Monday, December 23, 2013

Standing By, Watching

All of us Americans alive today inherited the greatest country the world has ever known. For that we can be grateful. But our inheritance is being squandered before our eyes and we’re allowing it. For that we should be ashamed. We’re losing sight of what made America great: a constitutionally-limited government that protects our God-given rights, our traditional values, and our hard work.

Twice we elected a president who thinks America isn’t exceptional at all. He mocked those of us who believe that when he said in 2009: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” He was twice elected by a majority who don’t think America is anything special either, who seem ashamed that, although their country has done more good than any other, it hasn’t done so perfectly. My fellow baby boomers who run America’s institutions seem to believe human perfection is attainable this side of the grave. They’re utopians. They don’t understand the tragic vision - that the world will always be less than perfect, but people have the liberty to pursue happiness - and whether they succeed or fail is up to them.

They’re perpetual adolescents too. We humans fortunate enough to have been raised in a nuclear family - with a mother and father who loved each other - tended to worship our parents at least until we were teenagers. Then we noticed they weren’t perfect. For a while, their flaws magnified until they were all we could see. During this period we thought we were much smarter than they were, and when we grew up we would do everything much better than they did. That’s the nature of adolescence. But we’re supposed to grow out of it by 25 or so after we’ve been humbled by our own mistakes, the ones we make all by ourselves - the ones we cannot blame on anyone else.
Ideally, we’d emerge then as young adults who retain adolescent idealism and energy that is tempered by gratitude and humility. Only then would we be ready do the work necessary to - not just preserve our inheritance, but build upon it - add to it - make America even more secure for our posterity. If we never progress beyond adolescence, however, we won’t be equipped to do that, nor will be inclined. Instead, we’ll spend our lives finding fault with our ancestors, endlessly pointing out where they fell short of perfection, and whining about it.
Look at slavery!” Boomers shout, seemingly unaware that every other civilization in history, including Africans, practiced slavery until European and American Christians led the movement to outlaw it. “Look at what America did to Indians!” they shout, as if the way European Americans fought Indians was any worse than how Indians fought each other before Europeans got here. We didn’t eat them, torture them, or sacrifice them to our gods the way many Indians did each other. Yet, perpetually-adolescent Americans twice elected a guy who went overseas apologizing for his country, saying: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. … Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”
Then adolescent American baby boomers had children of their own - fewer than our parents did though - about half as many. We didn’t do a good job raising them either because adolescents don’t make good parents - especially when their own children reach adolescence. Even while they act like they disdain grown-ups, teenagers crave adult role models, especially the male variety, but couldn’t find many. In high school and college, baby-boomer offspring were taught ridiculous notions like: there were no differences between males and females - that it was all a social construct foisted upon society by the white male patriarchy for its own purposes. They were taught that the nuclear family is a scheme to perpetuate white male privilege and oppress others.
They were taught the notion that no consensual sexual practice should ever be called wrong. They codified that notion on campuses, in some cities, in some states, and are proposing it nationally. They want outlaw expression of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs regarding sexuality. When Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson dared utter them last week, they were called “vile” and “lies.” Baby boomers and their offspring are doing this.

The president who epitomizes adolescent narcissism has nearly doubled our national debt, encourages the Federal Reserve to print trillions more dollars with nothing to back them up, violates constitutional limits on presidential power almost weekly, and is destroying the best health-care system in the world. What are the rest of us doing about it? Virtually nothing. Most of us stand by meekly and watch him do it.

11 comments:

George Fogg said...

Tom your so insightful it is scary. I am 81 years old and have learned a lot that younger folks have yet to learn. You are very correct in your assessment.
I firmly believe that we cannot correct it without a major calamity. It is not that it will happen, the question is when. Those on the dole will not change without a major calamity. It is inevitable.

MikeL said...

Just ten years ago - my does time fly when you're having so much fun - the Dixie Chicks shot their mouths off. The media and the rest of the left praised them for bashing GWB, the president they all still love to hate.
But then the blow-back kicked in from the Chicks' core fandom, who expressed their irritation by spending less money on CDs and concert tickets. The Chicks, also perpetual adolescents, started whining: What about free speech?
Natalie, sweetie, you exercised your free speech - so did Phil. And there the similarity ends. Phil reacted with dignity, not petulance.
However, something will endure forever: the hypocrisy of the left.

Alex said...

Two quick points:

1. There's nothing wrong with pride in your country. But someone should do their Greek mythology homework. In particular, please define "hubris" for the class. I agree that America is one of the best products of human progress. However, to ignore the less-than-perfect parts of our past is to deny reality. Why pretend we have never done wrong, when we can instead look upon our mistakes and learn from them? To pretend America does not have negative aspects of its history or current affairs is to embody the perpetual adolescence you write about here. That said, fuck yeah, America. I love this country, because we're allowed to talk like this.

2. We do not have the best health care system in the world. That point is in itself hilariously false. Talk with some doctors, or students going through the system now. Obamacare may not be the best solution, but something had to change or give. Our healthcare system is an embarrassment.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Embarrassment how?

