The USA was born in violence. We had wars with the Indians, wars with the French, a war with the British, and perhaps worst of all, the enslavement of Africans. This land is soaked in blood. Time and again, we have also been inflamed by people in power to get involved in foreign conflicts as well, although our resolve to finish the work often falters before the task is completed, whatever 'completion' means in each case. We're warlike, but there is also a strong undercurrent that makes us wish for peace. In essence, we go to war in order to achieve peace.
That's what I mean when I ask what is our nature. We're told by the people we elect (and many who aren't elected) that if we go to war one more time, it will be brief and we'll have the peace we've all been hoping for. We have our military stationed all over the world, ostensibly to ensure the peace is kept in one place or the other. Why haven't we stopped once and considered what we've been doing? Can the American people, as a nation, think rationally about our actions and their consequences? Are war and torture our best or only methods to achieve peace? Can we ever look at things rationally or will we always let our emotions carry us from one action to the next without ever thinking ahead to envision the consequences of our actions?
I believe that my neighbors and I want to live peacefully. I believe the vast majority of Americans want to live peaceful lives. I believe that most Americans are good people and really want the world to be a peaceful place. But why are we so blind to the hell we have unleashed on countries all over the world so that they'll clean up their act and do things in a manner that we find acceptable? Are we just a mob of 300 million+ who crash through the world like a crowd of soccer hooligans?
I've been thinking about this for a while and that's all I can come up with. How can this species survive when the best we can do is stumble through the world like a bunch of drunken apes? I'm beginning to think we're going to need another leap forward in the development of our species before we'll be able to make ourselves worthy of this vast universe we've inherited. We're just going to have to become something else.