American Arrogance

The words “entitlement” and “privilege” have absolutely no value whatsoever in the American vernacular. But they get tossed around a lot, usually in the service of the Left and the gobbledygook that sometimes comes out of the mouths of activists, pundits and academics.

I prefer the term “arrogance” and it is on display in my nation everywhere I look. Such as:

The arrogance of cops and firefighters who place the lives of their fallen comrades over nurses and teachers, among many others, and believe they can tie up a Metro area’s traffic with a funeral procession for three hours to transport a casket to a church for a service. What about someone trying to get to hospital to have a baby? What about the dude trying to get to his job and if he’s late one more time, he’s fired, and then can’t pay rent. Why is a cop or firefighter’s life rate more than, say, my mother’s, who was a master elementary teacher of 34 years and never missed a day of class?

Or the two men killed on Max train a few years ago standing up to crazed man hurling racial insults at two Black girls? They didn’t get a miles-long procession that tied up an Interstate Highway.

Or the young woman of color driving a long distance to help care for my father in assisted living and getting paid minimum wage?

Why are cops and firefighters treated like heroes and not nurses and teachers and the guy who manages the Plaid Pantry down the block from me who has never failed to open that store in the worst weather in modern Portland history? And what about the security guard at a Portland hospital who was stabbed to death by a psychotic homeless man a while back?

Not too long ago, I witnessed a spectacular act of collective arrogance that’s still pissing me off: I was waiting at a stop light at a busy intersection of a four-lane expressway. Several dozen Canadian geese were waddling across the expressway. Traffic was stopped during a morning commute. I marveled at these birds; they made me laugh as they crossed and they even used the crosswalk!

Then drivers tarted honking at the geese and advancing on the group. I was shocked at this unseemly human arrogance. I looked at the honkers. People of all ages and colors. They disgusted me.

I still think back to the last couple 4th of July’s when TV news broadcast drivers pulled over on the top deck of the I-405 bridge, GOT OUT OF THEIR VEHICLES, many with their children in tow, to take pictures of the fireworks exploding over the river. This was on an Interstate Highway at night and there is no shoulder on this bridge. These people easily could have caused a massive traffic accident that killed dozens. They could have been killed themselves and their children creamed on the road. (Post that to social media.) They could have blocked emergency vehicles transporting critical patients or fire trucks racing to fight a fire.

Who are Americans anymore?