In my new found insatiable desire for American History, I’ve discovered that I can’t get enough of Her story…which is also
My Our story. Like a new sponge soaks up liquid, I am trying to soak up every bit of information that comes within my reach about our country and its history. I read books and articles, attend lectures, and watch movies and documentaries. In the immortal words of George Costanza, “ I could be a buff!” A history-buff that is.
Steve and I recently saw the documentary America: What would the world be like without Her by Dinesh D’Sousa. It is very controversial. I know that there are as many perspectives as there are people. I get that. However, this is worth a watch…worth a ponder. I will have to confess that I shed quite a few tears. It was rather terrifying . It is terrifying to me that there are people in our Nation who find fault with every aspect of Her history, and are desperately trying to change Her from the ideals of our Founding Fathers. It is terrifying that these people actually seem to hate Our America. I am left to wonder why they continue to live here. Abraham Lincoln’s words ring eerily prophetic:
“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.”
I’ve never really considered myself to be political. Yes, from the time of eighteen, I have exercised my right as a citizen to vote. I do educate myself on the issues of both sides in order to make an informed choice prior to casting my ballot. Then, I tend to drift away and live my life. I respect the Office of the Presidency, even if my candidate didn’t win and I try not to get too caught up in the debates of right and left. It’s not that I don’t care, I just feel that I really can’t make much of a difference and I feel that the balance of power will protect my interests. However, now perhaps I am starting to feel differently. I find that the America I grew up in is slowly sinking away and the alarm bells are ringing. Does every generation feel this in their autumn years of life? I have only to look toward the Greatest Generation to see how far we’ve come in the space of a single lifetime. There was a list generated from Tom Brokaw’s book by the same title naming some of the qualities that were in evidence then that are conspicuously absent now. They include traits like taking personal responsibility for your life, being frugal, being humble, loving loyally, working hard, and embracing challenge. One doesn’t have to look very far to realize that these qualities are the exception rather than the rule in the America of today and they are rapidly being replaced by a sense of apathy, entitlement, and greed for power.
A random circumstance propelled me into further deep thought about Our America. I wanted to buy a new coffee pot. In an effort to de-plasticize my life, I began the search for a stainless steel coffee pot. It was proving more difficult than I imagined. I actually could only find two models and they were both made in China. Even a good old American Coleman camping coffee pot was made in China!! What does that have to do with anything you may ask? It’s only a coffee pot, mind you, but then I started looking at all the labels. Are we outsourcing everything??? In a moment of clarity, I realized that we are positioning ourselves globally very much like the South was positioned during the Civil War. The South was crippled because it had no means of production. Being an agricultural society, it depended on the North for goods and fuel. Have we fatally weakened our America and our ability to defend ourselves? Have we outsourced most our goods and services and fuel making capabilities? I remember when our military was the best in the world. We have reduced our military drastically and our young adults are not leaning toward military service. Most of our youth are not even physically eligible to serve. I remember when we were the major producer of our own goods and services. We outsource most of them now because they can be made cheaper elsewhere and then we rail that our unemployment is skyrocketing. I remember when the USA produced our own oil. We are held hostage by our International suppliers and our gas prices skyrocket. I remember when we started the space program that gave us so many forms of innovation and life technologies. We have discontinued it and have allowed Russia to take the lead. Are we selling our birthright away…. piece by piece to countries that may despise our way of life? It is downright scary! Take heed.
The D’Sousa film also provided a small glimmer of hope that we, a collective WE, can save Her. What is it going to take? Knowledge? Resolve? Action? I had the same sort of mixed hopefulness that was experienced in that final bleak scene of The Lorax when the last truffula seed was handed to the boy with the admonishment:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Seuss