[The Low Bar] We Americans Have No Principles to Sacrifice

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Jake Barlow

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Dec 30, 2010, 2:24:46 PM12/30/10
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To say that most Americans are without principle can only be accepted as a misstatement insofar as there exists no direct data to support the descriptive "most". But all one needs to do is look at the available evidence from innumerable sources to find support for this statement.

As just a few past examples, how many of us Americans who railed against the support AT&T and Verizon gave to the government to illegally wiretap American citizens still give money to these companies for services?

How many of us railed against Obama after he campaigned vehemently against warrantless wiretapping, only to flip-flop and help block legal action against these companies?

And more recent examples, how many of us Americans actually tried to hold Obama accountable for grievously breaking his promise to not extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, compared to those who gave him a free pass?

How many Wikileaks supporters actually boycotted Amazon, or PayPal, or Bank of America when these companies shamefully blocked off support to this organization, ostensibly at the behest of the Federal Government, based on spurious claims that their terms of service were being violated, even though these companies still offer services to pedophiles, and the KKK, and such?

How many of us Americans complain against the mistreatments and physical violations thrust upon us by the TSA, yet refuse to stand up against these abuses, but instead choose not to miss our flights?

How many of us Americans complain loudly against climate change and global warming, yet still drive cars instead of taking public transportation, or walk, or ride bikes?

We live in a country where lies are no longer lies, but are simply misunderstandings, or misrepresentations. We live in a country where we all idly stand by and accept that it is okay to send thousands of our citizens off to fight and die in unjust and illegal wars. We live in a country where the vast majority of us can be bought off with a little chump change in order to pump the greatest amount of our national treasure to the least amount of people, those who need it the least, all while our country's infrastructure continues to crumble. We live in a nation where the principles of most of us only extend as far as our tweets and status updates. We live in a country where convenience and our insatiable desire for entertainment far outweigh our ability to take any sort of stand based on principle.

The sacrifices for principle that most of us Americans are unwilling to make these days are not the kind of sacrifices people once had to make. These days, we won't even sacrifice our iPhones or our iPads or our Droids or our Comcast cable or our ability to buy crap from Amazon and pay for it with PayPal for principle.

This is not like being forced to choose between crossing the picket line versus being able to pay your bills. This is not like being asked to choose between the shame of accepting food stamps versus not being able to feed your families. Most of us Americans today are unable to give up something as small and needless as a magazine subscription to stay in alignment with our principles.

Perhaps this is simply because we Americans have no more principles to sacrifice.

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Posted By Jake Barlow to The Low Bar at 12/30/2010 11:24:00 AM
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