The Old Con Strikes Back

Jake Stewart, Columnist - Dead in the Water

I needed a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Sure, those may not be the opening lines of Apocalypse Now, but I find that it works here, readers. Indeed—a writer without a rudder, without direction is an ugly thing. The bright minds behind the Wayne Stater decided to give me another chance to travel down this horrid river. Another run at the insanity that exists at the bitter end.  

This thing we call the United States of America is something to behold. Isn’t it, folks?  

Sure, we put men on the moon. We mastered flight at Kitty Hawk. We gave the world a taste of industrial perfection with Henry Ford’s assembly line. Yet, we are a nation that defends the freedoms of our world, all while destroying them at home. We condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine while allowing states to adopt Orwellian tactics in classrooms, monitoring teachers to root out anyone going against the will of the party. We express a need on peace in the Middle East while allowing the KKK and Confederate States of America to exist as heroes in our history. Yes, I’m looking at you, Texas.  

Ours is a nation of hypocrisy and insanity, readers. We indulge mass hysteria. School shootings do nothing but strengthen the voices of the gun-crazed masses. Afterall, gun ownership is a constitutionally protected right. The lives of children mean nothing in the presence of our lord and savior—the AR-15.  

Veterans die underneath underpasses in brutal winter weather, diabetics die after being forced to ration insulin because the cost is too high, and college students are buried under debt to pursue this thing we call the American Dream. We criticize immigrants, demonize them for stealing jobs, and yet, we ignore the fact that our government is to blame for the chaos that drove them from their homes. We forget the unfortunate truth that we are too fat, too lazy, too apathetic to apply for the jobs they are working.  

Again, we return to Ukraine. Politicians call for the assassination of Putin. Are we to forget these are individuals who supported a man who praised Russia’s head of state? Do they expect us to simply remove the images of January 6 from our minds? We want to stand as the bedrock of democracy for the world, and yet we are a nation that witnessed an uprising to prevent an election. Please, tell me how we are better than the oligarchies and dictatorships found across the globe when we allow for this insanity.   

Some will take the usual stance—if you insult your country, you should leave it. If I had the money, I’d consider it. Of course, I didn’t go into the field of education for money. That’s a fool’s errand. I’ll stand by the idea that one should point out the errors of their homeland. That we should work toward something better. We’re better than this, America. We’re better than a surveillance system aimed toward teachers. We’re better than allowing the sick to die because they lack a six-figure income. We’re better than the trucker convoy and the Proud Boys. Is it not time to wake up and realize that?