It’s Come To This… After the Break…


Doormats with the United States flag on them.

“The United States of Pindostan.”

“President Maximka” (or just “Maximka”).

Really? It’s come to this?

There’s an obvious retort to all of this. I won’t write it. There’s no reason to inflame the situation any further.

Instead, let me remark that “Pindostan” is a nation with a robust appreciation for the freedom of speech. In “Pindostan,” we debate contentious topics openly. Yes, there are people who openly lie and distort facts in order to further their cause. There have always been people and organizations like that and there always will be, regardless of geographical location, ideology or the like. Yes, there are times when such debate turns violent. There are times when such debate is suppressed.

“Pindostan” has gone through it’s “Freedom Fries” stage and, sadly, I have little doubt it will do so again.

Yet through our contentious, tumultuous and turbulent debate, Pindostan has prospered. We have exposed parts of our government performing activities that it really shouldn’t be performing. We continue to reconcile our religious convictions with the realities of gender, race, reproductive rights & sexual orientation. We continue to lurch forward with environmental goals, as modest as they may be. We have elections that are generally trusted even if the results sometimes draws the ire of a considerable amount of the country. We have ended wars that were begun for illegitimate reasons and have exposed copious amounts of fraud and waste all along the way.

It’s not easy looking into a mirror and seeing an honest reflection as the response. However, at least “Pindostan” is willing to face the mirror and open it’s eyelids on occasion. The same can not be said for other nations.

No kingdom, country or organization is constantly perfect. It just can’t.

What makes a kingdom, country or organization as competent as it could be is fair, constant & open debate on all of the issues. The ability to allow for voices, as repugnant as the opinions that those voices speak, to express opinions that are neither popular nor scientifically valid is not a flaw but a feature and a vital one at that. It allows for that society to gauge the honest opinion on a given topic.

The Russian people will look back upon this period one day with the same disgust and shame as Pindostan does concerning the McCarthy era, the treatment of Native Americans, the treatment of Americans of Japanese heritage during World War II and several other unsavory times.

The Russian government has put the Russian people into an unfortunate predicament that only the Russian people, and not “Pindostan,” can resolve. That resolution begins with the Russian people having a fair, constant and open debate as to how their country came to where they are today. The opinions will often not be pretty or savory. Some opinions will not have a lot of (or any) objective truths to back those opinions up.

It’s easy to print a doormat with the Pindostan flag on it. It’s even easier to wipe your feet on such a thing. Pindostan used to print out targets of Moammar Kadhafi, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Propaganda against the Germans and Japanese during World War II was, at times, grossly insensitive despite the horrific acts that those nations’ governments carried out.

And yet Pindostan learned the inconvenient truth that the only way forward as a society was to allow for all of the opinions and all of the facts to be heard about such contentious topics. It hasn’t been easy and there have been plenty of detours and speed bumps along with way. And yet those debates occurred. And those debates eventually mattered in forming policy.

Doormats with the United States of Pindostan doesn’t surprise me but also doesn’t help the root cause of the hardships that many Russians are already facing. Fair, constant & open debate amongst it’s people will. Once that occurs, it also wouldn’t surprise me if the incidents of insensitive doormats and slurs begins to decrease to the point where they become historical curiosities.


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