Driving is a very good proxy for American life in general. The backwards ideas of courtesy are not an exception. American culture is one where instead of eliminating things that aggravate, frustrate, and annoy it is expected of people to have an infinite tolerance of these things. It’s backwards and unworkable.
Not even Jesus Christ, regardless if one sees him as a mythical figure or a real person or a combination of multiple people had such infinite tolerance. But yet, in some sort of twisted way we are all supposed to have the tolerance, the patience, of someone who is absolutely perfect. Of course this system is bound to fail and it has, in many ways.
One subject of attention in recent years is “road rage”. What is “road rage” is never really stated. We know that it is someone who gets angry while driving, someone who loses it. We know what the road-rager does, but what got him there is never asked. It would be like asking what drove a guy to turn a bulldozer into a tank and go on a rampage. It’s never answered. It is simply that someone has been pushed beyond their limits. Too many frustrating, aggravating, and annoying things in to short of a time or for tool long of a time. A person snaps. Everyone has a limit. Some are lower than others but there’s always a limit. The 12th left lane blocker, the 5th time being cut off, and many more things all are additive.
Road rage is the simple example. There are many more complex and meaningful ones in our society. For instance, what is faced as we grow up in the government schools.
The government school personnel have no concern for fairness. They just want their jobs as easy and brainless as possible. This is why we now have zero tolerance policies. The policy decides. But what is this policy and its immediate predecessors? It blames the reacting party no less than it blames the party that caused the problem, fight, disruption, what-have-you. A kid who is made fun of, bullied, hit, punched, kicked, etc. is expected to just take it. Take it and take it and take it. The moment he defends himself, the administration comes down on him. Maybe it will also punish the aggressors and aggravators but it always seek to punish the the kid that strikes back.
That’s just the schoolyard, how does it hurt us beyond that? Those in government use it to their advantage.
Locally those in government can abuse and harass anyone of their choosing. The person cannot fight back for then he will look bad to the rest of the community. Only the most well-liked and socially respected people in the community will have protection. Everyone else is essentially on their own. They just have to take it. People lose their businesses, get run out of town, end up in prison, and so forth. But that is relatively small to where this way of thinking is most used against the American public, the world of foreign policy.
One way the US Federal Government goes to war is to aggravate their target into attacking. The American public doesn’t even want to hear about the aggravating factors, they immediately believe the other nation is the aggressor. We use this backwards thinking repeatedly. For instance, Ron Paul is vilified because he brings up the simple concept of blowback. The American public by large doesn’t seem to care what the federal government has been doing to people around the globe, those other people should have just sat there and taken it. They struck back and now they are in the wrong. It goes way back. FDR aggravated the Japanese government until Pearl Harbor was attacked. Lincoln aggravated the southern states until they finally attacked. These prior events and factors are never considered.
What of our daily lives? I think most people can see how the culture is cruder, less caring, more aggravating than in the past. The reason? Because it’s a bigger sin to react to bad behavior than to behave badly. It has empowered the trolls and griefers of the society to do as they please and ruin it for us all.