But I'm frustrated.
I want to be a good citizen. Someone just getting along in retirement. Voting. Trying to live my life in peace and happiness. Like millions of Americans, I firmly believe in personal freedom — my right to succeed or fail on my own talents and efforts, or lack thereof. I want to be responsible for me. I don't want any handouts. I just want to be left alone.
When I left college and enlisted in the military many years ago, I was pretty disillusioned. My home had a lot of problems: the economy was unstable and in something of a doldrum; the civil rights struggle was in full swing; we had pretty recently bailed the French out of a no-win situation in Southeast Asia by replacing them, and were just realizing that we had just stepped in it in Vietnam. My generation was rejecting our parents' attitudes.
I entered military life with the idea that if I found another country better than than this one, I'd leave the U.S. I'm not a combat veteran, but I spent almost six years working in enough places — Puerto Rico, Spain, Germany, the U.K., Cyprus — to get a realistic feel for their cultures. And I mined the experiences of fellow sailors/soliders who had been where I hadn't. I became convinced that, even with all its warts, the U.S of A. is the best place in the world to live.
But now, I fear the pride many of us once felt in being an American has dissolved. Melted into the sludge that is self-satisfaction, smugness and, most destructive, complacency. We've had it so good for so long, relative to the rest of the world, we've gotten spoiled. We've stopped paying attention and abdicated our responsibilities as citizens to money- and power-grubbers and to political opportunists and prostitutes. We've created the perfect environment for those seeking to undermind our way of life.
Frenchman Joseph d Maistre in the early 19th century said, "Every natiion has the government it deserves." For American democracy, this words were prophetic. We're getting the government we deserve.
But I keep thinking of my children. What we're doing to their futures is criminal.
We have a president and administration with a dangerous agenda. A destructive, socialist agenda that sees capitalism as inherently evil. Our president believes the end justifies the means, i.e. trampling or ignoring law is acceptable if it achieves his goals. The administration not only wants to be Robin Hood, but to control every facet of our lives, besides. And we're letting it happen. And what that means for my kids is frightening. If things continue on their current path, our children and their children will not grow up in a free society.
On the surface, taking from the rich and giving to the poor sounds great. Special dispensations for immigrants illegally living here sounds magnanimous. Wonderful. Selfless. But there are several things we should have learned about governments by now, courtesy of the erstwhile Soviet Union:
- They cannot erase poverty and want. (Doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but not with force.)
- They cannot tax their people into prosperity.
- They cannot take away the possibility of wealth from those who create the jobs.
- Total government control kills initiative and ambition.
- The more government gives, the more it takes away.
- There's no such thing as Utopia.
Some may call me racist for espousing my views. Such people I don't dignify with answer. Throwing that term at others is akin to "pissing into the wind." The person throwing it around is the one who ends up stinking.
Republicans now have control of Congress. Are they doing anything to halt this slope we're sliding down? Very little, and that's inexcusable. If they don't grow some hair on their butts and start standing up to the Socialist-in-Chief; if they don't start challenging his at-best borderline-legal fiats, they'll be on the outside looking in. And the unrest of the '60s, early '70s will be tame compared to what may come. It won't be kids on the campuses nor looters in the inner cities. It'll be the Silent Majority of suburbia and rural America.
...Or, maybe we can just dance....