Ripping Out the Heart of America

February 21, 2008

This year in November, as every 4 years for the past 225 or so years, America will vote on its next President.

I intend on most likely voting for John McCain as he appears to be the republican front runner. I’d also be voting for him in the primary if I was a registered republican (but I’m not.)

Now, that said, and as a lead in to my current thoughts on America, right now someone is probably reading this and saying “Oh, yeah, he’s just another right wing nut job.” That’s fine, walk away now and go read something you’d feel more inclined to already believe.

Four years ago I remember sitting in the dressing room during a dress rehearsal for a production of Richard II (that’s by Shakespeare if you didn’t already know.) It was the day after the election. Bush had just had a landslide popular vote re-election (in fact, if memory serves it was one of the largest margins ever. The theatre is full of Liberals. For many understandable reasons. Their was one guy who happened to be about the only lone conservative as far as I could tell (because frankly, I’m not really a declared conservative because I don’t give two cents about party affiliation – I’ll vote for who I think matches my values, both ethical and moral). Everybody was walking around, griping and moaning about how this was the end of the country, how they were going to move to Canada or New Zealand. I walked over to him and congratulated him and he thanked me and then we went off to do our jobs. Everyone else still sat around moaning and griping.

For the record, I voted for John McCain in both 2000 and 2004. Yes, I wrote him in. See, I vote for who I feel best embodies my moral and ethical values.

Flash-forward to now. This election seems to be pretty open right now. It’s very much up in the air on whether we’ll have a republican (most likely McCain) or a democrat (Clinton or Barrack) in office. Do I have a preference? Yes, and I will vote that preference.

But what is beginning to annoy me and something I realize I saw the gestation of four years ago, is that on both sides I’m hearing people gripe and moan about how bad things will be if so-and-so is elected. This is not separated by party. They’re all doing it.

This really chafes my neck meat (to steal a phrase.)

First and foremost, the President of MY United States is an elected official. He or she is my commander in chief. I will fully respect and support whoever the heck is in office. This does not mean I can’t agree. This does not mean I can’t vote against or speak out against the policies of my president. It does, however, that the individual and the office should be treated with the utmost respect and honor that the position is founded upon. It means that as a free society I have every right to voice my opinion about why I think there should be stricter and more controllable elements to immigration. It does NOT mean I should call the president an idiot because I don’t like or don’t agree with his/her policy.

I’m sick to death of “Americans’ pissing and moaning about the country going into the dump for every other reason that they don’t feel services their own little egotistical needs and self-serving world. We are a country of a vast ethnic makeup. We are a country founded in blood and in freedom. We are a country that, whatever else:

…hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Today, even more so then I was growing up it seems to me that American’s  are more apt to say whatever they want because they have the freedom to do so (a very strict textual reading of the 1st Amendment but missing the spirit of that law by about a google of miles) and never stopping for one moment to think they should. Instead of griping and moaning, instead of swearing the country is going to the dogs and it’s better to move to Canada, I offer two solutions.

  1. Go ahead and actually move and report back in ten years;
  2. Get off your proverbial fat butts and make a change, make a difference in [arguably] the greatest nation in human history.

Quit whining. Do something. If you truly love this country, the above attitude is self defeating at best. If you don’t truly love this country and what it stands for, why the hell are you still here? Please leave.

I will always stand behind my country. Not blindly, as fools do, nor grudgingly, as chameleons do, but truly: with intelligent and thoughtful choice (even if limited) and with an eye toward always striving to make the future better than yesterday.