I love the United States of America; we are the greatest nation in the history of mankind, yet we are not the country that we were, nor the one we believe ourselves to be. America lost its light along the way.
America stopped Hitler. America invented rock and roll, the automobile, and the internet, and put men on the moon. We are a nation of innovators, fiercely independent, and hard working. We as a people were admired for standing for freedom and democracy. That is part of our heritage.seantsmithauthor.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/what-do-i-need-to-know.jpg”>
America defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. (Not The Big shot, thank God.)
Those are defining moments as Americans, right? We stopped Stalin, King George, and Saddam Hussein. We helped rebuild Germany and Japan after World War II.
But…America became a nation by killing off the people that were actually Americans first. Whoops.
Along the way, America built a nation upon the backs of people who were enslaved. Slavery happened. People owned people. That’s also part of our heritage. This country would not exist as we know it without the push west at the expense of the Native Americans and the generations of slave trade and labor which built the agricultural base in the South.
I love America. I love the United States. We are not all one thing, though, either good or evil, nor have we ever been a homogenous society. In fact, our diversity is one of the things that made us great. We have been a champion of freedom and that which is good, but we have also committed atrocities and grave mistakes.
And now, while the United States consumes itself with bitter fire and ignorance, self righteousness and self- loathing at the same time, what is the truth of it? As a people, as Americans, can we recognize the difference between a patriot and a fool?
It’s harder than we think, and now a war within looms because we’re that idle and dumb. The patriots, who are not actually patriots but those who undermine the country with lies, ignorance, and hatred, are dangerous because many of them advocate open war, rebellion, and violence. And their numbers are growing.
The amount of misinformation being blasted over the airways and internet is mind-blowing. The truth seems hard to discern, and many people, it seems , prefer to believe lies, whether the lies we tell ourselves or the lies of others, than to look for the cold, hard truth. The truth, like the America itself, is not just one thing.
The United States strove to be a beacon of hope for the world, a “city on a hill,” and in many respects, the country succeeded in fulfilling the hopes of our founding fathers. It seems to me though, that we the people no longer strive for this ideal.
We watch videos of cuddly cats on the internet rather than try to learn something. We past memes on social media full of ignorance and hate because it is easier to click than it is to actually read. We are convinced we are right and that the other side is wrong, seldom listening to those who disagree with us, remaining in a bubble of ignorance.
The true patriot will listen, learn, and read a history book.
One of the building blocks of our democracy is compromise. Without it, the government cannot function, either at the national or local level. When politicians and voters become so entrenched in their beliefs that they are unwilling to bend, the whole system breaks down. The government now is a picture of this dysfunction. Unfortunately, the government reflects the will of the people, and we are divided.
The true patriot will strive for unity over division. The only way this great country will find its light again is if we the people become that light.