Political correctness keeps both sides of our politically divided nation from addressing our problems.
This Friday, Americans will celebrate the 238th birthday of this nation. To many, Independence Day is simply the last of the “High Holy Days of Flag Waving”. We’ll get out the Red White & Blue from the basement, put on a shirt that has a patriotic theme, have a cook out, watch fireworks, and move on. Very few think about what the day represents. We don’t take stock of what has happened over the past 238 years, what we’ve gained as a nation, and what we’ve lost. We don’t remember that we are all Americans.
Freedom Wasn’t Free
On July 4th, 1776, the Founding Fathers faced annihilation by launching a war with the world’s “superpower.” Many Americans had already died; sacrificing their lives for a country they would never live to see. Today, people seem to have the illusion that the founders signed a piece of paper and America magically appeared. Years of conflict – with England and with each other – lay ahead. Many lost family, and property, but few abandoned their commitment to create a nation unlike anything the world had ever seen. They won for one reason: They refused to lose, and in doing so helped stamp their spirit on the American character.
That unique American character is flagging in 2014. It’s cool to trash talk America from the comfort of our homes. We’ve lost the essence that made us American; our sense of unity and uniqueness. Ideals lay abandoned as we joust over pointless details. Voters oppose “business as usual”, but elect Mr. Potato Head candidates. Abroad, the American eagle turns into an ostrich, hoping that when it lifts its head, the world will be safe. We bicker and argue as shootings claim our children. We’re too worried about political correctness to mention the constant flood of illegal immigrants coming over the border. Americans turn away in disgust from the mess we have created.
It’s Time To Confront Problems Fearlessly
That’s the wrong direction. The Founding Fathers had arguments that shook Independence Hall, then dealt with the business at hand because it had to be done. This country was built on compromise. We need to worry about the problems that actually threaten our way of life (terrorism, illegal immigration etc), but be sensible about them, and compromise to ensure our continued growth as a country. Nothing stops America when we work as one. The least thing stops us when we do not.
Turning around this nation seems like an impossible dream, especially today. But we’re Americans. We get a kick out of defying logic and doing what no one else can. In times when all seems lost and the shade of despair and doom begins to fall, we always come together; we truly do become the United States of America.
Will it take a disaster to bring us together again?
After the September 11th attacks, President George W. Bush drove through NYC to tour the wreckage of the Twin Towers. Every apartment complex and house had the flag. Everyone cheered him on. Mayor Rudy Giuliani, riding with Bush, remarked privately, “I hate to say it Mr. President, but none of these people voted for you.” At that moment, partisanship, and politics were thrown aside. We became one. It shouldn’t have to take a 9-11 catastrophe to unite us.
The President bypasses Congress; the Congress stomps its collective foot at the President. Everybody is afraid to take a firm stance on anything that might cost votes. We’d rather stand silent than stand on principle. Enough.
On this Independence Day, think about what this country actually means. Don’t put that flag away on the 5th. Leave it out. Look at it. Think about it. Millions of men and women have died for it, so let’s not just ignore it. Just as that flag stands for something, so, too, does America. America is not just dirt and some cities. America exists because in spite of everything, a group of men launched a country that was inextricably bound to an idea. That idea may be fading from our minds, its message may be inaudible, its beacon of hope may be dimmed, but America has been here before. The nation has seen its people lose their faith, only to return and once again become the powerful voices that comprise America. Let’s make ourselves heard. Let’s show Washington, and the world, that we won’t let political correctness and partisan politics do to us what the British, Germans, Japanese, and Al Qaeda never could.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day. May God bless the United States of America.
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