Monday, March 7, 2016
Donald Trump And The Horror That Is Independence Day
These were my musings from last July 4th. As you can see, it became quite melancholy for me, and really couldn't be represented by happy, smiling children holding sparklers in one hand and apple pie in the other.
No, that July 4th was more representative of the movie Independence Day and all that implies - the death of a society caused by interlopers - not from outer space - but right out from under our own noses. These alien interlopers are the kids our generation - and subsequent ones - raised to care nothing for the country, its Constitution, its customs, its morals; its actions of decency played out on the world stage. These aliens love the concept of Bernie Sanders and his redistribution of wealth plan because they're too ignorant to understand what it means; that once the government hand goes into someone else's pocket, it'll sure as the world go into their own as well.
I found it ironic (notice I did NOT say funny) that just yesterday I opined about the death of Nancy Reagan and the societal values she represented that went with her, when I stumbled upon this post. I also find it ironic that this was written before the rise of Trump and our current fight to pick a Republican presidential nominee.
This post certainly indicated to me beyond all measure of imagination suddenly, that Trump - his longshoreman style of using curse words instead of English vocabulary and short bursts of insults instead of cogent presentation of his own views, blustering instead of educating or explaining, threatening violence or law suits like a petulant child - is simply a mirror of a society grown coarser every year. It's horrifying, true, but I have no idea at this point how to fix it. I fear it is what it is because it's been this way too long.
And now for the original post...
This Independence Day weekend started for me last night. David and I went out to celebrate our wedding anniversary (a week late because neither of us have actually even remembered our anniversary in years). As we were driving to the restaurant, we were listening to the end of Rick Roberts show on KTOK-1000. He was playing excerpts of a "Man On The Street" interview with young people about the importance and history of the holiday. Of all those asked, only one young person - clearly from India by his accent, which is doubly sad - knew why Americans celebrate Independence Day or the significance of July 4th.
The interviewed kids laughed and laughed when confronted with their lack of knowledge and seemed perfectly happy to wallow in the fact of their ignorance. It was hilarious to them that they knew so little about the country in which they lived. This, of course, really put a damper on the evening and it took me awhile to shake it off.
Once we got to the restaurant, I noticed the number of ball caps on men's heads. I remembered how my grandfather used to chastise my husband for wearing a hat inside - a sign of disrespect once upon a time. I saw a family come in and the mother lie down on the bench while waiting to be seated as though she simply couldn't be bothered to sit like an adult.
I observed many, many diners spend more time looking down at their phones than their company. A large proportion of diners were obese - despite the government's attempts to force citizens to stop 'supersizing'. None of these observations helped my mood because all these behaviors are a direct illustration of why life in America is the way it is today; coarse, self-obsessed, easily-entertained, lazy, humanistic....
There was a time, as I began to awaken to what is happening in our country, that I had a very idealistic, unrealistic idea - but fun, nevertheless. I wanted to send every graduating high school senior to Ivory Coast or Nepal or Ghana or North Korea (fill in the blank with whatever 3rd world country you choose). There, they would be forced to live for no less than 2 months - during which they would witness the deaths of hundreds due to poor sanitation and water treatment, where they would see men and women stooping by the side of a rutted dirt road to use the bathroom, where they would watch families do laundry in rivers contaminated with human and animal feces, where living in a shack was everyday life, where children were left on the street to fend for themselves, or die, because their families couldn't care for them, and other activities symbolizing the absolute opposite of how the majority of Americans live today.
Yes, Americans are offended because we don't have access to a cell phone or the internet, yet, thousands of miles away children die from marasmus and kwashiorkor one after the other, day in and day out. Yes, we can be offended by the Confederate flag (yet have instant access to the internet to research exactly what that icon meant and how it was used), meanwhile in North Korea women are serially raped by soldiers who provide no protection at all to its citizens from a government that does what it wants when it wants with no concern at all for the people populating the countryside.
Yes, I will readily admit, my heart is hardening. It's been doing so millimeters at a time for decades now. Maybe it's the realization that Americans are too lost to understand something as globally significant as our Republic - the most free of all the world for hundreds of years. Maybe it's the time and effort I put in at the state legislative level to find that no matter what citizens do, they can't protect their individual liberties from the ignorance of those they elect.
It matters not exactly how it happened I suppose, but I have hit the wall. I'm now absolutely unwilling to see anymore of my personal liberties deliberately snatched away by those whose purpose it is to do so - or by those who are so ignorant of what these entail as to vote to assume them as though they don't exist.
I know I'm not alone in my thoughts, but this dourness of spirit - this ultimate cynicism of anything government and fear of those that revel in their ignorance of our country's heritage - is my cross to bear, certainly. I know I'm not alone in the belief that the inevitable and constant pulling at the fabric of our society in the name of 'equality' will render a tear completely irreparable.
I know I'm not alone in the conviction that there will come a point - divined from historical study of Communist/Socialist countries - where American citizens will be either be pushed down forcibly, or made to stand for their religious convictions, and the individual liberties of their families and friends. It's a sad statement of fact to say, that, while I realize I shouldn't allow my heart to harden against the lost, I also realize that the tougher I am, the easier it will be to survive the times ahead.
This doesn't make me less of a Christian or more of a sinner, just - every day - less willing to be subjugated by those who would attempt to do so on the grounds that their choices - their beliefs - are more important than my own.