Over the past twenty years I’ve sat back and watched America become the politically correct society. An overwhelming acceptance of mediocrity and although the most powerful economic and military force the world has ever seen American has developed a steadfast policy both home and abroad of “please, don’t let me say anything that might piss you off”. It seems the more we accept the soft, politically correct, non-offensive middle of the road on all aspects of our society the more we celebrate the average or below average capabilities of ourselves and everyone around us.
America was formed under the fragile notion that all people (albeit, all people has recently be expanding to accept all gender and skin color, our forefathers conveniently left out those details, times do change and so should we) and being equal all opinions, voices and theories should be equally heard. Those fleeing persecution could establish a home here but our country was founded on the belief of one God and that fact is celebrated in much of our history. One might say even our financial system stands behind this “In God We Trust”.
I personally have no religious issue with those of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or other non-Christian faith, quite honestly I have tremendous respect for anyone of faith however at what point did my rights of Christianity become impugned so that it is improper for me to say “Merry Christmas” or to celebrate a jolly old fat guy in a red suit going out one night being nice to a lot of people? Shouldn’t this spirit of giving and peace be something everyone should aspire towards?
It seems since the events of September 11, 2001 here in America we have seen a surge of patriotism by a majority of Americans. Support for the men and women of our armed forces who put their life on the line every day protecting the freedoms that we absolutely take for granted and barely understand. In the shadow of those events, dust barely settled when the left and right wing “political correct” crowd began questioning the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. At what point in our society did the celebration of freedom and American values become wrong? Has our society become so economically “bought” by interests outside our country that their influence has clouded the fundamental beliefs this country was founded?
Recently I read a statement from a Tampa newspaper stating “The idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, victories and losses by millions of men and women who have sought freedom”.
I’m saddened to think of those men and women who “gave the last full measure of devotion” to this country who may now look upon the country which they gave their lives and wonder what it was all for?
Some time ago there was a philosophy regarding movies. If you didn’t like a movie and didn’t agree with the message, don’t go see it. Don’t spend your hard earned money to profit the movie and use your rejection as a message. That is your choice, the freedom granted to you. If you don’t like what one radio station says, change the channel. If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it. Amazing and more importantly, each one of us has that power. So if you don’t care for our Stars and Stripes, Uncle Sam or the principles this country was founded, speak out or move. Those are your rights too. However if you are not a citizen of this country, don’t pay taxes and support this country should you enjoy those same rights within our borders? Should we pull our tail between our legs, hold our breathe and think twice about what we say to you? Should we truly care that you do not agree? I say not. (Here’s where if you have a problem with what you are reading remember I still have the First Amendment right protecting me, however even without it, its my opinion and you don’t have to read this, that’s your right too).
Going back to “In God We Trust”. That’s more then a nice statement on our green backs but our National Motto and not a Christian, right wing, political slogan. Sixty years ago, not two hundred, our fathers and grandfathers adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles continued the beliefs of those who founded this nation which is clearly documented but I’m sure as some point I fear will be questioned and forgotten. We’ve become so conscious of protecting these religious rights of other religions we should remember to also protect the religious rights of Christianity as well. When did Christianity lose equality?
Going back again to the idea of our national culture. Have we lost our identity? Going through the supermarkets and grocery stores throughout the country it is difficult not to walk through and listen to people talking in a variety of languages. Many of these people now call America their home. This country was founded on the national language of English, not Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Russian or any other language. I welcome the idea that America is the land of opportunity and if someone wants to come here and make a new, better life for themselves and their family, good for you those were the principles in which America was founded, BUT, America speaks, or at least used to speak, ENGLISH. If you want to be welcomed with open arms respect this country and its heritage, learn and speak English. I certainly don’t live within a bubble and understand the need to communicate with others. Should my son learn to speak many languages, absolutely, but English should now and always be the language spoken by anyone considering themselves an American. Remember the old phrase “When in Rome”. Why was this? At the time, Rome was the dominating force in the world, militarily, economically and socially. Everyone knew this so when you were in Rome, you must do as the Romans. The Romans earned that right and respect, have we not? A little extreme yes; but in my opinion when it comes to language and the fundamental principles of our society, not a bad idea.
Are we sending the wrong message to our children? We all want to raise our children as good, well-rounded individuals who some day will make some measure of impact on society. As I grew up everyday I said the Pledge of Allegiance in my classroom. This wasn’t just a habit or ritual. It is a PLEDGE. It is a sign of ones allegiance to this country and to what we will give to it to continue to make it great. When did we start sending the message to our children that allegiance to this country is politically incorrect? Maybe we should come up with a new Pledge to Mediocrity, a solemn vow to uphold that which is below what is expected of me or that sub-par is not only good in golf but also in how you live your life.
If you have never seen the movie “An American President” with Michael Douglas you have missed one of the best political monologues.
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
Wow, when was the last time you heard a politician speak like that? In the last twenty-thirty years I have not. This is the modern definition of political suicide. It seems we all want to believe and celebrate this notion but who would vote for someone advocating it. After each election there is a consistant discussion regarding the increased drop in voter turnout and voter registration. Maybe it isn’t a lack of desire to vote, maybe the problem is the lack of motivation for those who we are being asked to vote for?
I believe it is time Americans to be Americans again before we forget those fundamental principles our society was founded and we slip further into the abyss of mediocrity. Let’s stand up and show the world why freedom is important and open the floor of discussion of these difficult topics. Celebrate freedom, defend our way of life, defend your beliefs and in the elections to come don’t settle for those who will not step up and serve to protect the values this country was founded, for us and our children. In the next election regardless of your political affiliation or lack there of, get out and vote. Don’t settle for the better of who is worse or who is more politically correct. There is a reason for this phrase. If in doubt maybe you should vote for the person who is not politically correct, at least that individual might be willing to stand up and ask these tough questions. In the end if you don’t feel inspired by those running for office and their message, send your own. Write in a new entry “none of the above”. Let’s see what happens with that message.