Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Things to remember when you are disheartened about America
There are times when it is hard to believe in the greatness of the American experiment and the state of South Carolina. Headlines blare how political correctness cost of all people, a beauty queen, of her next crown. Pick your side, either former President Bush or President Obama do boneheaded things. Politicians such as Governor Sanford and Democratic Superintendent of Education Jim Rex fund their political operations legally, but not right. Nearly every political figure, from Senator Chris Dodd’s sweetheart loans to former Senator Ted Stevenson’s discount home improvements seems on the take. The 24 hour cable news networks feed the notion that something is wrong. Indeed, all the shouting at each other about every conceivable issue is played up and cooperation is downplayed.
Plant closings, protests, war, petty political fights, they all have their time on the stage. It can be disheartening.
But, there is a lot not talked about. First, there is the greatness of the American experiment that allows us to shout at one another. No society in human history has had the freedom of the American experiment to opine so about political opinions. Sure, going against political correctness sometimes has its price, but no one is jailed as in China or Russia for such dissent. No one is shot as in Venezuela or Cuba.
Further, for the American bashing that seems to go on around world, perhaps the world should pause to think that the United States is the only nation-state in the history of the world to spend so much to rebuild its enemies it defeated in war. Indeed, a little over sixty years ago, the United States rescued Europe from the tyranny that was Nazism. All the United States asked for was a few hundred acres here and there to bury its war dead that liberated Europe. When the world had no answer to Soviet Communism, the United States spent its blood and treasure to place the old Soviet style communism into what Ronald Reagan called, “the trash heap of history.”
Now, there is the enemy of Islamic extremist terrorists. Let there be no mistake about how anti-Liberal (note the use of the capital L), and anti-Western those who contend for such are. First, they kill innocent women and children for political purposes, which is against the teaching of the Koran. Second, they live centuries behind the rest of the world in the cultural norms of women in the workplace and certain criminal laws. If you doubt that, think about the nephew of an old woman who dared to enter her home unescorted recently to give her some bread. Saudi law caused the young man to be executed and the old woman imprisoned. Their crime was that an unmarried male should not be alone with the old woman. Only the truly perverted would see a nephew stopping by his aunt’s house to give her food as some of sort of sexual thing. That incident happened in the country the United States calls an ally.
That brings up the issue of domestic politics. Sure, here in South Carolina, it is plain wrong that our Governor has a campaign still in operation for the 2006 Governor’s race and that others hire consultants who are obvious political hacks. It is wrong that outsiders pour in millions trying to buy our government. It is wrong that the United States Congress seems more and more to be bought and paid for, regardless of party.
But, our leaders are not ordering executions based upon their sexually perverted thoughts or ordering women that they cannot vote nor have a job.
There are real problems with government in the United States and in South Carolina. There are several ways we have failed at reaching out highest ideals. However, overall, there has never been in the history of the world a government in a nation or state more benevolent to its people and its enemies. Neither Presidents Bush nor Obama compare to the likes of Genghis Kahn or Stalin. In a world whose history is filled with cruelty, truly mad men, dictators, those who thought that God chose them to inflict harm, and conquerors, the United States remains the best hope for mankind to treat one another with respect and dignity. Perhaps it is not politically cool to remind people of that truth. But it is a truth that is found everyday someone criticizes the President, the Governor and others in government without being imprisoned or killed. Every critical word of those who are in power, whether one agrees or disagrees with it, is a reason to believe in this great historical experiment that is the United States of America.