And here it is:
I’ve been letting this topic percolate for a while, and I’ve decided to just jump in the deep end and put my thoughts down. I may ramble, I may mumble, but it could be next year before I put anything down if I wait for the guidance of an eloquent muse. Please bear with me . . .
When I was a child of 11, our nation was preparing to celebrate a most momentous birthday . . . 200 years since the beginning of a great experiment, perhaps one of the greatest experiments ever conducted. Born on July 4, 1776, America was an incredibly young nation compared to others around the globe and yet . . . so special, so incredibly unique . . .
I was a sixth-grader that year and little distracted me from all the happenings, both great and small, in preparation for the biggest birthday party the world had ever seen. Much of what I remember is in bits and blips (I am 40 years old, after all, and a good deal has happened since then!). I remember people painting the fire hydrants near their homes to resemble the militia men of the American Revolution. There were commemorative coins minted (I believe the quarter depicted a drummer with a tricorn hat and the years “1776 – 1976”), special programs on television (one children’s program aired each Saturday and told the stories of famous American Revolutionaries such as Deborah Sampson, Crispus Attucks and many others), and “Bicentennial Minutes” highlighted historical events leading up to our independence each evening before the primetime programs began.
There was a great deal of focus at school on the significance of this year. We put on a play, complete with powdered wigs and mop caps, and I will never forget “Benjamin Franklin” admonishing the rest of my classmates that “we should all hang together, or else we shall all hang separately!” Also “John Hancock” signing the Declaration with a big flourish so “King George can read it without his specs!” In history we learned of the risks taken by these brave men to build a nation where its citizens could truly be free. And most of us were truly thankful for this birthday gift that had been so carefully crafted and wrapped for us two centuries before.
I think back and wonder if the difference between then and now is that we were taught to be proud of our heritage, and thankful for the gift of a nation that, while still not perfect, provides the freedom to continually strive for a more perfect nation.
Now, it seems we are constantly apologizing for the success that is America. And before someone starts ranting and raving about the “dismal failure” that is America, let me say . . .
We’ve made our mistakes, for sure. But is there any nation on the planet that hasn’t made a mistake now and then? It seems to me that the younger generation (younger than myself), has taken on almost an abusive “parent” role. Let me explain . . .
America is young as nations go. Maybe somewhat like a teenager. Now, tell me what teenager hasn’t made mistakes? A teenager may make mistakes, but if that teenager has a good heart . . . well, more often than not their conscience will get the best of them and they will try to do the right thing to make amends.
Liberals are like the abusive “parent.” No matter what that wayward teenager does to apologize, to make amends, that abusive parent is going to beat them over the head with their mistake. “You good-for-nothing, worthless, piece of crap. I don’t care that you did x, y, and z for the widow down the street! You really screwed up here and I’m NEVER going to let you forget it. In fact, I’m going to make sure that everyone knows what a sorry good-for-nothing you are and tell them all about this mistake of yours, because nothing else you’ve ever done or ever will do can erase this mistake of yours.”
And because the abusive parents run all over creation complaining about the waywardness of their teenager to anyone and everyone who will listen, before long the lie becomes “truth” and everyone believes that the teenager is a good-for-nothing bum who’s never done a decent thing a day in her life.
It breaks my heart, because I know in my heart what a wonderful country this is. Despite the comments of those who, like the abusive parents, would have us all believe that America is not special, is not good-for-anything – I know in my heart of hearts that this is the most wonderful country to live in and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else on the planet (unless, of course, Hillary returns to the White House – then I’m outta’ here).
2 thoughts on “”
Though I wasn’t old enough to remember much of the bi-centennial, I do share in your sorrow about our country’s lack of patriotism and respect for history, culture, and honor. I don’t put as much of the blame on young people (because they really are products of what we’ve taught them) as I do the ex-hippie, liberal, left-wing adults who attack our schools, our churches, and the social moral fiber that used to bind us as a nation and a united people.
So true. I have so little to add.