Things I Don’t Understand

I’ve been reading a lot about the chemical spill in West Virginia, and you’ll have to forgive me but I really don’t have a lot of sympathy for the people of West Virginia in this, as they have consistently elected the kind of politicians that have allowed large corporations to get away with this sort of thing for decades. I’ll be honest and say I really don’t understand the thought process that enables you to believe that “freedom” is getting ripped off by corporations and “slavery” is having the government write and enforce legislation that makes your life better.

West Virginians pride themselves on overcoming adversity, which would be an honorable thing if it weren’t for the fact that they go out of their way to create adversity for themselves, and of course to wish it on other people. This isn’t limited to safety regulations, it also has to do with other things, like for example poverty-level wages. Mountaineers Are Always Free is the state motto, and it’s apparently been interpreted to mean that work here is cheap, and the workers themselves are proud of it.

I have developed, over the years, a deep loathing for the American South and that part of Southern culture that takes great pride in being ignorant, overworked, and underpaid, and who apparently want to make everyone else as miserable as they are. Not all Southerners are like that, of course, and not everyone who believes that are Southerners, but they’re the main cause of it, and if my reading of history is correct, they’ve been that way since before this country was founded.

Sadly, even in the wake of the chemical spill disaster that poisoned their water supply, I doubt very much will change. It’s one of those things I hope I’m wrong about, but I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s time the citizens of places like West Virginia or Alabama or Mississippi and other states began to act like true citizens of a free nation (which means taking responsibility for more than what each individual does) and less like peasants to be exploited by their “betters” under the false belief that that’s how it’s always been. It doesn’t have to be that way, and I really don’t know why they don’t just see it.


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