Irrational America

The new USA motto: “It don’t matter no more, so pass the Oxy, Cheetos, and vodka.”

As I stated the day after Trump won the US Presidency, his win marked the end of the Age of Enlightenment in the United States of America. Although Hillary Clinton thoroughly dominated the popular vote by well over 3 million votes, our insane Constitutional loophole called the Electoral College gave Trump the win. Millions of people across the states needed for an Electoral College victory for Trump voted for this insane, bloviating, utterly contemptible human being, like it or not. Sure, he lies like no other public figure in recent memory. Sure, he bragged like a randy frat boy about grabbing pussies and assaulting women against their will. Sure, he insulted and mocked the disability of a New York Times journalist. Sure, he bankrupted nearly every business he started and yet parades himself as a success. He’s an avowed racist asshole, pathological liar, failed businessman, and raging dumbass, and yet people voted for him.

That question I asked then was, simply, what the fuck, America? Why would people vote for this insane, silly, deeply pathological man-child? What insanity gripped so many millions on that Election Day in 2016? What nihilism led to this madness? Well, now I know.

The USA is, simply put, populated by some increasingly irrational, stupid, insane, and self-destructive people. Voting for Trump is just one symptom of a much larger problem with this country. Rejecting science is another, as is the rise in fundamentalist and evangelical religions and other irrational belief systems such as libertarian ideology or Chicago School economics. And finally there’s this amazing sad fact: recent health statistical data points to a declining life expectancy in the USA, due mainly to profligate alcohol and drug abuse (alcohol-related deaths have risen 41% since 1999; fatal drug overdoses have increased 387% in the same period!); overeating and morbid obesity and all the chronic ill-health pathologies associated with it (hypertension, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, et al.; mortality rates for obesity-related maladies have increased 114% since 1999); and a 39% increase in suicide rates for Americans aged 25-65—with a whopping 56% suicide increase for ages 55-64!

That’s right: Americans are killing themselves either slowly or quickly in much greater numbers. And this increase is largely happening to people in their middle-age years after 40. It has shifted health stats overall to reflect the first decline in life expectancy in a century in the United States of America. Crazy but true.

What is astonishing about this report in the Journal of American Medical Association is that this decline in life expectancy cuts across all races and ethnic groups, and happens whether people live in cities, suburbs, or rural areas. It’s not just the poor and disadvantaged who are dying younger from self-destructive habits. The sad fact is that people of middle age across all demographic categories are dying in greater numbers in the USA from mostly preventable maladies in a country that outspends on average for health care than the rest of the world, and yet it has the poorest health of any wealthy nation. America, we have a problem, and we’re mostly doing it to ourselves.

People are literally killing themselves in this country with a frightening, and, I might add, highly perplexing self-destructive streak that defies logic and reason. So why not vote for a fucking asshole like Trump when you already don’t give a damn whether you live or die any more? Why bother listening to scientists who are screaming at the top of their lungs that our planet’s climate is in serious danger, or that income inequality continues to rise and the middle class is largely disappearing, when you’re going to OD on smack, or overeat yourself into a diabetic ketoacidosis state, or drink yourself into systemic organ failure, one abjectly self-destructive habit or other that will lead to an early death before you’re 60? Worse, why care at all if you’re going to blow your brains out with a gun immediately? Live and let die, bitches. Flip the world the bird as you exit that mortal coil. God and Ayn Rand are waiting for you with open arms in the afterlife you so quickly want to join, so fuck it, right?

I probably sound like an elitist jerk, and maybe I am, but I’m completely dumbfounded and stupefied by the overwhelming irrationality and suicidally self-destructive behavior of far too many of my fellow citizens. Rejecting science is insane on its own, and fraught with horrific peril for our future as a species. Voting for reprehensible human beings as our democratic leaders who then do everything to destroy the self interest and well being of tens of millions citizens to favor the super-rich elite few is another form of insanity. Add all that to millions of citizens—millions!—deliberately eschewing good health and longevity through shitty eating and not exercising, or suicidally abusing drugs and alcohol, or simply killing one’s self outright.

What the fuck, people? Are nihilism and self-destruction your only coping mechanisms for a life you so obviously hate? Is dragging everyone else down that rat-fucked hole with you your master plan? It sure feels that way any more. Like a kid who shoots up his school then turns the gun on himself, people are no longer content killing themselves, they have to take everyone with them. People voting for Trump in numbers great enough that he won the Electoral Vote indicates this insane nihilism as much as anything I have witnessed in my 56 years of living. Just look at the map of where life expectancy decline is the greatest: it’s in places where Trump won lots of votes. Think it’s a coincidence? Hell no.

Not all Trump fanatics are self-destructive alcoholics, drug fiends, or chronic overeating fat pigs. Nor are they all uneducated dopes who reject science and higher learning. Of course not, and I would never state something like that with any sort of scientific certainty. But, let’s be honest, his success seems to be greatest in regions where so many of the citizens are dying young from these highly preventable maladies, so there is some provable correlation between voting for Trump and all this self-destructive behavior that drives down our national life expectancy. He won because he got votes across the Ohio Valley, from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, and also throw in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Missouri too; all of which, if you look at the map above, is where life expectancy dropped the most since 1999. The exception is northern New England where life expectancy dropped considerably too and Hillary won those states, but that’s not a lot of people (or Electoral Votes) compared to the states I mentioned above.

I rest my case; I really can’t say much else. The facts, as they say, are clear on this. Res ipsa loquitur. Extreme negligence towards one’s self means extreme negligence towards others. If people don’t give a flying fuck about themselves, how little do they care for others? The evidence clearly indicates they don’t give a damn at all about anything. Just pass the Oxy, Cheetos, and vodka, and everyone else can go to hell.

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