When I was young I thought being an American was all freedom and apple pie.
The meaning of it all changed during my trip to Frankfurt, Germany. My cousin took me out to the pool with her friend. We tanned, swam and talked. Some interesting things came up because her friend, we’ll call her Lydia, studied in America. She said that, “American date sooo much!” Apparently serial dating isn’t a causal thing in most places. I know I’ve been talking to more than one person and dating.
In Germany that is slutty. In America it’s normal. When I told my friends in America this they said, “So you just get stuck with one person! Where are the options.” And I supposed that’s where we can differ. Americans like lots of options with a return policy in case things don’t work out. Perhaps juggling affection is not a time efficient way to find the one. This was the beginning of my journey. The longer I am abroad the more I reevaluate American values. And the more I hear the phrase, “You silly Americans.” Because we area joke. We are the silly little country filled with silly little people that insist we are better than everyone but continue to have higher poverty rates, higher debt and more violence than any other Westernized nation.
Later that night we went to Hooters to enjoy some drinks after a soccer game. Police casually walk up and down the streets chatting with each other. One person joked, “In America you’d be getting arrested for having a beer.” We all laughed but the sad reality I did get two minor in possession of alcohol. I had to take a class. While in Germany I can drink a can of beer while walking to a music festival with no issues. It was surreal being able to drink a bottle of win on a playground with 30 other people and have police stroll by with zero qualms. I always had thought America was like a rebellious teenager that ran away from England to be cooler and have more fun that the rest of Europe but this was far from true. We were rebellious then just uptight. They have topless beaches in Europe and we can get arrested for indecent exposure. They can drink in the day and walking down the street while we can get arrested for being a minor in possession, drunk in public and drinking in public.
This trip made me reevaluate America. In Germany you get paid to go to school for however long you want. In America we have to take out large loans that haunt us for the rest of our lives. In Germany you can’t own a automatic handgun. In America you can own a AK-47. In Germany everyone gets health care. In America it’s nearly impossible to obtain affordable health insurance and if you don’t have it then you’ll be paying off hospital bills and taking out loans until the day you die. It is not uncommon to go bankrupt from having cancer. Which all of this is obscene! We can’t call ourselves a progressive nation while everyone that is middle class and below is enslaved with debt for the rest of their lives and while corporations are picking and choosing what is just and unjust.
The reason this is happening is because there’s obviously corruption. Hobby Lobby invested in the abortion pill so it wanted to deny birth control to increase it’s profit. God was not a factor. God’s name was taken and used for more financial gain and oppression. It’s sickening. America is just a place where corporations get more rights than people and humans are treated as pay days. We aren’t the land of the free. We are enslaved to corporations profit margins.
Isn’t that why healthcare is privatized? To make more money for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical supply companies.
Isn’t that why gun laws are so lax? So guns companies and again hospitals make more money off sales and fatalities.
Isn’t that why college is so expensive? So that the poor stay poorer and don’t create large competition in the job market. So universities can make obscene profit margins while students whither away in debt.
Why don’t we do things like every other Westernized nation? Because we are Americans! Because rich people like to stay rich and keep people poor.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not planning on living out my days in Spain. I’ll always be an American and I’ll always love my home but like an unruly child I can love it and also wave my finger in its face to scold it in vain.