Restoring America

I refuse to accept that I am an enemy of America because I am a liberal Democrat. And, I refuse to believe that many of my loved ones are America’s enemies because they are conservative Republicans.

Quoting a CNN report: “S&P gave two primary reasons for downgrading U.S. debt: The nation's fiscal path and its broken political system.”

“Broken political system.”

And so once more that little possum, Walt Kelly’s “Pogo,” reminds America that “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

What then is the fix for a broken America? We are, hopefully, too civilized to engage in a second civil war. Should we divvy up territory, giving the left 25 states and the right 25 – calling ourselves, as my friend Carolyn once suggested, “The Divided States of America”?

While you and I look to our elected leaders for solutions, we do not need to make ourselves part of the problem.

But, damn, it’s hard to shake the unshakeable conviction that, after reading and writing and hearing a million pieces of evidence over the last decade, I am right to be on the left.

The thing is: the other half of the citizenry feels the same way.

Are we loving America to death?

My country is in trouble. So, it goes without saying that the following quote, read this morning, gave me pause:

“It is easy to look at America's place in the world right now and believe that we are in a downward spiral of decline. But, this is a snapshot of a tough moment. If the country can keep its cool, admit to its mistakes, cherish and strengthen its successes, it will not only recover but return with renewed strength. There could not have been a worse time for America than the end of the Vietnam War, with helicopters lifting people off the roof of the Saigon embassy, the fallout of Watergate and, in the Soviet Union, a global adversary that took advantage of its weakness. And yet, just 15 years later, the United States was resurgent, the USSR was in its death throes, and the world was moving in a direction that was distinctly American in flavor. The United States has new challenges, new adversaries and new problems. But, unlike so much of the world, it also has solutions - if only it has the courage and wisdom to implement them.”

This quote was not ripped from this morning’s headlines. It is from a 13 June 2007 post on my previous blog, “I See My Dreams.” Its source is a lengthy and insightful article by Newsweek’s International Editor Fareed Zakaria, “Beyond Bush: What the World Needs Is an Open, Confident America,” June 11, 2007, issue: LINK

Do our elected leaders have the “courage and wisdom” to stop listening to the lunatic fringes on the left and the right, to stop worrying about their re-election campaign coffers and to salvage the strengths that have made this democracy endure?

I’m not sure. Are you?


Leslie Parsley said...

I'm not sure either but I'm encouraged with polls showing that the approval ratings for Republicans are dropping along with Tea Party membership, who I consider to be sedionist pure and simple. I don't know what to say about the far left. There's no way one can reason with them anymore than one can reason with a tea bagger. The sad thing is that neither side gets it.

Here's an excellent little piece by Judge H. Lee Sarokin called "I want my country back -- not the Tea Party's America."


B.J. said...

Leslie: The great thing about being Internet activists is so often we are alerted to a good read we might have missed otherwise. I pictured Judge Sorokin as a kid playing on that sandlot and learning the same values I did as a kid. DemWit readers would do well to listen to his wise words. Thanks for the link. BJ

Ahab said...

Cooperation and level-headedness are certainly needed in these difficult times. Whether our leaders (and fellow citizens) will display these virtues in the times to come remains to be seen.

"We are, hopefully, too civilized to engage in a second civil war."

A literal, armed civil war is unlikely, but an IDEOLOGICAL civil war has been taking place for years. Unfortunately, it shows no signs of cooling down.

Tihy dreams of peace... said...

Tiny agrees with Judge Sarokin and hopes the politicians get a good dose of what he's telling the world. Very few in this country wants to see anymore war. We are war weary. It's the Tea Party and their supporters who spout getting yourself armed, reloading, putting up the crosshairs etc.

Most of us do not want that either. Peace within ourselves and the world is what the majority of people want. Hopefully peace is the phoenix that will arise from all the fire we've been hearing for far too many years.

B.J. said...

Tiny: I think you, Leslie and I agree with the judge about the things which have always made this country great. Greed is not one of them. (Greed was one of the things which brought down the Roman Empire.) They are far more valuable than achieving obscene wealth. I think your email signature says it all: “Measure your wealth not by what you have but by what you would not take money for.”

Ahab: You used a key word, “virtues.” I recommend you read the judge’s opinion. He concludes his thoughts by talking about the virtues we must not lose in America. Good to see you again!