Where is patriotism today?

By Isis Win

We are living tough times compared to our recent history. Just about everywhere we look at, there is pain, poverty, abuse, crime, famine, serious natural disasters, etc. A world at the brink of crumbling according to some. Particularly if we enter that the actual financial crisis the nation and the world is going through threatens everything as we know it. But one thing is – to exclusively look at all the negativity there is, an another one to do something about it. Most people claim to be doing something. lets take as an example global contamination. The statistics show that the number of vehicles on the road every day, had only diminished a tiny bit even considering the high cost of fuel. But what hasn’t changed is the fact that most vehicles on the road are only occupied by the driver. If you sit for a while at a super market, you’ll see that hundreds of vehicles pull into their parking lots, mostly several times a week and once again, there is only one person per car. As well, am sure you’ve noticed that when you want to make an allowed right turn on red, there is another vehicle idling and waiting for the green light. I am sure that if you try the best of your awareness, you’ll notice several dozens of instances in which a minor change can make a drastic difference. But I prefer to address another topic that bothers me and thousands and thousands of more people. The political vitriolic attitude that prevails in our nation.

Some people blame President Obama for the actual status of the nation. While others, blame the Republican Congress. If you hear their rants, you will know that they tend to be inflammatory, incendiary and hostile. That is the result of their ignorance. Mr Obama is not to be blamed for what is happening in our nation, neither the Republicans. The one to be blamed is politics in the hands of any politician that aims to take over the credit and place the blame in the opposition. And everyone that play politics that way is to blame. Just the way it tends to happen in dysfunctional families. But the political  world is not only composed of politicians. There are the voters too. The voters that can either put or take a politician in or out of power. We got a clear example during the last mid-term elections. A dramatic and stupid change that is pounding America. Instead of giving the actual president the chance to address the needed policies and actions to move the country forward, a new an antagonistic engine was put in place. Now we all are paying for this serious mistake. Politics is the art of governing and governing requires lots of education in so many realms, intuition based in that education, the ability to communicate with all ends of the spectrum, supreme negotiating skills, a perception capable of seeing the no so obvious, total self-control, compromise, compromise, compromise and probably as important of all together, the ability to produce confidence and a sense of future for everyone. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to gather as many competitors to achieve the mission of governing for the best of the nation. On the other side, those opponents, must practice the very same skills. After all, they as well want to assume that role and believe to be capable of it, right? But throwing dirt to the opponent, simply shows the caliber of patriotism they are capable of. Among the founding fathers of the nation, we can say that many, if not most, were capable of keeping this perspective in check. Today, we see in the media just the notion of an uneducated, non dedicated, without vision nor true valid goals politicians and the people who put them in office. Just a scenario that belongs to the TV soap operas, not governing the most powerful nation in the world for at least seven decades. And we all are responsible for this sad outcome. So, what can we do about it?

Today, we can’t discount that the power of true politics no longer is reserved to the political engine but several others are involved. Such as religious institutions that club with their dollars the archives of lobbyist that advocate for issues that have nothing to do with the nation and it’s well-being. Such as Same Sex Marriage, the abolition of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” among many others. And what about the new muscle in the block created by the Tea Party? I don’t know why? I believe that if the Founders of he Nation would be around, they immediately would vanish such group. It simply defeats the purpose of democracy. Democracy can only be exercised by popular elections, not propaganda and lobbying. Many interest get heavily involved into their preferred party and pour millions of dollars to fight this and that. Nothing to do with governing the country I should say! Today, this year, mostly to remove the first African-American President. I wonder if that will be the case if a woman becomes elected. And only a blind person will not know what’s behind all this.

The true source for many of the problems the nation is facing today is, that self-centered attitude that is capable of doing anything a looker would consider necessary to gain the power they want and to get away with murder. Such as paying no taxes. Thanks to the tax and legal loopholes created by lobbying money. Money that came from “somewhere” and I bet that you and I have nothing to do with that pool. So, how ignorant do have we have to be to let this happen over and over? See? This will not change unless we all participate, do something about it, but we must ask our selves for the benefit of who? For what reason?

The clear result of our political wars since the time Obama was elected, is no more than us, the nation. The people who work everyday to bring the food to the table, buy what is needed, educate our children, perhaps take a vacation from time to time and if lucky, save enough money for retirement. All that is fading and only because we are fighting a revolution of ideas, instead of a revolution of principles. If the country loses it’s world place, we all are to suffer from it. Well, except all those that have “humorously” massive amounts of money somewhere else or invested in businesses that will not fade. Such as the Oil Companies, Chemistry Industry, Banking Industry, Health Service providers. Power providers, daily necessary services such as utilities, phone and Mobil communications. But the list is much larger than that. It is simply mesmerizing that Warren Buffet has declared to the press that he is not charged enough taxes because a Congress dedicated to serve big money. All those that had been exercising their will by democratic vote, had elected those politicians. How long will take for us to wake up and realize that what we desperately need is to focus on real issues, not on what big business do, need, deserved or want? We need to focus on the nation’s well-being and for the sake of everyone. It is a fact that the country passed through an incredible growth, past the worse times ever, such as the Great Depression and WW II and middle class grew making possible the American the dream of this country, in which all citizens worked hard, educated themselves and sacrificed what they needed to – to achieve a better future for everyone, including themselves. Making this nation the most important one in the entire world. Patriotism seems to be fading and that is the worse scenario to threatens our National Security. That is the way other powers, ancient empires, had faded into a second, third or no place in relationship with the world.

