Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Not My Father's America

It's sad, really, what America has become since the time of my childhood. A once proud land of opportunity and "the American dream," where a man gave an honest days work for an honest days wage has become nothing more than a malingerer's haven where many people feel that their own sense of entitlement trumps the rights of everyone they encounter.

When did we create this widespread malaise? This feeling of being owed everything by everyone else, while we ourselves owe nothing in return? Where did we get the sense that Robin Hood is every other man, and that they should be taking from wherever and giving to us?

Who created this society? Who made it okay for a man to quit a job of his own free will, then to apply for and receive unemployment benefits from the last two or three companies that paid him a fair wage. Who made it okay to steal from an employer, a merchant, a friend or neighbor without fear of retribution? Who made it okay to contract with a company for a material or service, then to complain upon completion of the contracted service, demanding money back?

How did we get here, America? How did we become a country of people enjoying the freedom someone else fought and died for while refusing to take the same stand for someone else's freedom? Why should I have to pay for your groceries, your rent and utilities, and your healthcare after working sixty hours a week while you sit home eating chips and watching American Idol with the undisturbed Help Wanted ads lying beneath the comics and horoscope page beside you? All because you can't find a job paying what you were making before you got fired for poor performance, poor attendance, or a poor attitude.

This is not the America I was born in. This is not the America I signed up for. This is not the America I enlisted and served to defend. This is not my father's America!

This is your America, not mine. Your America, because this is what you made it. Your America, because with your votes you have given up your freedoms (and mind) for the promise of something that can never be fulfilled without robbing the rest of us of everything we've achieved.

This is your America, not mine, and I'd like to take my ball and go home.

But that's not what a real American does. A real American stands up and fights for what he believes. A real American crossed Valley Forge because it was what needed to be done to secure our freedom. A real American pitched all the tea into the Boston Harbor rather than pay unfair taxes on it because it needed to be done. A real American stood up to the civil uprising of the south to end slavery and preserve the Republic. A real American stormed the beaches of Normandy to stop a futhless dictator from his dreams of world dominion. A real American has fought for you almost every day of your life, and long before you were even the hope of a young woman's future -- in Viet Nam, Korea, Panama, and throughout the Middle East -- not because you are worth dying for, but because that's what Americans do: we fight for what's right, and we win.

A lot isn't right in America right now, but she's still worth fighting for. At the core she's still my father's America. She's still my America. And you better watch out, because I'm taking her back!
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