Editor's Note: This article was first published April
Uncle Sam used to resemble my rich old uncle, the uncle that didn't visit very
much but would always be there for us in a crisis. Uncle Sam would take care
of the things
our family couldn't take care of ourselves, like war, natural disasters and various other crises. But Uncle Sam is getting old and has decided
he wants to move in with us.
Since a lot of us are living without fathers, this is good news. Finally, someone
to take charge and guide us. Someone who will go to obscene lengths to make us safe
and happy, full of self esteem and good little citizens. You know, kinda like Dad
used to do before marriage became so, well, outdated.
It's a very secure feeling knowing that Uncle Sam is looking out for our best interests.
He got the lady down the hall to quit smoking, just in case they find out some day
that 2nd hand smoke causes cancer. He got cars to use special gas additives and
even mandated using biofuels so cars don't pollute
Mother Earth. It wasn't his fault that the
special gas turned out to cause cancer and biofuels are causing food prices
to skyrocket. His intentions were the best, so you really
can't fault him.
Uncle Sam has made himself indispensable. What would we do without him? It used
to be that Americans relied on their own families, their neighbors, and their churches.
With all those institutions being redefined out of existence, I'm thankful that
Uncle Sam has stepped up to provide the help we all seem to need now. As Hillary
says, 'It Takes A Village'. She realized before anyone else that in our new global
world, we would necessarily lose much of our individualism and eventually become
new, improved global citizens.
The thing I like best about Uncle Sam is his emphasis on feelings. There is now
a law that protects us from nasty slurs and bullies. There is even a law that actually
interprets the intentions behind someone's actions. If the intention is said to
be racial, pow, it qualifies as a hate crime. Finally, a law making hate illegal.
Sam (as he insists I call him) has sure made a big difference in my life. I never
knew that the earth was melting, or that gays had a right to get married. Or that
having a baby contributed to global warming. Or that capitalism was bad or that
all cultures are equal. Thanks to Uncle Sam, the age of individualism is turning
into the age of social justice. About time.
Sam has also taught me an awful lot about compassion. It used to be that I would
actually have to spend my own time and money to help out, say, the homeless or sick
family members or friends down on their luck. Or the AIDS crisis, or the climate
crisis or the...well, all the crises that seem to pop up with such regularity these
days. Now, all I have to do is support Uncle Sam and he'll handle all the messy
details. The best thing is, all this compassion will be paid for with other people's
money. Taking rich people down a peg or two is an added benefit.
What's great about having Uncle Sam in charge is that the focus is on my
rights, not my responsibilities. I now have rights I never imagined. The right not to
be offended, the right to abort right before delivery, the right to have everyone
respect me, even if I don't have a job or contribute to society in the old fashioned
way. I have the right to censor conservative views if they offend me. Hey, I even
have the right to embrace, learn and even practise other religions, like Islam.
I'm becoming very open-minded.
Another benefit of having Uncle Sam as daddy is that nothing is ever my fault. I
once lost my whole government check gambling in a casino. Uncle Sam provided me
a lawyer, free of charge, who showed me that it was the casino's fault for taking
advantage of my weakness. He even got the ATM machines moved further away from casinos.
Same thing when I drank too much and caused a little accident.
That bartender learned the hard way that serving booze to an alcoholic is a no-no.
It's only fair that he lost his bar. My only problem now is figuring out how to
keep my government checks coming even though I was awarded a couple million from
that negligent bartender.
Uncle Sam has taught me to value myself. Now that I don't have to worry about the
small stuff, like working and contributing to society, I am free to focus on all
the world's problems. I have choices I never imagined, like should I help Obama
get elected, or help educate morons about global warming. I'm leaning towards getting
a degree in Queer Studies so I can help a dowtrodden group become empowered. Just
like I did. Once I do that, I think I'll help our elected officials make war illegal.
Why they haven't outlawed war yet is something I'll never understand.
I now have self-esteem, no worries, and all the time and tools I need to fight to
make the world a better place. I have evolved into a proud citizen of the world.
All thanks to Uncle Sam.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and a news editor for
She live in South Carolina.
Article may be reprinted, with attribution