We must be very careful as how we exercise our right to decide how our nation becomes what we believe in. And that cannot be based on religious or superstitious principles, much less on lobbying efforts or mega dollars. We must look into the true credentials of all the running candidates and demand answers as – how and  when – they will achieve what they promise. Not to preach about removing the President in power because his not done enough. But as well, we must make sure that everyone in the Congress and the Senate will play accordingly. It is not a matter of who gets the credit and insures continuing power. The times are not for that. Even if it would be impossible to gain and keep the same place the US once was before the Bush administration, we must do, consciously do and act – as deserving and committed patriots. And not for our personal gain because at this point, if we go down in this spiral of chaos, we all will go with it. Even the affluent and powerful. They are not exempt of natural disasters! And according to science we are at the beginning of a trend that may kill people by the millions. Such as epidemic disaster because the bacteria released from the arctic. The rich,  even with their fortunes will not be able to scape without the help of ordinary citizens, Perhaps, some of them, gay, black, Latino people who aimed to fair and deserving rights but were denied of them, because someone’s religion or opinion about issues like the foundation of marriage, can only be between a man and a woman. Their blind eye doesn’t allow them to see that the foundation of marriage in reality is the very same one that established order and society since marriage the time was conceived and as the way to institutionalize legal, loving and committed union.  Not even other species require such order and institution and affection and nurturing of all kinds among them. Not even suffer exclusion for their group because they are different. Same goes to denying of civil rights to Latinos, poor people, African descent and anyone that is not fully accepted and supported by the powerful and the rich. Due to politics, religions and uneducated beliefs we’ve lost compassion and aim.  Something to truly think about.


5 responses to “Where is patriotism today?

  1. When I think about the expression, “civil discourse”, I am reminded of the anti-Viet Nam War protests, of the abuses heaped on returning vets, and of the violent repression of protests, such as the Kent State University Massacre. I am reminded of the protests of the Black Panthers, of the Democratic National Convention of 1968. I remember the phrases “America: Love her, or Leave her”, and “Don’t trust anyone older than 30”, and “If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem”. We were a nation seemingly of increasingly violent opposites. Civility was sacrificed to passionate beliefs.

    How did we move past the vitriol of those times? Did protesters find that the answer was evolution, not revolution? Did the “Establishment” see the inherent injustices in “the system”? I wonder if the nation was shocked by the truth of violence and destruction committed int the name of idealism. We watched the horror of My Lai unfold, we watched the horror of Kent State unfold, we watched the horror of assassinations of two Kennedy brothers, of Reverend King, Jr., of Malcolm X. Somehow, we found our way out of those times of conflict, that tore at the fabric of the nation. All sides needed to lay down their arms – literally, and figuratively.

    Perhaps, we need to revisit and review the past, to prevent its being replayed.

  2. You make so many good points in your posting. Extremism, regardless of whether its origins are rightist or leftist, is poisonous to democracy because it is anathema to the idea of compromise. Despite the simplistic sound bites and feel-good platitudes, there are no simple, absolutist solutions to the tough issues facing the country today. Politicians who pander to their extreme wings, doing things like preemptively signing broad pledges of ‘no new taxes’, or fear mongering about homeless grandparents, sit down at the negotiating table with no interest in working together to address the issues. And we, voters and non-voters alike, drink this kool-aid and beg for more.

    You can’t work together with people you demonize. What has happened to respecting someone’s views, even if you disagree with them? Since when did Webster’s dictionary redefine being civil and flexible as being weak and having no values?

  3. Perhaps, we need to revisit and review the past, to prevent its being replayed.

    Isn’t that what we call experience? But I see your point, we are missing something, something already old and better. Oh well, that’s how we learn.

    • hi Isis! I’m not sure what experience taught us, as a nation. It appears that the lesson, or lessons, either have not sunk in, or were wrong, or have been forgotten. I don’t know if, as a nation, a collective cynicism replaced the idealism of those times. Maybe new selfish motives rose to the fore, i.e., materialism and the excitement of capitalist aggrandizment of the 80’s and 90’s. Perhaps, we really did attain a modicum of respect for other peoples’ views. I would like to think the latter, then it would truly have been something better, and there is hope that we, as a nation, can remember, and return to it. But I fear idealism gave in to cynicism and materialism, bitterness and greed. If that is indeed what the national ethos evolved towards, then it is no surprise that we are where we are today. sigh.

  4. “What has happened to respecting someone’s views?”

    Indeed Lisah, and how can we believe in their promises when what they show us is lots of that? We must speak and loud until someone hear us! Thank you for your visit and comment.

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