A Constituency of One

I am not an American. There. I said it. And I’ll say it again. I am not an American. And all things considered, I’m completely fine with that.

I am a nationless person, much like Howard W. Campbell. Campbell was “an American by birth, a Nazi by reputation, and a nationless person by inclination.” I empathize. But I’m not a Nazi, I’m just a felon.

In Kansas, felons on parole can’t vote. And I was sentenced to lifetime parole. Thus, I will never vote again – ever. I will never again have any kind of “say” or role in the choosing of the Legislative, Executive, or Judicial government officials. I now have absolutely no American voice. Period. My choices have led the forfeiture of my right to vote. So essentially, I don’t even feel like an American anymore, because aside from paying taxes, I’m not allowed to be an American. Granted, I don’t blame anyone but myself – it is entirely my fault – but that doesn’t change the facts.

So, do I love my country? No. I don’t. Sorry, I just don’t. Because it’s not my country anymore.

But I’m not anti-American. I don’t “hate America” or anything like that. I actually used to be quite patriotic. But no longer. I just simply don’t love America anymore. Because it would be completely pointless and entirely frustrating. So, just to be clear: To all agents of the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, I do not hate America. So do not raid my house and detain me. Okay? Okay. Good. Glad that’s settled.

For me, “loving America” would be as pointless as the guy who is still in love with the girlfriend who dumped him for cheating on her. Loving her would only be frivolous and frustrating because she hates him for what he did. So he’s better off just forgetting about her. That’s a perfect metaphor for why I don’t love America.

My relationship with America now is like that same guy, after he’s over his ex-girlfriend and has moved on; but she keeps calling and texting, just to be a bitch and complain and ask for mundane shit. That’s how America and I are getting along, and I wish she’d just leave me the hell alone. Because while I’ve lost my right to participate in “America,” I still have to put up with America’s bullshit. I have to pay taxes to fund a government in which I have no participatory or civic role. Granted, I don’t mind paying the taxes that fund roads and schools, but that’s not what Kansas uses taxes for; Kansas hates roads, and Kansas especially hates schools. So, you know, there’s that.

Here’s the other thing: I watch the news. I see how the contemporary political landscape is forming (and deteriorating). And be honest, that really makes it easier to not be an American. America is a disaster. America has become a country where a person’s right to own a gun is more important than a person’s right to not get shot in the fucking head. America has become a nation that prioritizes the funding of prisons over the funding of schools. America has become a country where the two candidates for the most powerful position in government is between an ethically-corrupt political insider and a fucking reality TV billionaire. I mean, seriously, allow me to muster-up my best Chris Tucker voice and say, “What kind of shit is that?” No wonder America has become such a pathetic joke to the rest of the world.

America has reached the point that terrorists are now attacking other countries (like France and England) because they realize the sad fact that America is doing an adequately sufficient job of destroying itself. America doesn’t need terrorists; America’s got the whole “destroy America” thing covered. But thanks for the offer.

America is such a self-loathing nation – Americans hate each other. That whole “spirit of America” bullshit that everyone harps about on the 4th of July is complete bullshit. The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty are meaningless. America is more divided now than at any time since the Civil War. Republicans blame the Democrats for that; Democrats blame the Republicans for that. But they’re both at fault. America has seriously become a media-driven nation where people can literally choose the facts they want based on their views. And that’s just pathetic. Republicans always whine about the “liberal bias” in the media, which is just a cop-out excuse for why the facts don’t fit their narrative. The truth is, the news isn’t “fact” anymore. The days of newsmen like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather are gone. Now, nationally-known news anchors are just making shit up. And if a person doesn’t like what a news network is saying, they can just change the channel, hear the same story, and hear “facts” they like more. If you’re a Republican, you watch Fox News and you believe they tell the Gospel truth about America; if you’re a Democrat, you watch MSNBC and you believe they tell the Gospel truth about America. Networks like CNN and CSPAN are just trying to keep up, but essentially, neither side thinks either of those networks reports the news the way they think it should be reported – Republicans think CNN is too liberal and Democrats think CNN is too conservative.

America has become a sadly-accurate Saturday Night Live skit. So I’m not very broken-up by not being able to participate. I’m just not an American anymore. I’m a nationless person. Granted, I abide by their laws and conform to their norms, but I hold no pride in this nation, I hold no patriotism or love-of-country anymore. I just, essentially, don’t give a shit. I don’t hate America, I am just entirely indifferent to the way the country insists on repeatedly screwing itself. It’s just not my problem – I’m like Pilate, washing my hands of this travesty.

So I’m just going to let the Americans deal with the pile of shit they’ve created, and I’ll merely go-with-the-flow. See, I honestly thought I’d care more, but the truth is, I don’t. I am my own nation, and I am the only constituent. I can’t worry about the state of this failed nation – my first priority is living my own life in a manner that serves and honors my wife, my daughter, and my family. They are my strongest allies. Granted, I’m not going to try to be my own independent nation or anything nutty like that – Peter Griffin tried that; it didn’t end well – but what I can do is simply worry about me, my choices, my lifestyle, and my future. Because Americans are obsessed with the lives and behaviors of everyone else, yet they refuse to admit that they are fallible and flawed. And that’s one of the biggest reasons the world hates Americans – Americans think they’re superior in every way while being dominantly flawed and imperfect.

My senior year of college, I spent Spring Break in London and Ireland with a group of fellow students for a week-long Study Abroad class. Prior to boarding the plane to cross the ocean, the Travel Supervisor gave us all a vital piece of advice for when we were in a foreign country: “Tell them you’re Canadian.”

The sad part is, that was really good advice.