Saturday, February 09, 2008

Reminiscing

It looks as though the American people have spoken in numbers large enough to ensure that John McCain is the Republican nominee for president, while the Democrat nominee is still up in the air with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama still slugging it out.

The results won't be official until after the national conventions for the respective parties, with the Democrats holding theirs towards the end of August and the Republicans holding theirs in early September. Putting aside all the charges of voter machine malfunctions and fraud it looks like the people have spoken and Ron Paul was not their choice. With all the interest in change and a new direction for our government you would have thought Ron Paul's position on the issues would have found a larger audience. Maybe America does want change, but not the kind of change Ron Paul was offering.

If that is the case, I have a few things I need to get off my chest. If you look at a map I am sure that everyone could find the United States of America, but with the education our children are getting that might be asking for too much.

The U.S. may still exist on the maps, but the country no longer exists, no matter what you may believe. This is not the country our founding fathers envisioned. It is not the country I was born into 50 years ago. It is not the country I grew up in, served in the military to defend, and the country I love with all my heart and soul. And if things keep going the way they are, and it breaks my heart to say this, it is not the country I even wish to live in.

Being an American used to mean something, but not anymore. If you go out into public, in even small rural areas, you would think you were at a United Nations conference. On the rare instances I go to the local shopping mall, other than English, I hear no less than 3 languages being spoken. I flip through the channels on my television and I have the choice of shows in Spanish, Hmong, Chinese, Filipino, and Punjabi. I live in a very small rural community and I can just imagine how bad it must be in the larger cities such as Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, and Miami. I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles the other day and found it difficult to find a drivers handbook in English. What ever happened to English being the language of this country?

As a child I remember being taught respect for elders. I was backhanded right out of my chair one evening by my father for using the word 'sucks' in front of my mother. Now I can sit by my front window and listen to elementary school kids walking home using profanity so abundantly that their sentences wouldn't make sense if you took all the swear words out of them.

I remember watching the old western television shows like Rawhide, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke where the heroes were always the 'good guys'. Now misfits, miscreants, and sociopaths are the heroes and our kids grow up thinking it is okay to follow their examples.

I remember when a man could find a job and be set for life. His company would pay good wages, provide good benefits, and most importantly, the job would be there until you were ready to retire. Now our companies are cutting back on benefits, if they ever provided them in the first place. The wages are stagnating while the CEO's are making a fortune off the sweat of their workers. And if you are one of the unfortunate ones, your job has been outsourced to laborers in some foreign country to save on costs.

It used to be that Made In The USA meant something. American made goods were the envy of the world. When I was young my mother would bring out this old humidifier whenever I came down with a cold. Every year whenever I got sick it was the same old heavy humidifier that provided steam hot enough to blister my skin if I got too close to it. I can't count how many humidifiers I have bought from the big box stores for my son, all made in China and all pieces of junk! All the toys I played with as a kid were solid and built to last, and all made in the USA. Now kids are lucky if their Christmas presents last till June before they find their way to the trash can.

I remember going to school and having the basics, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. I remember having to memorize the multiplication tables without the aid of a calculator. I remember having to do a book report every week. I remember having to memorize the states and capitals, and the countries of the world and their capitals as well. I even had to memorize Patrick Henry’s ’Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death’ speech in its entirety. All this in elementary school.

I saw a news special one evening where they went to a mall and asked high school age kids a series of questions. Three of them that I remember were, Who was Martin Luther King, What does JFK stand for, and What Country borders the U.S. to the south. Some of the answers amazed me. One African American boy said that Martin Luther King was the guy who freed the slaves. Another said he didn’t know but he got the day off from school to celebrate his birthday. Some people thought JFK sold chicken, while others thought it was a model of car. I was absolutely floored when kids said that Cuba, China, and Africa bordered the U.S. to the south. You call that an education?

I remember growing up in a society that didn’t consider guns evil and the cause of crime and senseless killings. I remember seeing pickup truck after pickup truck driving around with fully loaded gun racks in the window. I remember taking hunters safety courses during summer school, ON A SCHOOL CAMPUS! I remember walking through town with my brother, our bb rifles over our shoulders, going to the river to shoot at cans. Nobody thought anything of it. Try that today and see if they don’t call in SWAT and Homeland Security on you or your kids. I remember my father having an arsenal that could supply a small army and they were all fully loaded and sitting in his closet. I knew they were there and I knew that if I played with them I would get a whipping I wouldn’t soon forget. I also remember I could hit the bulls-eye with open sites at 30 yards by the time I was 10.

