Monday, September 6, 2021

It's All About 'Ownership' -- How Much of America Do You 'Own"

  I’ve always been a person who hated litter. When I find litter on a trail, I will pick it up and usually carry a bag for that purpose. When I walk my dog, I always carry extra poop bags so I can pick up the poop other dog owners have failed to pick up.

I don’t say this to garner praise, but to make a point. It started with a thought I had as a teenager about people who throw litter from their cars. It’s the following: I believe that people who throw trash from their car hate litter as much as I do. They don’t want litter in their car, which they own. They simply don’t have a sense of ownership that extends beyond their personal property. Myself, I have that sense of “ownership” of the world around me, and I want to keep it as litter free as my car or home.

Think of it, if you prefer, as “citizen-ship.” I’m a citizen of Golden, but I’m also a citizen of Colorado, of the United States and, yes, of the planet. I want to keep Golden, Colorado and my planet clean, healthy, and sustainable.

As a citizen of the planet, I worry about plastics and microplastics in our oceans, about air and water pollution, and about climate change. I take seriously what scientists tell me, whether it’s about viruses, vaccines, or our climate. Fortunately, most of my fellow citizens feel as I do. The entire world listened to scientists 40 years ago, when they told us CFCs were creating an “ozone hole” endangering human health. The world responded by banning CFCs, and the ozone hole has now closed, according to the European Environment Agency. 

The entire world also listened in 2016 when it passed the Paris Climate Accord, but one nation — the United States — withdrew from that accord when a person without our world view became president.

Diversity (the acceptance of equal rights and respect for people unlike yourself) goes hand-in-hand with global citizenship. Racism is a logical extension of that narrow world view. “America First” is the antithesis of that sense of ownership or citizenship of the planet. Make America Great Again, as I have written before, is demonstrably the same as “Make America White Again.”

There’s a theme of self-centeredness among those who have gravitated toward our supremely narcissistic, even psychopathic, former president and his worldview. Self-centered people are people who might litter, might not care about recycling, and think we can keep exploiting the earth’s resources without worrying about the consequences. They might not be as compassionate toward the suffering of immigrants or the homeless or the unemployed. They would definitely favor tax cuts for themselves over improved social services for those less blessed than themselves.

Is this a theme that resonates with you? If not, perhaps you agree with this unsigned letter I received from a reader last week:

“I see you are still writing your hysteria and paranoid rants against the great Donald J. Trump. What kind of businessman pisses off half of his possible clientele? What kind of fool pays the Post for an opportunity to put his head up his ass on a weekly basis?

“In case you haven’t noticed, the idiot in charge in a five-star cluster fuck of epic proportions.

“On every social and foreign policy question, Trump was absolutely correct. Learn how to deal with it, ass-hole.”

This reader needn’t worry about me “pissing off half my possible clientele” by speaking the truth about Donald J. Trump. Frankly, I wouldn't want to do business with a Trumper, and I’m being rewarded by other readers with the best year of my career, receiving so many leads that I have to enlist my broker associates to serve them all.

  More typical is the following email message I got from David M.:

Donald Trump did not make America great again. Trump made America far less great, more divided, and far less honest. To this day, I continue to be so amazed at the folks who believe Trump made America better and I’m even more flabbergasted at the Republicans who are in denial and continue to be so.

  More typical is the following email message I got from David M.:

Donald Trump did not make America great again. Trump made America far less great, more divided, and far less honest. To this day, I continue to be so amazed at the folks who believe Trump made America better and I’m even more flabbergasted at the Republicans who are in denial and continue to be so.

 

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