Alex said...

http://www.businessinsider.com/americas-health-care-system-is-bad-2013-4

Or you could ask med students, physicians, and practicing physicians across the country.

Steve Tanton said...

I'm sorry, but this fellow, Alex who had "two quick points" is seriously flawed in his statements. While of course we are less than perfect, but when it's time to move on, we should move on, not swim in it, not relive it. One who continues to embrace the negatives in his own live is destined to repeat them and die a very lonely death and possibly mentally ill along with it. An acquaintance of mine from Tennessee, a black gentleman who has endured racism in his life told me, "We need to get away from this race thing. Yes, I went through lots of tough stuff with racism in my life and career, and I'll tell you about it sometime, but the answer is not to have this constant focus on race. We need to get away from it and move on."

And with all due respect, I'm with Reagan on this "exceptionalism" thing, not Barack. “I’ve always believed that this land was set aside in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the earth who had a special love of faith, freedom, and peace.”

And lastly, as for his bashed little quip on our health care, there are far too many statistics out there which prove otherwise. I for one will not argue constantly with uneducated people, but in this case I must stand up for the author and truth. "Truth is hate to those who hate truth." (Matt Barber) Alex needs to discover God and begin working on a real life full of the values and virtues which come from knowing real truth, the truth of Jesus.

Alex said...

Mr. Tanton,

Thanks for your reply. I feel like I should clarify/defend myself a little.

First, I agree with your first point, but I don't think that we have completely worked through all of America's negative past quite yet. Yes, we shouldn't linger in the past, but to ignore it is to be foolish. What's the saying? "Doomed to repeat it?" Great, you have a black friend. His experience does not speak for the multitudes, and I think by opening your ears, arms, heart, and mind a little, you could see that we have come a long, long way. But there is still much to do.

On your second point, I guess we just disagree here. Like I said, I love this country with all my heart. But to have such hubris is to ignore the lessons of every other great civilization in the history of this planet.

Lastly, your third point. Your ad hominem attack with no sources is not very convincing. I am applying to medical school right now, and have traveled the county talking with students and physicians. I have shadowed in a free clinic helping the underserved. I have worked in the ER. I am involved with translational research. Please, do not call me uneducated. I am interested to hear your statistics. And I also do not see the relevance of Jesus to this discussion. Thanks for reading, sir.

Anonymous said...

It's bs like this that convince me that this country is full of half wits and lemmings.

This country stopped being great a very long time ago. Many of us realize this and have for some time.

Shortly after the civil war we were in massive debt. What happened? we were sold to a group of international bankers.

The act of 1871 sealed our fate and everything since has been very much planned. America ceased to be no more in 1871. In its place came the United States Corporation. Yes, corporation. Not a republic anymore. And it's citiznes are considered stock or merchandise essentially. Yes, that would be me and you. Our constitution was altered by ONE word, just one word, but that was extremely significant.

Do some research of your own. The United Santates corporation, maratime admiralty banking law, and the maratime flag are very important to grasp if you want to understand what's going on now. It isn't pretty and is in fact very scary, but very real.

Or, go back to rooting for one of two teams and play along with the tv and corporate media.
I can't even bring myself to comment on this article because its so absolutely pathetic and sad. You all have a choice. You don't have to be a victim of two party thinking and religious fantasy. This is EXACTLY what they want and how we are controlled.

It amazes me that people can be so easily duped.

The United States Corporation. Yes, its a corporation, NOT a soveroegn country. Research it, but only if you want put of this stupid and dumbed down dog and pay show called two party politics.

Jordan Maxwell et al have done fabulous research on this topic. ( wanna blow your mind and shatter your idea of what this country is?.....YouTube some jordan maxwell talks)

972989a8-d210-11e2-ac4d-000bcdcb8a73 said...

In My Humble Opinion..(as if)
1. "Lest we forget..." doesn't necessitate eternal obsession.
2. Words mean something. (ie) "Best perceived available..." does NOT equate to charlatan free.
3. "Pursuit of happiness...." has never been a promise of getting it. There ALWAYS seems to be a new, previously unrealized, juuuuust out of reach, "thing" to "attain".

Now, it seems to me that SOME like minded folks might "get together" in tacit confession that they can be stupid, greedy, self centered, and could probably do better, tomorrow, or next week, or next year. SOME folks might believe that "human failings" are a free pass to leave yet another wake of misery in their path. But it's kinda' tough for folks (like George above) to teach (ie) 81 years of observation of the human condition to a child of ANY age, without parable, allegory, maybe even(rare)unadulterated history, in hopes of getting that elusive "light bulb" to go on in the back of our descendants heads.
Bible, Koran, Torah, Bread and Circuses...?
Personally, I prefer Aesop's Fables, Brothers Grimm, Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights, and maybe "magic" tricks and a cookie or two. Sadly, "intellectual" examination, or edict, just can't seem to bridge the abyss between MY "That'll work out OK.." and "But...but... I WANT it, NOW!"

CaptDMO

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Anonymous said...

You do know duck dynasty is scripted, staged and completely fake, right?

No wonder..........