Saturday, November 24, 2007

Are we smart enough?

Are we Americans smart enough to know the difference between dependency and aspiration? Aspiration means ‘to strive for something higher,’ after a root word for ‘breathe.’ Dependency means ‘to rely on for support,’ from a root for ‘hanging down.’ Note that letter ‘a’ precedes ‘d’ and surely breathing is preferable to hanging. An aspirational ideology calls forth hope. Remember our founding fathers? They were great leaders with great aspirations and no government dole to support them. An ideology of victim hood just encourages helplessness. Where should we be as Americans? I for one want to do things for myself and having done them, feel proud. What financial rewards I reap, I like to keep for myself.

Are Americans smart enough to not let misguided politicians stack us into groups like grain in different silos? They pander separately to each voter group or ethic type or minority such as Blacks, Hispanics, Evangelicals, Hollywood, Union members, university elites, Washington elites, youth, rural Americans, urbanites, independent voters, etc.- you get the picture. They customize their speechifying so that each entity feels in lockstep with them. It is assumed that Americans will never find common ground so they try to tear us apart. Furthermore, they continue to use both the race debate and the illegal immigrant debate as artificial issues, intended to divide us as a nation and encourage dependency. "Let me help you, " sounds so appealing, yet it is saying "don’t try." "We need an immigration reform bill," sounds like something to which we could agree but these words mask an intention to give amnesty to illegals while at the same time failing to facilitate entry into citizenship for applicants who have been patiently waiting to be legalized. Politicians refuse to trust us Americans to arrive at common sense solutions to race or immigrant problems.

Americans ought to be able to evaluate not only the media and political speakers, but also writers who turn out an endless procession of politically information meant to confuse and mislead us. Global warming is caused by human activity. Nuclear energy is unsafe. Jobs are being outsourced overseas. Big business is bad. Evil Evangelicals rule this country. We are fed these so-called facts but only by demanding facts can we ascertain the truths. Furthermore, we Americans intimidated by threats of crises: a recession, brutal gas prices, dangerous levels of lead in toys and dependence on foreign oil," etc. - you get the picture. We are left to feel helpless, fearful and ignorant so that big brother politicians and government can rescue us.

Aren’t we smart enough to say "whoa" rather than "giddy-up," when we are subjected to out-of-control political correctness. I learned recently that the 1969 original episodes of Sesame Street are now unsuitable to children. They have been rated for ‘adults only’ because in the first show, a black man befriended a lonely, little white child and held her hand. Alister Cooke, appearing with the Cookie Monster, puffed on a pipe. A character called Oscar was a Grouch. Most men are nice, people enjoy smoking and some Scrooges do exit, but the politically correct, do-gooders have censored these undesirable elements from an award-winning kids program. They impose their intolerance upon us, re-making our society according to their perverted views of men, smoking and incivility, perverted views which actually result in intolerance and undesirable reactions such as suspicion and paranoia.

I hope we Americans are smart enough to face one truth - that the family, as writer Alan Bloom noted, "has to be a sacred unity believing in the permanence of what it teaches." Its decomposition "is America’s most urgent social problem.." Too many Blacks and too many whites, most nominally Christians, have abandoned this truth. If terrorists scare us, why shouldn’t the loss of the lynchpin of our society be as big a boogeyman? What parents value is determined by who we acknowledge as models for admiration and contempt.

When Alexis de Tocqueville studied America early in the 1800's, he warned us that "the danger of democracy is enslavement to public opinion." The Frenchman is saying that an idea gone wrong can lead to a revolution; a misinformed citizenry is dangerous. Let’s not let politicians and media tell us what to think, what to do or how to complain. Tocqueville realized that a desuetude of critical thinking on the part of citizens will result in the decomposition of a culture.

Aren’t we Americans smart enough to breathe deeply and aspire to present and future greatness? We are free to strive to form our own opinions, to get educated, to vote intelligently, to set a good example to others, to perform the best we can at the job we have, to save for the future, to acknowledge God, etc. - you get the picture.


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