The 4th of July In Mexico

A woman has ink applied to her finger after casting her ballot during elections in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, Sunday July 4, 2010. A dozen Mexican states held elections Sunday after a campaign marred by assassinations and scandals that displayed drug cartels' power, including the killing of Rodolfo Torre the former frontrunner for governor of Tamaulipas state, whose brother ran in his place.

For the 4th of July today I’d also like to talk about Mexico. I’ll explain why the state of Mexico says so much about the US in this post.

On June 15 our president Barack Obama made his first Oval Office address to the American people about the BP oil disaster and America’s clean energy future.
In case you missed it here’s a clip

The same night Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon took to the airwaves south of the border for support in the war on drug trafficking raging in the streets. Gunmen killed 15 federal police officers in 2 different cities the day before in one of the bloodiest days for security forces since Mexico launched a crackdown on drug cartels.

June was the deadliest month of the drug wars. So far 26,000 persons have died since late 2006 when the president launched his army-led drug war.

Today is election day on Mexico and the voters will have the escalating drug wars in mind when they make their choices.

At the heart of this are the drugs, of which Americans are some of the biggest consumers. We can’t arrest or kill our way out of the demand no matter how much we try on the supply end. The war on drugs is a rouse to increase incarceration rates to fuel the prison industrial complex.

Despite the fact that America has the most stuff and uses the most resources we still rank low on the happiest countries in the world list in relation to all our comforts. We’re fueling the drug trade and spreading misery around across the globe.

I can remember the day Obama was elected president. Strangers danced with strangers int he middle of the streets in Brooklyn and Harlem. While dancing in the streets can be a common part of a celebration in many countries like Brazil it isn’t here.

On our Independence Day we isolate ourselves from others in our own backyards in our own private parties, never connecting the cookouts as a communal gathering. As a nation we gather to do things like watch American Idol in our own separate homes.

I believe that soon this isolation will become unsustainable for us too. If we are to look to a more eco conscious future we need to understand the sense of community that will involve. The way that separate motorists can get together to car pool or the way you have to interact with others on public transportation, we will have to share on a larger scale.

And what’s so wrong with that? A sense of patriotism should involve not trying desperately to escape interaction with your fellow countrymen and women. I think it would put a serious dent in the needs we find for drugs.

Shout out to all our military personnel and veterans.

Check out this post POLL: What is America’s Worst Problem? and join the conversation over there. Peace.

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