I’m broken hearted that it has come to this. Is this what what our forefathers worked and fought for? Just about everyone in this country came here as an immigrant because they believed in its ideals. And yes this country has had a lot of things go wrong with it. But I can’t think of a country or a people in history who didn’t make mistakes. The United States to me is a nation that is at its core an experiment in humanity. Humanity has both positives and negatives. We find the greatest minds and accomplishments amongst our species and yet the lowest lows that make us shameful compared to the other animals that share this earth. As such America being a representation of humanity will equally find these reflections of both admirable and disdainful traits. But as a whole like our species our country is at its core good.
The people of this country want to be happy just like all others. They want justice and freedom and opportunity to prove their worth and reach self actualization. We used to hold these ideals as points to rally together around. All people have an identity that they need to hold together around. Unfortunately just as other traits of people our success has made us blind and over privileged. We stand upon the shoulders of the giants who built this country with little regard to the work or difficulties they endured. Instead we cast stones at the past when anyone who would adhere to any religion or even act in any relent of self introspective thought or logic would know such actions are inherently hypocritical. Something more critical was lost from the American dream as we became wealthy and successful. We began to see happiness as something that was deeply rooted in false idols. The Bible called it mammon or a pursuit of wordly false idols for our glory. America began to root its happiness in an “American Dream” quite at odds with the rugged individualism that marked the wary portion of our country. We forgot the simple truth that happiness is rooted in family, friends, hard work, spiritual wellness, wisdom and finally membership in a community and meaningful purpose in life.
This trap of false happiness left us wanting because it was always destined to lead to disappointment. In that disappointment we started to believe that we were owed something and we embraced foolish post modern ideas that attacked our entire civilization in an emotional over reaction. This is a culture that we now occupy. The sad truth is the state of America is everyone’s fault. No one is without blame. Every time we say “they” or “them” we make ourselves separate. Every time we make an excuse for one act that supports our side while condemning a same act for the other we undermine our laws and the concept of order. Socrates faced execution without resistance despite his innocence because the value of the LAW was more important than some wrong laws.
America was built on the premise of compromise. Every time we complain about another states opinion or the electoral college we fail to realize why our founding fathers made the choices they did in our system of government. The founding fathers built a system that was designed to be inefficient in order to protect liberty at all costs while at the same time a system that could grow and evolve with times. Just as it did in throughout our history the tension still exists in how Americans want their government to be. But today it seems we have changed. We used to see each other as friends even when we disagreed because we valued our liberty and we valued our differences. Whenever we use something about our country to make a self righteous statement against other we should be on guard to our own shortcomings and tread lightly. Logic should dominate our debates not emotion. More and more I feel the country I fought for and many of my friends died for is a memory of the past. Like the great republics of Rome and Athens lost to the footnote of mans noble efforts to protect freedom. All is not lost and we can still change if we remember we are the same people and our opinions are probably no more rooted in truth than another’s. No matter the fate of this country it’s ideals will live on. It is after all the ideals of humanity and they will always rise from darkness.
Whenever you listen to the star spangled banner remember it is yes a story about a battle in the war of 1812 but it’s more than that. The whole song is a question. It’s a question that every American should ask themselves. Is our country still free? It is the proverbial face yourself in the mirror every morning to account for for successes and shortcomings in your life. It is time we all did that both individually and as a nation.