Sunday, August 05, 2012

American Exceptionalism

Cardigan over at I Own the World put up a post titled "When Being an American Meant Being an American".  They went into the WayBack machine referencing the 1980 Olympic hockey team and the "Miracle on Ice".  Specifically the line from the coach, "Beat those commie bastards."

The point of the post was, the line would never work now.  Political correctness has deemed that too offensive to say now, and even if it was said, many people wouldn't understand the phrase.

My kids and many people in America don't understand what life before 1989 was like.  They've never seen 'The Day After" and even if they did, they couldn't understand it.  They couldn't imagine what it was like knowing that there was a country halfway around the world which hated us just because of who we were.  Living each day wondering if it would be our last.  Wondering if the Russians would start a nuclear war with us.  They have no idea what the "Cold War" was.

Or maybe they would... in a way.  We have a faceless enemy now called terrorists.

The big difference is we now think we did something to deserve their hate.  That we robbed and pillaged people halfway around the world, taking what they had and then leaving them poor and penniless.  We believe this because misguided people who wallow in their guilt tell us this.

They tell us we really are the Great Satan.

They seem to forget how the Middle East became rich from the oil we (Great and Little Satans alike) helped them find, export and get rich from.  They blame us for the brutal thugs ruling over them.

It's true we've backed some rotten SOB's, but take a look at how wonderful the "Arab Spring".  The people of the uprising threw out one set of brutal thugs for another set of brutal thugs.  The difference is now countries like Egypt now have brutal thugs who may very well start up wars which the old brutal thugs probably wouldn't have.

I remember watching television and seeing the Berlin Wall being pulled down while people danced on top of it in celebration.

The day before they would have been shot dead for even getting near it.

I remember hearing/reading/watching stories about how people tried and died to escape communism.  I spent one afternoon with a dear friend who told me the story of how he and a friend of his escaped from communist Romania.  How his father was brought in afterward and interrogated and threatened because of him.

His father didn't fear, he was old and he knew his son had escaped to freedom.  He had nothing to lose.

When the wall fell, little did I know that losing the fear we held against Russia and communism would cause us to become the fat, lazy people we were always accused of being. (At least many of us that is.)

When there is no longer a common foe, then we begin bickering and infighting.  We have been set up perfectly by socialists and communists.  People have forgotten in less that 25 years the true horrors of communism and fascism.

I (and many other) sat by while Bush allowed us to be set up to lose our freedoms.  I was naive (for the record I think he was too).  America isn't perfect, no country is. No country ever has been and never will be. America will always be flawed, but we strive to be prefect. It isn't the acheivement of perfection that makes us great, but the fact we do strive for perfection.

Hating ourselves for mistakes of the past will not make us better people.  It took me a while after I became a Christian to understand that.  I hated myself for the mistakes I made and listened to the little voice in my head that told me I wan't good enough; that I was too bad to ever deserve love.

It wasn't true.  I understand that now, even though sometimes I falter in my journey.  My faith helps me to understand that we are only bad when we give up.  When we spend all of our time looking back at our mistakes rather than learning from them and making sure they never happened again.

America doesn't need fundamental trasformation; even now.  Even after four years of a bad president.  We need to learn from our mistakes and move on.  Rubbing salt in the wounds of our past will never change those things, they only prevent us from moving forward.  Rather than looking at where we are and where we are going, we are allowing ourselves to be fooled by people into continuing to do nothing.  We must stop apologizing for our mistakes and do what we can to make the world a better place.  We as individuals must do this, not the government.  Trillions of dollars are wasted each year by the government trying to do what we as citizens must do.

I overheard two gentlemen who were discussing Europe and Germany in particular.  They were discussing Germany taking loans from China.  I made a comment along the lines of I hated to see Germany make the same mistakes we were making.  He replied, "What else can you do?  If someone needs help, who will help them."

"We should," I said.

The individual is who needs to help people in need out.  Government is a poor substitute for human kindness.

Whatever happens in November will be God's plan.  I don't worry, but I'm not necessarily looking forward to it.

No comments: