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The Idea Mag - Issue 20 - September 25th, 2005 - Front Page


Whining Americans

What would our founding fathers be saying on their blogs if they were alive today? Would they agree or disagree with President Bush’s leadership? I cannot say exactly which points they would agree with or what policies they would change, as none of them were my personal friends, but one thing is clear. These men loved their country. Even before the United States existed, they knew what was right. They knew the people yearned freedom, as all people do. Again, would they agree? I say to you, that that is not the point. If they disagreed, they would say so. If they agreed, they would champion the cause – as they did – without sugarcoating for political correctness. They knew what was important, they knew people needed a voice, and they told it like it was.

This is not, however, what happens today. I do not care what you believe, I do not care if you believe that President Bush is doing a good job, but I do care how you feel about this country. Our country was founded on principles that many debate, but it’s not about the principles. It’s about the attitude.

The attitude of most people in this country absolutely stinks. I will even include myself in that bunch because at times I find myself complaining about this problem and that problem. And sure, there are problems, but when I am thinking clearly, I have one thing on my mind. I want this country to be the greatest. “Ah,” you say, “you are showing your imperialistic, ethno-centric, American chauvinist attitude. You want your oil, you want control of the Middle East, and you want to conquer lands and make them your own so you can live high and mighty on the shoulders of third-world countries.”

And you will be wrong.

It is this simple – I believe that our emphasis on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, private property, and human rights is the best way in the world to run a country. I believe we have a comparatively good track record – comparatively. For all our mistakes we have tried to correct and all of our shortcomings we have exercised to improve.

But there is another attitude warring among our members – one of selfish complaining. It does not matter which president – for all have faults – or which senators, for all of them have major faults; there is too much complaining. America went through some tough times in its past, but one thing most often prevailed. The attitude of wanting to make this country great, to be a beacon of freedom in totalitarian world, to grant freedom to those who join us, and to point out abuses of freedom when they happen has shone through the petty fighting to define the heart of this country.

We are not better than people from other countries, as our population is made up of those very people. But we believe that human freedom is paramount to all others. That is the attitude we need. Until we get our focus off of how much oil costs, how well Wall Street is faring, and how much “our” standard of living has not increased, we will never realize America’s full potential We are simply limiting ourselves by our own selfishness.

Where would this country be without the unselfishness of all of our soldiers and statesmen who dared to make this country great for the benefit of all people, not just a few despots? Where would this country be without George Washington, who gave his very own shoes to his soldiers in the midst of a very intense northeastern winter? Where would this country be without the Francis Scott Key’s that saw the bombs bursting but did not forget why it had to be that way? Or the Paul Reveres, who had one concern, to make sure we won the war. Or the signers of the declaration, who thought it that important to come to the right conclusions, not rush for acceptance. Or the writers of the Federalist Papers, who by writing – not complaining – laid out the importance of a federal government – for without unity we would not have survived. We would never have made it to this point with a divided country, and Abraham Lincoln knew this.

Instead we have politicians and selfish people on all sides of the political spectrum that care more about the price of gas than about our country’s long-term future and the freedom of mankind. And no, I am not making a political plug for any president or any ideology, save that which the founders put forth. You cannot run a country without this attitude. You simply become a political tool to please the masses and make personal gain – whether monetary or simple fame.

I will end with one quote.

“Give me liberty, or give me death.” – Patrick Henry

He knew what I am now talking about.