening me. If you don’t like America, you try to change it. It’s something our country is all about. When we were pissed about not having voting rights, women went into the streets and fought. When we were pissed about Vietnam, college kids shoved flowers into soldiers guns. When we were pissed about our soldiers dying in Afghanistan, we protested outside of Bush’s ranch. It’s for the same reason that, even though I don’t agree with the Tea Partiers, I don’t mind them protesting. Sure, many of them don’t know at all what they’re talking about, but if they want to campaign for an America they more approve of, then have at it! That’s the point! To me, showing others that nations aside from America should have the same rights as we do to set up bases or make nuclear weapons or fuck up the Earth should be my right to think and say. After all, if we’re allowed to do something, why should that give us the right to deny that allowance to someone else?