Remember when we used to have a little swagger – when it was okay to wear a little brashness and bravado for being American; products of a country that created an environment to learn, grow, and contribute to its greatness. Something has changed. When did we go from Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” where achieving professional success or living the life of a rugged, independent cowboy were compliments of the same magnitude – to where we are cast today as just another homogenous people governed by an untouchable ruling class that highlights our faults on every front, cowers from our rightful position in civilized society and those with their hand out are elevated above those with their hands at work.
There is a natural uneasiness coming from our economic malaise which for one reason or another we can’t seem to shake. But loud and influential forces are applying man-made pressure on every aspect of society further shaking our foundations. We head to work each week wondering which of society’s standing practices or group of producers will show up under the political microscope and their punitive hammer. When did we begin living in fear of such government intrusion?
This isn’t like us. We’re the nation that loves our flag, our Constitution, freedom, accomplishments, and exceptionalism. We are proud of our unique ability to span the globe to aide those in need, protect the unprotected, liberate the oppressed, and neutralize evil on a moments notice. We are known for our innate spirit to think big and take risks. Our entrepreneurs knew there was no governmental safety net for failure – no matter how big you were. That national spirit is under attack as events unfold on the domestic socio-political front.
We’re even okay with our silly caricature; Americans driving big gas guzzling SUV’s with 22” rims while eating Big Mac’s and talking on a cell phone. Sure it’s a punch line to the rest of the world, but so what; it’s true and we know there is a much more to our story. We do it because we can – and shouldn’t back away from it because we feel guilty that other people may not be in such a position.
There are forces however, that want us to be like the rest of the world, more European, more average, more nameless. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into becoming who we are – the world’s only true super power – and over the last several months it has become evident this doesn’t sit well with some members on our own team.
Americans are at our best when left alone to excel. There are reasons why Johns Hopkins, Sloan Kettering, and Mayo are world renown. Name an institution of similar medical credentials in France, Germany, Great Britain, or Canada. There are reasons why Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Merck along with 9 other US corporations populate the list of the world’s Top 20 pharmaceutical companies. Germany ranks a very distant. There are reasons why the rest of the world shops in the U.S. in search of the latest technology and hardware in their pursuit to defend themselves. There are reasons why the world holds its collective breath at 0930 Monday through Friday as it waits for Wall Street’s opening bell. Or that even with its financial woes AIG hangs onto its place along with MetLife in being one of the world’s Top 10 insurance companies.
There are reasons why when someone gets in trouble on the other side of the globe that the first phone call they make is to the US.
So why all the apologies for our scattered historical mistakes? Why all the hand wringing about overstepping our role as a world leader? Why has it become chic for the forces within to dismiss the things that earned us that distinction and further compels them to prostrate our history and Constitution so that we can be an equal with those countries that have never _________….(fill in the blank)? Why do we feel the need to seek the approval of a feckless UN or to emulate the half baked social initiatives of other countries?
I look forward to an upturn in this cultural cycle. We experienced a similar recovery from such a depression during the late 70’s. While I don’t doubt that the community organizer has all the same good intentions for our country that the peanut farmer did back then, we have reached a point where the people he attempts to lead are tired of being pushed. Daily approval numbers tell a different story than does our media.
The recent healthcare legislation is just the most recent in a series of assaults on the spirit of America and as such may have been the biggest governmental overreach in 50 years. The current ruling class continues to publicly regard the people that make this country work as the enemy; asleep and unresponsive to their political/cultural maneuvering. They have done this at their own peril. One wonders if next November the leaders who have brought this on will recount Admiral Yamamato’s words after tackling an unguarded opponent at Pearl Harbor;
“A military man can scarcely pride himself on having smitten a sleeping enemy; it is more a matter of shame, ….. since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack”.
We will recover… again. Somehow we will find a way to climb out of the hole that our government has put us in. I have a great belief in the resiliency of the American people. It is our spirit that is under attack but ultimately it will prevail; resilient and determined to recover from our losses in this domestic assault. While it may be distasteful to some on the outside, we serve our tattered world much better when there is a sense of confidence behind our swagger.