The United States of America. Sounds good, doesn’t it. But let’s be realistic. The United States wasn’t really united until 1865. All historians – left, right, and center – will tell you that. Make note that I did not say ideologists, but historians. Before the civil war, citizens only identified themselves as “Americans” if they were in a foreign land. Otherwise, you were an illinoisan, a Virginian, etc.
From about 1990, the “unity” really began to unravel. By 2015, the term United States has become as humorous as calling the UK the British Empire. States have always had their own identity, and the ephemera of each one added a little mystery to the nation, but by 2008, it was not only the details, but the core that was changing. I have no more in common with the average Californian than I do with the average Finn. The resident of Massachusetts is far less understandable to me than the average Brazilian. We disagree on culture, economics, and above all, governance. So what makes us united?
I spend a great deal of time in a classroom getting students to understand that words mean something. I have to admit that in this case, they don’t.
When I spend time with people my age and older, I can see that many of them are chronologically “stuck’. There was an era when life was good, or interesting, or just invigorating, and mentally, they stayed there. When my father was alive, he was surrounded in an aura of big band music. The 40’s was his time. Anything that reminded him of the current epoch was to be avoided. With an uncle, I always heard a distant voice crying “All The Way With LBJ!” As a child of the Cold War, I am greatly attracted to that era, even though (and maybe because) I was a child through most of it. But I know what era I exist in; I know what our current challenges are, and I refuse to hide in a world of the Righteous Brothers and Strategic Air Command. I am alive now, in this second, and want to address current issues.
The issue is that America is no longer united, and this is not a problem that Hollywood can solve. If we come together as a nation again, it will be temporary and will be the result of an existential threat. Even then, we will unravel quickly, because a part of our population truly believes that our nation is at fault, either directly or indirectly, for all of its ills. Many also believe that it is the moral responsibility of “producers” to provide shelter and sustenance to the “takers”. Both of these viewpoints I find abhorrent in the extreme. I do not want them a part of the national outlook of anywhere I live, and am willing to fight to make it so. I am willing to sacrifice primal forests and scenic mountains to live with people I share a common sense of purpose with. If I want beautiful vistas I can’t get at home, I’ve got a passport.
Liberals, progressives, and faux libertarians who where taught by liberals and progressives are convinced that “everybody is the same at heart” and that “we can all live together”. It’s just another case of ignoring what is in front of your eyes and listening to the ravings of feeble-minded fools.
All people want the same thing?
Yugoslavia (now 5 nations).
Czechoslovakia (now 2 nations).
The Soviet Union (now 11 nations)
Sudan (now 2 nations)
Belgium ( dividing in two any day now).
The United Kingdom (I give it 7 yrs.).
Most fools mean well. They are simply fools. Meaning well does not make you admirable, saintly, or better than the rest of us. It just results in continuous disappointment.
I believe in Liberty. With true liberty, you get equality. With enforced equality, liberty never occurs, but oppression will.
I believe, in my heart of hearts, that oppressors of liberty should be eliminated from the face of the earth. I don’t need to go to Syria or Iraq for that.