“So we keep holding on to something worth saving” -Gavin Degraw
It is disheartening that the common populace seems only to discuss the health of the United States when election slander commences and adds to an already government-weary nation. One of my concerns is what is going on within the generation I identify with and the one that is proceeding me. The lack of patriotism among those under twenty-five is frightening. Keeping in mind that those over thirty are not necessarily proud to be an American at her current state but can still remember a time in which they were. The concerning reality for those that are following the over-twenty-five crew is that they, we, have not experienced a riveting time of patriotism- for the most part.
I recently heard Dr. Ben Carson illuminate his own concern for the education that “youngsters” are receiving. Dr. Carson spoke of how those being shaped by education currently, whether in primary education or secondary and on into postsecondary, are being taught an anti-patriotic United States history. Due to the fact that I am currently of the group that he is speaking of I can give confirmation to that. Carson addressed that those under the influence of education, currently, are being taught to associate the United States with Jim Crow Laws, slavery, etc- the dark marks in the United States lifespan. In turn there is a lack of respect for the flag and traditions. Pride in America is obsolete within the classroom. When I look back on previous history courses I have participated in or the history courses I am currently enrolled in as a freshman undergraduate I can attest, the curriculums are persuasive in nature and always steer towards/emphasize the terrible parts of the nation’s story.
The cause of lack or absence of patriotism has been explained to me as the result of Watergate leading to a public opprobrium towards government and times in the nation such as Vietnam War, the war in Iraq, and the recession of 2008.
These, no matter how consequential, momentary circumstances rob us of a vision of the United States that encourages us to give our best, think most constructively as a whole, and see the States as something always worth saving.
The United States, when studied, without an agenda, is rich and astounding. Think on this: By 1918, the nation with only 142 years under her belt rises as a world power circa the end of World War I; in addition, as WWII concludes in 1945, the nation only 169 years old rises as the supreme world power. On a more intimate/personal note, and pro-American Dream, remind yourself of the unbelievable life and mind of men such as Alexander Hamilton that developed and romped through the early years of a new nation, because of the opportunity it beheld.
“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” –Marquis de Lafayette
Our foundation as a nation remains, but is it something, to you, worth saving?
Faulting the ideal, romanticized version of the United States is irrelevant. Just for author-related context: Few could possibly enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eloquent criticism of the American Dream through his work, The Great Gatsby, as much as I do. Nor do most delight in following the chronology of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they unearth the Nixon Administration’s Watergate Scandal, as I do. So I am not writing this from a naively optimistic standpoint. I am educated heavily in the faults of the United States. But the ideal of America, what she stands for, if that is currently anything at all to most, lets say what she was founded upon, is not the problem. As the American Dream ideology is not the problem. Again, I am not uninformed, in fact I know the fate of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman due to the crushing disappointment of the reality of a whole-heartedly pursued American Dream. Yet, hanging in the balance, the intake through reading the Declaration of Independence fires me up-in the best way. And when I take moments to behold the brilliance of the Constitution of the United States I am in awe. Our roots are second to none.
One thing is certain: a one-sided history or perspective of the United States fails to due her justice.
I am certainly not in the school of thought that would rather sugar coat the truth of history. But if it is also not taught, with due highlights of the greatness, strength, and awe then the coming generation will not view the country as something worth saving. It is our job within the home, friend-circles, and classrooms.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same” -President Ronald Reagan
I have been disheartened by my increasing jadedness with age. But I do know that the United States is something worth saving. The ideas of the nation are something worth saving. Virtue is something worth saving. The opportunity for freedom is something worth saving. And if that is true then that means as citizens of the States we should seek to obtain a balanced view of the nation, recall in our memory what living in the United States has given us the ability to pursue, and we must educate ourselves, engage and vote.
Voting with an educated stance. A formulated position due to the information you have gathered from reliable research. There is no excuse for passivity.
An oh-so important post note…
As I engage in political related conversation and hear it, I often am presented with the excuse not to vote, in this election especially, being: I don’t feel comfortable in voting for the lesser of two evils.
The best, most clear, and poignant political insight of this election: this justification for not voting is a cop-out. Dr. Carson explained that every human that wakes up everyday and lives life experiences choosing between the lesser of two evils in nearly every decision they make, therefore they can make the decision. Step back from the election as objectively as possible and critically think about which candidate will affect the country, over-all, most effectively well, in the long-term spectrum.
Finally, as Dr. Carson often says “God gave us a brain so that we would use it”.
Let’s use our brains, and give our best, the United States is something worth saving.
My intention for my words is nothing other than to encourage citizens of the States to reclaim the patriotism within them and apply it.
“We are the project that never ends… It’s only by exercising… the gift of citizenship, that we keep our democracy alive and continue the work of creating that more perfect union…” -President Barack Obama
I am so thankful to be free. Although I have always been free, I do not take it lightly. May we never take it lightly.
There are indirect, most-important reasons for each of us as to why the nation is worth giving our best effort towards… For me, these are a few:
A great resource for further appreciation and encouragement to fulfill citizen-duties: A More Perfect Union by Dr. Ben Carson