When we talk about Americans, just whom exactly are we talking about? Are we talking about white middle-class Americans (not much of them anymore), right-of center Americans (too many of those), Native-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Liberal Americans, Middle-of-the road Americans or…forget it, I could fill the page with hyphenated Americans. What about just plain old “Good Americans”, who are they? Do they exist anymore, or have we become so self-involved that the phrase has no meaning anymore. Is the world so homogenized that we are just individuals from the place called America?
I have read so much lately by good intentioned and worldly people that America no longer exists. I have also read that America was a fluke, put together by people that really had no intention but to stop the fruits of the colonists labors from going to England so that we could keep it here. That our founding fathers were no more than “rascals” that happened to be at the center of a proprietary movement that wanted to keep American riches in America. That the Constitution was a document that they wrote only to keep the new nation from falling apart, that nobody we now look at as our “founding Fathers” wanted any part of it and actually despised it.
While all of this may have some grain of truth to it, the fact is that the United States has had a pretty good run compared to many other great civilizations. There are many that believed that America got what it did by riding roughshod over different cultures. That is true, but the question here is why? Did we do it out of a desire to conquer, or was it part of a greater plan? We, like many nations before us, have, made terrible mistakes. We treated the Native Americans badly, African Americans badly and members of some other cultures badly. We have also done some fine and noble things.
After World War II we helped to re-build a war shattered Europe. We brought the Japanese a better way to govern, not taking revenge on an enemy that had hideously mauled us and had actually had many Americans thinking that we couldn’t defeat the Empire of Japan. The German people that had destroyed Europe were actually made whole again by American policy. The Marshall plan, while self-serving in some ways, was one of the greatest humanitarian efforts in the history of the world. As much as Americans see our nation as an imperialist, war-loving nation, there are as many people around the world that think of America as a majestic place, full of well meaning people.
I have been around the world. I have been in Japan, Korea, Germany, France, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Mexico and a few other places and I’ll tell you this, I have been welcomed with open arms by people that once tried to kill us. All around the world there is a genuine affection for Americans. Sometimes they don’t like what our government is doing, but their affection for the average American has not waned, even with the terrible policies of the Bush Administration. This is still where many people want to emigrate too. Not just because of our wealth, but because of what America means to so many people around the world.
There are people in many other countries that know what we are going through with this Right wing, war-glorifying government. Many people around the world have had their own versions of Bush and Cheney. Some worse than what we have. This is no reason to turn our backs on what we have accomplished in the years since we have become a nation. There are people that look to America to throw off the yoke of hyper-capitalism that we call the Multi-national Corporate structure that isn’t a nation at all, but like acts like one. We talk about al-Qaeda as being a stateless enemy but this enemy is far worse. They cut down rain forests, bribe their way through the wishes of the indigenous populations, they take resources from nations that can’t extract their own resources, and with their bottomless coffers they introduce technology and pay the people that own the resources pennies on the dollar. They rip through the earth and shift populations and seed revolutions that will make their bottom line grow higher. It may be that companies like DeBeers, that have wrecked havoc with the nations of Africa are thought to have been regulated, but they are not. The people of Iraq by International Mandate have never been able to drill for oil where they know exists vast pools of light sweet crude but have been thwarted in their efforts to drill in their own country by OPEC. The average Iraqi has never received the profits from their own oil. It has gone to American and Dutch and other Big oil conglomerates and the pittance that was left went to a dictator that built palaces and used it to keep the people subjugated. Now that the American government controls Iraq, we want to give them 30% of their own oil, with 70% going to the multi national oil companies.
Most Americans are seeing what is being done and they are disgusted. They see the sectarian violence that has raged in Iraq on and off for thousands of years and they blame our government. While it’s true that we did bring it to a boil with our vision towards reigning in Iraqi oil profits, the fact is that we didn’t start this violence, different Islamic factions have been fighting with each other since Islam became a religion. Like other religions, it’s good for nothing except isolating people into different groups and extolling them to kill each other. Religion is the opiate of the masses, and like other drugs, it is destructive and counter-productive. Look at the fundamentalists in our own country. There are those Christian fundamentalists that have bankrolled Bush and walked in lockstep with people whose business is war and subjugating the rest of the world. Nice bunch of “holy people” we have here.
What I’m trying to say here is that Americans have done more good in my opinion than bad. Americans believe in a fair shake for everyone. To turn your back on the good things that this country has done, because of the bad things we are doing, is a cop-out. Bush isn’t the dictator yet. Because we have some bad people in Congress doesn’t mean our Republic has reached the end of the road. We still have time to turn this government around, and the only way we can do this is to bring the people that are trying to destroy what we stand for in front of the American people for judgement. We know that they lied to the American people. The men and women in uniform are our sons and daughters, are the young people we raised. I can tell you, after wearing the same uniform for 21 years, that they don’t believe in what they are doing anymore than we do.
Don’t go looking for a “magical politician” to make things right. That didn’t happen when we had almost the same problems with Nixon, Agnew and Kissenger. The people as a whole got rid of them and backed Congress, thereby giving them the power to make those criminals leave. I wish they would have paid for their deceit, but maybe this time we will get that far. This is our country, as much as it is theirs. They work for the people and its about time that we gave them their pink slip. There are 300,000,000 million of us. They can’t muzzle all of us. They can’t even shut me up. Instead of arguing with each other, start arguing with them. Our disunity is their strength. Call this the “Second American Revolution” if it helps you to understand what we are up against, but don’t ever give up. If you do, then America will be no more, and it could be decades, if ever when another civilization like ours comes along again. Don’t let this happen on our watch. We owe it to the people that came before us and to the people that will come after us. Don’t let this generation, the generation that has already stopped one wrong war, along with our children now be held accountable for losing our republic.
One of my ancestors from my Mother’s side of the family was Senator Daniel Webster. There is old story that his ghost appears every once in a while and asks: “How goes the Union?” I only hope that if he appears again, that he hears that it’s still strong and vibrant.