There is a problem in this country. A problem that is so deeply entrenched that it will be difficult if not impossible to weed out. This problem is selfishness.
This problem is not a new one, in fact it is an old one. This problem has existed since the birth of our nation all of those years ago. It has existed since we decided to dump tea in the Boston Harbor. It has existed since we first settled at Plymouth Rock. But back then it wasn't a problem. Back then, it was a force for good.
Manifest Destiny is what we called this problem then. It is how we justified the relocation of the people who lived here before we came by boat from Europe. Savages, we called them. This is our land by right. And so we made them move, or we slaughtered them like one would pigs being primed to become bacon. The Trail of Tears and the Massacre at Wounded Knee. Through it all, they proved more civilized than we.
Like the Native Americans, we used this problem of ours to justify the subjection of many other peoples. It is how we were able to enslave millions of Nigerians and Liberians, of Gabonese and Congolese. It is how we were able to treat human beings as less than dogs, and how we were able to turn water cannons powerful enough to strip away skin on innocent children.
Now, selfishness is rearing its ugly head again, for it is a monster that can never truly be killed. Look at how we treat immigrants. Look at the hardworking Mexicans, Cubans, and other Latinos who are doing our dirty work. They are taking the jobs that we don't want to work, for wages that we would never accept, and causing us no trouble. Yet we see them as thieves, coming to steal jobs for Americans. We fight them at every turn, and yet, the only reason that they are even in the United States is because we destroyed their economies through our selfish, protectionist trade policies.
It is selfishness that allows for Americans to sit in their homes, using up more than their fair share of oil and gas and water while there are people in other parts of the world that have none of those things. It is selfishness that Americans are projecting when they buy products made by children in sweatshops in China. It is selfishness that they are showing when they support governments in the Middle East that openly suppress women and anyhow who opposes them.
There is a problem in this country, and that problem is selfishness. There is only one way to fix that problem, and that is through education.
Education is the silver bullet. It can battle poverty and unemployment. It can advance technology and the arts. It even helps the damned economy.
Republicans say it is a waste of time. It is a waste of time and money and it has failed to work thus far. And to that I say, sit down. The problem is not that education doesn't work, it is that it is not being funded nearly well enough. Education is what we should be spending the most on in this country. We should follow in the example of our Scandinavian Cousins, and make being a teacher the most desirable position there is. Teachers should be making six-figure salaries. Yes, it will be expensive and it should be expensive. So is the military, which we spend over half our money on, and its soul goal is keeping the US the best through force. Its selfish. We need a change.