I can’t really stand politics. It is like the ultimate “reality TV” show ever invented. There is no way that I could even make up some of the stuff that routinely passes for news in our politically charged country.
But then, I think about it and realize that “it has always been thus.”
Our country was carved out of the wilderness by a bunch of ornery roughnecks, explorers and treasure hunters. These folks were not about to be told what to do (or what to think) by any “authority” from on high- especially if it smelled like King George.
Our founders could barely agree on anything, other than that they shouldn’t have to obey some “edict from above.” They only thing they really agreed upon was their ability to disagree.
To be honest with you, that is one thing that I really like about America. We can all disagree. And disagree we do.
I try to not discuss politics very often, especially with friends. And I have some friends coming from every direction.
Some of my friends are die hard “eco-whacko’s” of the Portlandia type. Other friends are preparing for the apocalypse by stocking up on tuna and ammo. Some good friends are ready to see the whole system (“the man”) come down as in the “fight club”, while other good friends think that our whole system is being ruined by the bankers and “the fed.”
Some friends love Obama as a saint, others apparently would not respond if he stuck out his hand for a handshake.
All I know is that I try to avoid talking politics with almost all of these friends. I don’t think I will every change any of their minds. There is no way that any argument will cause any of them to change their viewpoints. They enjoy their political position and will not change it because I finally explained to them the “missing piece of the puzzle.”
Of course, these disagreements are contentious. But have they ever been anything else? Weren’t their massive disagreements over whether to even split from the British? Weren’t their disagreements over tariffs, sovereignty, states rights, property rights, slavery that eventually ended in a flat out war?
Haven’t we had political schemes throughout our whole history? It was H. L. Menken who noted that “I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.”
It has always been thus.
One thing I really like about America is that we can totally disagree and still be friends. We don’t have to line up side by side politically in order to hang out. We can agree to disagree politically, and yet still work together, play together and be prepared to defend each other.
Though I do not agree with all of these friends, I totally defend their right to believe differently (and passionately).
America is still strong because of our ability to passionately disagree and still cooperate with each other. We have the freedom to communicate, to teach, to preach, to write any old way that we desire. Everyone can try to tell me what to believe or think, but none of them have the power to make me think in a certain way. I decide that. Just as the founders of this country decided for themselves who they would “obey.”
Another thing that I like about America is that it rocks.
What a time to be alive!
Think about it. What other time in history is so cool. We have so much going on. Change is happening faster than it has every happened in the past.
Actually it makes me breathless when I think of how “blessed” or “lucky” we are to be living right here, right now.
Here are a few things that make me think that we are fortunate:
- We can communicate with individuals or with “the masses” instantly from almost any phone, email, text, internet connection. (compare that to trying to communicate up until the mid 1800′s, before which urgent messages had to go by horse and/or ship and would take weeks, months and sometimes years for a reply)
- We can enjoy grapefruit, oranges, plums or any other of the 38,719 or so items at the average grocery store. (compare that to eating bread for breakfast, bread for lunch, and bread for dinner- as most of the population of the world has had to do throughout history).
- We can get repaired from minor injuries and actually wear out as an old guy (compare that to dying from a toothache or having an average lifespan of around 30 as most folks have had throughout the centuries)
- We spend each day and sleep every night with an AC or a heater to control the climate (compare that to the kings of old who were sleeping on bug infested hay in a castle with stone walls that were freezing in the winter and hot during the summer with open sewage in the rooms and the moat)
- We can chose our “occupation.” In other words we can decide how we want to spend our time earning a living. (compare that to the vast majority of folks throughout the history of the world that worked their asses of day and night to grow enough food so that they wouldn’t starve- and even then starvation was a very real possibility)
- We can turn on the lights, use electricity, have cold (& safe) food, control the climate, communicate instantly and broadly, travel quickly and safely.
- We can generate energy simply from the sun. (compare that to the historical ways of getting and generating energy- digging/cutting/burning)
Right here and right now in America we have a lot going for us. And the rest of the world also has many of these same benefits. We’re not perfect by any means, but come on, we certainly have much to celebrate!
Happy birthday old girl.
We may not be doing everything right, but we are doing some things right… and I am glad that we have another year to celebrate.