“I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God. I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision.” -Carl Sandburg
From time to time Ari and I disagree about certain points or conclusions in a postcard, then we present both the original point and its counter-point.
Although I can concur with Ari’s conclusions that our armed forces are not as greatly esteemed as deserved, I must with all due respect disagree with his appraisal of America’s potential to rise quickly and effectively as a nation in the face of an adversary. [Will We Prove Worthy? published June 22, 2011.]
Simply put, Americans are not their leaders.
Although we possess a system of government dependent on elected representatives, modern times have proven these leaders speak for very few of us as a nation and a people.
Election fraud, money for votes, serious interference from wealthy interest groups and corruption have literally snatched the democratic process from the hands of its true owners.
Most Americans will now readily admit, especially since so many are suffering from buyers remorse after 2008, it is not so much voting for the best candidate but the lesser of two evils that confront them on election days.
So many would love to have the opportunity to vote for their real choice when they walk into the booth, however, that wish is proving elusive at best.
With the exception of local politics that operate in the original intended form of representative democracy, “one person, one vote” is a dream devoutly to be wished on state and national levels.
The party and power brokers decide who will run. Money dictates those who can afford to run at all.
Every so often a candidate will come along and attempt to exercise his or her right as an American citizen, seek office only to fall out discouraged and disillusioned with the whole corrupt mess.
So you may be thinking, then you are in agreement with Ari.
Yes, on some levels I am.
I myself however have witnessed strange phenomena in America in my longer lifetime. Politics fall by the wayside when real issues enter the fray.
Small, insignificant, petty differences are irrelevant where survival is concerned.
Steven Spielberg’s new television show Falling Skies seems in agreement with Ari, showing differences and violence between Americans even in the face of an alien attack.
I disagree entirely with this premise.
Americans behave the opposite in these situations.
I guarantee that if aliens take over New York, no one will care any longer about Rev Sharpton’s divisive attempts to extort money through promoting hatred.
The color of human skin will no longer matter; human will be the only feature that counts to anyone on earth. Imagine how great life would be if we lived in this mindset each day.
Unlike the dinosaurs, mankind is determined to make it into the next millennia, remote controls and iPads in tact.
Sadly, yes, too many busy themselves with trivia and foolishness. Using time better spent helping others or using their creative talents to further civilization. Too many focus their energies on some talentless celebrity wannabe famous for being famous and boasting no other accomplishments.
And yes, this is a sad commentary on our values.
Despite a lack of perfection, Americans especially have always risen to the task.
World War I and II, when we entered the war and saved Europe from the axis of evil, show just how much Americans are capable and competent of overcoming any challenge.
Because we are a country born in revolution, we have never taken the freedoms we possess for granted. We are a young and excited people. Hormones raging with youth and optimism, a short past but a tall order for the future.
I understand the problems we face at this moment. The very fact we elected a man president who promised hope and change is a testament to how much Americans believe in and value those ideals.
Sadly, we were disappointed, but although taken in, we will still strive to achieve hopeful glorious goals for our children, their children and ourselves. We are after all Americans; GI Joe, Uncle Sam, and the true Yankee Doodle Dandy.
If we are guilty of anything it is our optimism, our naivete and other foibles that accompany our youthful status in the world.
Yet, never underestimate Americans when our leaders call us to action.
Whether it was John F. Kennedy challenging us to reach the moon,
Ronald Reagan calling for the end of Soviet aggression or George Bush swearing we would find Bin Laden and bring him to justice, we achieved those goals. Even President Obama, who has failed so miserably in most things, arose to the challenge of his predecessor and all Americans and gave the order to destroy our enemy.
Sadly, many like Ari and myself as well see the challenge from Iran and its satellites of evil going unheeded. Americans want to fight, we want to once again take out the evil aggressors and make the world safe for democracy.
Unfortunately, our leaders do not always share our goals.
That is why when we enter the voting booth next year we will have to make a choice. Do we honor the ideals we share with our forefathers or do we continue down a path we cannot embrace of support?
Time will tell of course, but I can tell you my belief. I trust in my fellow Americans and know they will, as always, rise to the occasion. They will show the world we are young, strong, patriotic and moral.
We are a light unto the world, and we will keep it shining no matter how dark the enemy.
Of one thing I am sure and know this and only this, when Uncle Sam says “I want you,” every American will answer his call.