Being a teacher of American History, I have had mixed emotions about being proud to be an American for awhile, but now, after the most recent political shut-down, I guess I can safely say I now understand how my father may have felt when he would tell people he worked for “Beyond Petroleum” (BP) after the Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes I am an American, and I am from a country that has a government that can’t even take care of it’s citizen’s most basic needs without shutting down? “Insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” (The Preamble to the Constitution). When did these lofty but exceptional goals become so unachievable in our Nation, and why? I have a daughter now, and she will be asking me why our country is not so great anymore some day, and so I must ask a few questions myself about what is really going on here?
There is nothing tranquil about what is going on in our country now! Our defense is not provided for when we rip ourselves apart with self-serving, self-interested, partisan factions! Where are our Statesmen of old? The “general welfare” is not being promoted by an obstructionist Congress elected to represent narrow gerrymandered partisan interests! Where are our Great Compromisers and Great Communicators gone? Furthermore, nothing the Federal government has been doing for years now under the FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security, the DEA, INS, or the NSA program should be construed by anyone (but perhaps the most devoutly brain-washed “patriots”) as “securing blessings of liberty” to ourselves or our kid’s futures! How can you ensure domestic tranquility when you enslave your own citizens behind a veil of continuous “protection” via constant observation? Where is the freedom or pursuit of happiness in that? Why is so much of my tax money going to the U.S. government so they can build a “social profile” of me and my friends so they can determine what kind of citizen I am when the Nation’s bridges and infrastructure are crumbling, and the cities are going bankrupt?
But rather than asking how did it all go so wrong so fast, and who should we blame, perhaps we should just focus on the most important question! How do we fix it? How do we get America back on track, (to leap from the abyss we are falling into as we speak), before the U.S. empire collapses into it, and our kids end-up living in Third-World conditions struggling to make a living in what once was America the beautiful? Do you not think the worst can happen, I see a future America where no matter how hard an American works, he/she cannot get ahead. Where the expression “pulling yourself up by your own boot straps” becomes meaningless, because no one can afford the damn boots!
Perhaps it really is already too late to fix. If so, what will a post-American dominated world look like? Is it too late to learn Cantonese or Mandarin? The North Koreans say, in China, even the beggars don’t go hungry, that is one reason why they try to defect there. With a record number of U.S. passports being turned in at U.S. embassies abroad, and many Americans giving up their own citizenship, must we now assume America is no longer the promised land it once was? Or do we already have too many rich fat-cat elitists who are willing to turn their back on the country, and who have sold America “down-the-river” in their quest to rape and pillage the world? To say the very least, I am not impressed with my Nation’s so-called “leaders” at the moment. They are being children, playing adult games mind you, and with adult consequences, but acting like children none-the-less. The worst of it, the world is watching, and formulating their present and future opinions about us as a people, and as a Nation, and we are not rising to the occasion, we are falling apart.