Category Archives: American

Politics: A Look in the Mirror

WIN_20160623_09_59_17_ProToday I am embarrassed to be an American. I can’t be on social media for more than a few seconds because it’s filled with such hatred and judgment it turns my stomach. I’m appalled to realize that this who we are as Americans. This is who we’ve become.  

Is the reason we have such unlikeable candidates running for president  because they reflect our society and how we each see ourselves? We don’t like ourselves very much do we? We’ve put forward people to run our country who are like we are. Untrustworthy. Dishonest, perhaps. We expect to be lied to because we ourselves have trouble with the truth. We lie to ourselves about ourselves so we expect others, especially our leaders to do the same. 

Take every negative trait that’s been used to describe our current candidates and ask yourself if you also possess that trait. It will be hard, but try, just this once, to give an honest answer. 

When we point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at us. And there’s been a whole lot of finger pointing going on. And a lot of name calling. Denial is the name of the current political game. But the whole country is in denial. 

As our educational system has declined and our illiteracy rate has increased, we appreciate someone who has a small mind and uses small words. Also, someone who can repeat things many times. We don’t care if they’re actually imparting accurate information; in fact, we’d rather they didn’t. We’d prefer that they simply repeat their messages in language we understand so we’ll know who to vote for. And we are much too lazy to ferret out the truth behind their statements. 

We don’t want anyone honorable to run our country because that individual might expect us to behave honorably. Likewise we don’t want anyone who’s been particularly successful outside of public office to be elected because we might be expected to also work hard and make something of ourselves. They might impart some unpleasant facts we don’t want to hear such as the fact that the government is not obligated to support us with one “entitlement” after another. Or that it’s okay to skate by doing the bare minimum. 

We fear anyone who is not like us. Anyone who is intelligent, fearless, who says what he or she thinks regardless of the consequences. We don’t want anyone who puts themselves on the line, who can withstand public ridicule, who stands up for what they believe in. Because most of us don’t believe in anything. We don’t believe in ourselves or each other. We don’t believe in a higher power. We think there is no real meaning or purpose to our lives. So it’s better to elect someone who’s just spinning the wheels and grabbing for the momentary glory and using the power of office for his or her own gain. 

Certainly we would never want to elect anyone who would admit to mistakes or who has the guts to apologize or attempt to rectify past wrongs. If we did, we might, at some point be expected to admit that we’ve also made mistakes. Or said things we wish we hadn’t. 

We don’t want to elect the best candidate for the job because we’ve forgotten what our best is. We’ve buried it so deeply beneath discouragement and hopelessness and pure meanness that we’ve taught ourselves to expect more of the same.  

If we’re unhappy with the choices before us in the upcoming election, it might be time to look in the mirror and admit we know the reasons why.

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Sunday Morning Musings: The American Flag

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)I am on my third American flag. This one recently ordered from The American Legion which is where the first one came from courtesy of my father. I have vowed to take better care of my new flag than the past ones and be better about rescuing it from the Florida weather.

As July 4th approached and I was without a flag, slight panic set in. How else can I show my patriotism? In my neighborhood where everyone is age 55+ flags are important, especially on holidays such as July 4th and Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Within two days of my order my new flag arrived. Now came the problem of hanging it. A traditional flagpole is not long enough to keep a 3 x 5 flag from catching on the roof, which is how the others got torn up now that I think about it. So now we have a long gardening stake as our flagpole. But this new flag has no sleeve so I’m forced to use my American ingenuity to figure out how to keep the flag on the pole without sliding down and so it can blow freely in the sometimes strong winds it will be subject to.20160702_092149

I hit on the idea of shower curtain rings, of which I seem to have many not currently in use. A simple eye found in our mounds of household trinket trays screwed into the end will hold the flag in place. I hope. If not, I’ll come up with another solution because I will be flying a flag, not just on special holidays, but daily.

My father fought in World War II for my right to fly that flag.Missouri Illinois 2012 014 He was of a generation of patriots and that’s one of the things he taught his children to appreciate. Sadly, I have discovered American patriotism is fast fading from subsequent generations.

Have you asked the average individual under 35 if they voted in the presidential primaries or are voting in the upcoming presidential election? Try it. In one small sampling I discovered that many of them are not registered to vote, have never voted and have no intention of voting. One such individual told me the system is broken. I am sorry I didn’t ask him to elaborate on that statement. I might have ended up pointing out that if true, people like him might be responsible. “I hate politics” and/or “I don’t understand it” are two more refrains I hear quite often. Either that, or those who are re-quoting what they’ve heard others their age say without doing any homework or research to learn whether it’s true or not.

Apathy and ignorance are most likely the reason America’s systems might break down. (I refuse to believe the system is already broken.) Our young people have almost zero knowledge of American history, or world history for that matter, which explains why they believe socialism is such a good idea. Their knowledge of economics? Virtually non-existent. Belief in a higher power, like, dare I say, God? Nope. It’s literally every man for himself.

For me not to vote (even if I don’t like the choices) or not to fly the American flag is to dishonor my father’s service to his country and to dishonor every individual who gave of themselves to give us freedom beginning with George Washington and his peers and continuing with our current day veterans. (I realize many reading this will scratch their heads wondering who George Washington was or what he did.)BPS07022016_0001

For those who say the system is broken here, I dare you to spend a few months in Somalia or North Korea. Or perhaps you could ask yourselves who broke it? And your next question to yourself could be, “Am I part of the solution? Or part of the problem?”

#American #patriotism #flag