the Dilemma of Individualism

Side One: the ability to connect (to my own people), but I’m unable to understand (the others) –

Paul Ryan was announced the partner of Mitt Romney in his 2012 presidential campaign. The two conservatives are forming a totally right leaning position, which is totally on the opposite of Obama no matter on medicare, government spending, or taxes policies.

In these several days, the two sides have been running around for promoting their individual campaign. Attacking each other become the “regular meal” each day.  What they represent are two totally different parties and ideology and the group they protect are two side of the society. One is super rich while the other stands for the middle class and the poor who are struggling for living.

Let’s forget about politics for a sec, turn down the CNN or the Fox channel. Let’s unfold why two parties have to fight all the time for winning with one side insists on some “manipulated” truth like claiming they are the one for the people. Then WHO are the people? Just because they stand out for different party? and what’s the thought behind it?

Individualism has been built within the culture which makes people unable to tie to other group they are not identified with. It makes them failure to unit people that are on the different side.

While Paul Ryan talks about cutting tax for rich people, cutting government spending, and maintaining a small government. Yes it will reduce the deficit but it might create other social problems, and those problems won’t affect him or the super rich group because it only affects the poor people. Because minority group or lower middle class with less power rely on government’s help on jobs and unemployment benefit and government financial aids for college. Under Ryan’s circumstance when republicans cut those things, poor family and even middle class’ kids will find hard to continue college education without government educational aids, people got laid off will have little to no benefit, so poor will remain poor while rich will still be rich when the government remains nothing to interfere.

And the reason for doing this is because republican are unable to connect to the people who are in the bottom or even middle class. They are the one with the door closed, speaking passionately with their group about what big things they will do and how bright the direction they will take when they get the power in the government, and neglecting whoever that at the outside either are wet by rain, frozen by coldness, or placeless to go. For them other people aren’t republicans are the outsides. They wouldn’t understand them because they are the insiders wearing enough clothes, with a warm house that they aren’t afraid of whatever weather outside.

Here individualism makes them fail to understand others rather than themselves. People who get no college scholarship, no unemployment benefit, no medicare, is none of their business. What they could think about is themselves, the big oil companies, the super huge business. Individualism shapes the form of ego protector, covering their eyes and they can only focus on their winning campaign and multi-interlacing benefit.

In America children are raised up with individual ideologies. People have no rights to take away what you wanna say, or you can be yourself without what other people think of you, and etc. I have no question about those attitudes actually I agree with them, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to listen to what other people think or why they wanna take away your speaking. You might act differently after you listen to different opinion that is opposite of your position. Maybe those people are outside of your circle, but this is a society needs interaction between poor and the rich, elder and the children, black to the white, farmer and the president, construction worker and the huge international business owner. There’s no a realm that you can live only by yourself or only “your” people.

Side Two: you are nothing without your community

As an Olympics hurdler, Liu Xiang’s health of his leg has been always a hot topic for the Chinese group. He had surgery in London after he fell in the Olympics game. He was once the Olympic winner in Hurdling game with remarkable score in the history. Just because of that, people have been giving him the highest expectation on winning until he fell again in this Olympics.

Quiting Olympics because of health issue is not a big deal, but media’s focus makes Liu Xiang hard to catch a breath. Whether he will attend the next Olympics and whether he will win again for China or making history again are always the “chasing” topics for the reporters.

After broke his leg, Liu Xiang needing a rest is an individual thing because it’s individual pain. That pain doesn’t happen on other people but on Liu Xiang himself. However, the “never give up” media have to chase Liu Xiang everywhere and what they wanna know the most isn’t really just simply “how’s your leg?” Their correlated questions following that are “are you gonna join the next Olympics?””will you win again?” The pain for them is whether they are able to get the story out of whether Liu Xiang will attend the next Olympics back to the office. The pain for the mass is whether Liu Xiang is gonna fall again, and that breaks their heart of winning, more important is China winning, China making history again.

An individual health issue, nothing community related, becomes something relating to a national’s reputation and hope for their own winning. It can only be a laugh. Here we support individualism because the mass media don’t suffer the pain that Liu Xiang suffers. They only feel the pain from watching some “national star” failing to complete in the hurdle race of Olympic. However the leg’s health relates to a person’s whole life, for his individual physical being, might affect his normal life in the future.  Couldn’t a community have a little mercy on that issue and just let Liu go? Couldn’t individualism get a little respect in the nation? Is winning for a nation really bigger then his own healthy being? What if Liu was born in other country, when he broke his leg, would he get the same amount of media attention? If No, isn’t is simply a personally issue rather than community related story?


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