I remember growing up when people had faith in their government to do what was in the best interest of the country. Their faith may have been a bit misguided as I have learned through my researches, but it was there nonetheless. Compare that to today when our president has an approval rating in the 30% range and Congress even lower than that.

I remember my father talking about President Eisenhower and how he got rid of all those wetbacks. I used to think my father was a bigot, little did I know that I would turn out to be just like him.

I know my fathers generation would never have stood for a government that violated so many personal liberties in the misguided belief that they would make our nation safer. The mining of bank accounts, phone calls, internet records, medical records, credit transactions, and even the books you check out from the library is now considered an essential tool in fighting terrorism. Yet in my fathers time, just 50 short years ago it would never have been tolerated.

This is the country I live in but it is not the country I remember. It is not the country I grew up to love. I blame our government for many of the things I have spoken of, but I blame the people of this country as well. They sat back and turned a blind eye while our nation deteriorated right in front of them.

Now it is 2008 and we are faced with the choice of two forms of evil for our president. No matter who you vote for, the candidate the Democrats select, or John McCain for the Republicans, they are evil and have no allegiance to the country our founders envisioned, I grew up in, and I used to love. I still love what it stood for, but that vision is fading fast and what lies in the future I fear will only be worse.

So keep watching your reality TV, your sporting events, and believing the network news. They tell you everything will be just fine. Some of us know better though and we are scared and fighting to save what is left of this once great country. I often wonder if the fight is worth it when the majority of the people just don’t care.

If my one day my voice is no longer heard in the fight for freedom and liberty it can mean one of two things. I have been silenced by those who are behind the destruction of this country, or it means I have given up and moved out into the woods to live the rest of my life as a hermit.

4 comments:

tshsmom said...

"I remember when a man could find a job and be set for life."

I know this sounds crazy, and I'm no economist, BUT, I think the stock market is to blame for our demise.

I'm all for capitalism, but I think businesses should stand on their own two feet! Once a business goes public, it becomes the property of Wall Street and their paper empires. Quality and job security fly out the window in favor of higher stock prices and CEO's salaries.

I long for the return of good old American know-how and work ethics. If a business is successful and wants to expand, let them do it the old-fashioned way through bank loans and responsible management practices.

Unbridled debt looks good to the CEOs of credit card companies and banks, but what is it teaching our citizens, especially the young ones who haven't lived through the "responsible" times that you and I have?

geopax said...

I also remember that world. We began losing it in the 1960s during the Vietman war when our young including myself turned against our government and our society. I spent 7 months in military prison for refusing to support the war. Our youth lost faith in the American dream, but at least we stood up for what we believed. The youth today are molded not be great ideals but television. The bottom of our society now determines their language and their thinking. Euro-centric thinking is gone. This leaves me no longer proud to be an American. Yet I still fly a flag in remembrance of what this nation use to be. My car has both Ameican and Canadian flag decals as my heart has moved north.
Your article is woderful! You may be surprised to know how many people think the way you do.

neal said...

Tshsmon-I have some reservations about the stock market as well. First off I think too many people use it as a gauge of how well our economy is doing. That is rubbish, all the stock market tells you is how well the corporations are doing in terms of profit. If they don't make a profit stocks go down. What about these companies that lay off thousands to save money and then there stock value goes up?

The idea of opening up the companies for market contributions is fine, but I think it has become an industry of its own that has strayed from the true purpose of expanding a companies ability to expand and create new jobs.

Geopax-I was too young to be involved in the counter revolution that was the 60's. I was born in 58 so I may have enjoyed the music, but was too young and immature to understand the politics. I think the 60's may have been part of it, but I think the first event that began the change in America was the death of JFK. It seemed that America lost something when that happened, whether or not JFK was a good president. Maybe it was because that was the first president who was killed by an assassin's bullet and the whole world watched in on television. Who knows, but I think America started going downhill then.

That isn't to say that the corruption and lack of regards to the Constitution started then, it was firmly entrenched by then, it was more a change in society.

Anonymous said...

I beleive the patriot act was a goverment( rich capialist) take over. Takeing control of all acts, not just in the U.S. but in the world. Money makes the world go round, and the lack of money enslaves it`s beleivers, and we all are beleivers. Live above your means and do not try to question the super rich, is the new patriot. Tkink of rebeling and it is terrism. The government knows we are not happy, and don`t care .