When we were great, we believed that we were blessed by God. Or rather, the universal idea of God. We were blessed by God because we were a nation of different people from different places with different religions who somehow got along. And we did more than coexist; we flourished because of our differences. An intricate fabric where every thread had significant meaning and purpose. A place where we were all important contributors.
We were great because we adhered to laws based on the concepts of fairness and equality. Laws that protected those among us who needed protection. Aided those who needed aid. We were great because of a system which recognized that as humans, we had flaws when it came to the idea of power. And that the only way to avoid the temptation of absolutism was to actually use use our differences as a means of checks and balances. No, we weren’t perfect. Far from it. But we were the envy of the free world. A beacon of hope for the human experience. A place where dreams could come true.
But somewhere along the line, something happened. We stopped seeing our differences as our strength. Instead, they became bitter points of contention that powerful special interests (i.e. politicians and the media) used against us.
Suddenly, the laws that had long protected us from ourselves were tweaked to protect the rich and powerful–driving Americans even further apart. Amidst dogmatic rhetoric, we began to care less about our nation as a whole and more about specific parts. Specific ideas. We began to gravitate to the idea of exclusion rather than inclusion. We started to believe that the only way this country could be great again was if one ideology were in control. And we fought hard to justify and defend our ideologies. We adopted an us vs. them mentality and stood nose-to-nose with each other. Our brothers became our enemies. Winning at any cost became our priority as we let fear of non-conformity overrun the respect we once had for each other.
Things are different now. We’re just too different. What we need today is strict conformity. The founding fathers got it wrong. But hey, they had a good run.
We’re a stubborn lot, Americans. Proud, to be sure. But pride alone has its drawbacks. In fact, pride is a sin. The mack daddy sin, and the one directly associated with Lucifer–if you believe the bible. No, because of our stubbornness, fear, and pride, we haven’t moved the needle in the right direction for this country in decades. Maybe it’s moved in the right direction for our checkbook. Or maybe it hasn’t. But a great nation is more than just a healthy economy.
I wish I had a solution to throw out there. But I don’t. I don’t know if we’ll ever be as great as we once were. And no, no man or woman sitting in the Oval Office is going to change our course. Changing this nation and putting it back on a righteous path requires that we put aside our ignorant pride and embrace each other for our differences as a way to once again realize just how powerful we really are. Please don’t let the politicians tell you anything different. Don’t let them drive us further apart. Don’t believe their ads.
No matter how badly you want your side to win in politics, just remember that ‘one ideology to rule them all’ isn’t even remotely possible in this country.
We’re too different. And that’s a good thing.
Jim Mitchem – and yes I know that this country is for everyone, not just people who believe in the idea of a God. Settle down.
5 CommentsLEAVE A COMMENT
Jul 24, 2012
“We stopped seeing our differences as our strength.” — equally as true as it is disheartening. This problem is a real one, infinitely more destructive than a poor economy.
I think you offer a solution merely by writing this. By being mindful. Aware. Untethered from manufactured ideology.
Consider this my official endorsement for Mitchem 2016.
Jul 25, 2012
We solved the big problems for the majority of the populace, so we set about finding less and less meaningful things to squabble about. Things loom large that aren’t—they’re just the biggest things on the horizon. Sadness.
Jul 25, 2012
When I see images (real and manufactured) of Dems vs GOP, 1% vs 99%, Christians vs Atheists, etc., I think this is what it must have been like during the American Civil War. The South squaring off against the North. The Confederacy vs the Union. Brothers, friends, neighbors divided, holding steadfastly to their beliefs. And hundreds of thousands died as a result.
I hope history does not repeat itself.
Jul 25, 2012
I wish that we had seen our differences as a strength back in the day, but I’m afraid that doesn’t describe the intensely racist, sexist, religiously intolerant country I grew up in. when a black president with an Arab middle name would have been inconceivable. Things are far, far better now.
Sep 19, 2012
My novel – Minor King
Copyright © Jim Mitchem. Launched by LEAP. Hosted by Command Partners.