Can the US Be Saved? Stream of Consciousness After Seeing ‘Where to Invade Next’
Written by Natalie Davis on April 30, 2016
Finally saw Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Where to Invade Next. Let’s just say it hit me with a wallop: My immediate thoughts poured out of me, and I feel compelled to share them. Some of it is pretty harsh, and it may cost me friends or leave people assuming I am insane or unpatriotic or naive. I do not care. My care is for people, for the world, for our kids and grandchildren and for theirs. This rant is unvarnished, unedited, and absolutely honest. I pray you will leave your political shit at the door, read the following, see the film — and join the effort to make a better day.
I’m telling you: Where to Invade Next is a must-see film. Seriously, see it. I am begging you, SEE IT; it’s on Netflix and iTunes now. Watch it with an open mind. If you’re Republican or Third Way Dem, try to put aside your feelings about exceptionalism and capitalism, just for a short space of time, and absorb what you see and hear. And try to forget that it’s Mike Moore; this is not about him. Please, please watch it: If you harbor the delusion that this is “the greatest country in the world,” prepare to have your eyes opened.
Personally, I’m left with a mix of sorrow and longing. My shame for this construct, already overwhelming enough to keep me awake nights, has been multiplied exponentially. But I’m convinced that this can become a decent place! Things have to change and it’s change that cannot wait: Our education system is a joke and disservice to our young people and to our society, bigotry and revenge rather than rehabilitation are the subtext of our criminal justice system, modern-day slavery continues to keep us damned in the eyes of better people, macho culture poisons nearly every institution, unhealthiness is mandated (for some), employees have no choice but to work themselves to death for the reward of a low quality life, religious judgment is woven into a government set on controlling how we exist, a small group of greedy corporatists — with the approval of their servants! — make life a nightmarish drudge for most of us. What exists here is insanity! Here, we exist to work, there is very little LIFE. It’s an outrage, a reason for embarrassment, a colossal sadness, a terrible waste, a sin writ large. There must be revolution, a massive nonviolent revolution to turn this nation into a place worthy of our children, a land based on peace and love, not greed; one that treats every one of us with dignity and respect and care. We are all in it together, whether anyone likes that or not. When we care about all of us and make that care tangible, life gets better, richer, and more meaningful for everyone. It really does. And if you think this sounds like unicorns and rainbows, the film will show that, no, it’s achievable. Countries are getting it done! No place is perfect, but we can get a damn sight closer to it if we get over the me – me – me paradigm that kills off so many USians sooner than it should!
Shame on us all for allowing the country, this idea that had such promise, to become this immoral cesspool. First job is: love your neighbor. Well, we’ve effed that one up, haven’t we.
There is a scene in the documentary in which an Icelandic woman says she would never want to live here, she would never want to be our neighbor because we treat our neighbors so horribly. She’s right. I’m thinking about starving kids, capital punishment, people being told by their government to go home to pee because we don’t like your kind, disenfranchised citizens stripped of voting rights or having their votes stolen, 280,000 Tennesseans frozen out of having medical care because the legislature insists on it, people at political debates screaming at a candidate that the poor should be left to die, another candidate insisting $7.25 an hour is too much pay as he hides income in a Delaware tax shelter while still another, a multimillionaire, is satisfied with others being capped at $12…
IS THIS OKAY WITH YOU????
Feeling pretty disgusted and quite livid right now, because the US did not and does not have to be this way. Feeling empowered, too, because the basic message aligns perfectly with the vision of a few political candidates, so I am grateful that there is some tiny number of decent people on this land mass who get it. IF we can get people of that caliber elected, we have an opportunity to start building a new society with a new focus, one based on the golden rule. But I’m disgusted, because I know a lot of people here, certainly its leaders and even some people I know and love would dismiss this philosophy without so much as a moment’s thought or shrug and accept “politics of the possible.” So many here are focused on “me,” rather than “us,” on getting theirs and to hell with anyone else… and the government and the corporate overlords are right there with them, keeping this construct a living hell for so many here. So many want it this way, they want to see others on the bottom, suffering, dying… And so many will settle for it, saying that this is the best we can do. It’s sickening.
The saddest thing is that so many of the marvelous, life-affirming ideas implemented in other, more humane countries CAME FROM HERE. Meaning, we pissed away the nation’s decency and humanity for selfishness and greed and power! Obviously, I knew much of this before seeing the film, but being reminded in a concentrated hour and 50 minutes has filled me with so much anger and despair… My head is pounding and I really want to puke. God, I feel so ashamed of this country… so heartsick. We need a president and lawmakers who can get started on the herculean task of fixing this crisis, and they won’t be found among the establishment. They just won’t.