Pardon me, folks, but when did America get taken away from us?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this still America – the greatest democracy in the history of humankind? A nation founded upon the rule of law as embodied in the Constitution? A nation of diversity, where 300 million people of all ages, colors, races, religions, creeds, and political beliefs, are able to live, work, play, worship, and write or speak minds without having to fear their government? A nation that permits people to pursue economic opportunity based on their capability and desire to get ahead…?
If so, I ask again: exactly when did things change and when did America get taken away from us?
I’ve recently heard some discussion on television, in the print media, and even here on Associated Content, on the subject of “Taking Back America.” Apparently, there’s a whole bunch of people in the land who call themselves “conservatives” and “Republicans,” and they’ve determined that America has somehow been stolen by the people who are currently running the country, people they call “liberals” and “Democrats.” And these “conservatives/Republicans” want to “Take Back America” by throwing all the “liberals/Democrats” out of office in the 2010 mid-term elections.
Some of these people on the extreme right have even created a movement dubbed by the media as the “Tea Party.” They have established web sites like TakeBackAmerica.org, which tell us the myriad of ways our government “…controlled by both parties, Democrat and Republican, has taken powers never authorized in the Constitution… and used those unauthorized powers to totally devastate this nation, limit our freedoms, and subvert our Constitution…”
These “Tea Party” members go on to list the means by which those nefarious left-wingers have stolen our country from us: they’ve wrecked the economy, saddled us with a 14 trillion dollar national debt and 108 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities; permitted bailouts; appointed activist judges; polluted our culture with political correctness… and so on… and so forth…
At the other end of the political spectrum we find those very liberals decried by the conservatives. These liberals are currently in charge running things, and they don’t see America as having been taken anywhere… except, perhaps, to the brink of ruin by the cohort of mean, nasty, uncaring, self-absorbed “conservatives/Republicans” who used to run things. According to the bright and articulate “Liberal-in-Chief” who promised us “Change We Can Believe In,” the “liberals/Democrats” are the ones who “Took Back America” from the inarticulate and not-so bright former “Conservative-in-Chief” and his rich cronies that “drove the bus” – off the road, it seems – for the previous eight years. And, according to the “Liberal-in-Chief,” if we give those “conservative/Republican” fat-cats the keys to the bus again, all will be lost!
And so, as the year 2010 winds down and Election Day approaches, we find our nation as politically deadlocked as ever: the godless, secular humanist, degenerate, unpatriotic, tax-and-spend “liberals/Democrats” to the left… the God-fearing, fundamentalist, moralistic, gun-toting, flag-waving, tax-cutting, “conservatives/Republicans” to the right…
…And a whole lot of “moderate/independents” (like me) planted right in the middle. People who don’t see America as either having been taken away, or on the brink of ruin…
…Just a country badly in need of a major “attitude adjustment.”
As this “moderate/independent” sees things, America is still here, America is still vital, America is still strong, and America still has unlimited potential to become even greater yet. Yes, we are an imperfect nation, as we have been ever since our founding in 1787. We are threatened by forces from without and from within, just like we have been throughout our nation’s history. The present dangers to America are real, and if they’re not directly confronted with wisdom and creativity, they will certainly ruin us.
Of all the dangers we face – and there many of them, including our failing economy, terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our polluted environment – I think one of the greatest is the ever-growing and almost intractable chasm that has sundered our political landscape for at least the past forty years.
Political partisanship has run amok in America. “Liberals/Democrats” and “conservatives/Republicans” are so firmly entrenched behind their respective political positions and talking points that they’ve become almost completely unwilling to even consider any other viewpoint but their own.
Right now, there is a “dialogue of the deaf” going on in our country. People talk, talk, talk… but refuse to listen. They continuously shout invective and accusations across the political divide, vociferously espousing and/or defending their party’s political talking points… without giving any consideration to opposing viewpoints, or any thought as to whether or not their ideas are even in the best interests of the country as a whole. And while all this is going on, the myriad of critical issues and serious problems confronting our nation continues to fester with no solutions in sight…
I believe the vast majority of Americans are true patriots who genuinely love their country and want what’s genuinely best for it. I also believe that political partisanship is actually a good thing, so long as it promotes a healthy political discourse that moves us toward the quick and effective solution of our national problems and makes America a better country for everyone. But when it gets to the point where partisanship turns into an autonomic and mindless wrangling over issues; and when we consistently engage in chronically uncivil behavior towards each other while discussing politics… well, then that’s when I think we Americans should undergo a major communal “attitude adjustment.”
It’s high time for everyone – regardless of where we place ourselves on the political spectrum – to collectively take a deep breath… count slowly to ten… and start cooperating with each other to solve our country’s critical problems.
And that, my friends, will surely “Take Back America…” for all of us.
TakeBackAmerica.org web site – conservative “talking points”