Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Damn I just love Thomas Jefferson’s writing. Don’t you? He’s so elegant, simple and just plain poetic. 

Now, normally, on this day I post the entire Declaration of Independence. Why? Because I believe in it as I do our Constitution. So much so that I joined the United States Navy and served our country. I swore an oath to uphold the constitution and I did my best to do so.

However; this year, on this day, I’m having a hard time finding anything to be patriotic about. The state our country is in concerns me greatly. People everywhere are fighting about this or that. Blind loyalty is only being rewarded with sophomoric leadership. It seems everyone has a finger pointed at everyone else for the problems they perceive to be plaguing the country. 

The funny thing is, there are no two sides to the issues. There are a plethora of sides for a cornucopia of issues. Everyone has an opinion or a solution, yet all those opinions and solutions seem to do is alienate more and more of us fellow americans. 
The rift between the classes has grown wider than the Atlantic ocean and the strife between the races is a close second.  People everywhere are scared, concerned and worried. I’ve observed people in the streets not looking each other in the eyes. They just pass by, head down, not making any attempt at acknowledging the other citizens as the y pass by about their daily ways.

This worries me. I know the cause of the problem. It’s trust. Things have gotten so bad with the leadership in this country that no one can trust anyone else.  After all, the last thing you want to do is to get into a fight with someone who doesn’t believe the way you believe or think the way you think. Whether it is right or wrong. This is America, we are all entitled to our beliefs. We are all entitled to our own sense of right and wrong. What we are not entitled to is getting verbally or physically abusive when someone says or does something we don’t agree with. Which is part of what makes this a great country. But if you can’t even trust someone to listen to your opinion without them lowering themselves to name calling or verbal assault, well then, your self preservation kicks in and you just end up keeping your head down and mouth shut.

The first amendment of our constitution gives the citizens of the united states these rights: Prohibition of Congress to making any law respecting and establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

That’s just the first amendment. That’s a lot.

Now, I know, I know, some news sources have a bias whether to the left or to the right and finding a source that just gives you the facts is an exercise in futility. I find it best to listen to as many different sources as possible and then after I’ve got enough information, I make up my own mind as to what was actually said or done in whoever’s name. It’s hard but it makes my own life a bit easier. 

I suppose that is what I’m trying to get at here. I’ve heard people screaming about “Fake News” for months now. People claiming they are going to boycott such and such station or paper or website because they don’t agree with the reporters. Well, that is your choice and right. I won’t take it away from you. I however find that the more you know, the better off you will be when it comes time to make a decision. Also; there are times where I learn details from other news sources that some say are fake. (And yes, both sides of this problem are guilty of throwing that stone.)

I’m for an open and honest communication of news, thoughts and ideas. It makes a person better for knowing as much as they can about any and all situations. To aggressively act out in hostility towards someone who doesn’t agree with you is just childish. Maybe if a person or people listened to what others had to say, they might learn something. To naturally assume you are right and have all the best ideas and answers is beyond arrogant and egotistical. So beyond that I don’t even have a word for it. It’s just downright childish.

What is the solution Skip?

This is a tough one for me. Simply because I like Mr. Jefferson like a bit of revolution every now and again. I think it’s healthy.

That is what I wish would happen. But it wont.

What needs to happen is that our leaders need to start acting like leaders and listening to both sides. Not just one or two people who have agendas that you agree with or that will make you even wealthier than you already are. Listen to the people in need, the people who are hurting, the people you take for granted.

Why should you listen to those people? Because I am those people and I know many others like me. Matter of fact, there are more of us than there are of you. And we’re getting tired and sick of your rhetoric, but mostly we’re getting scared of what you’re doing. And scared people are a dangerous people and scared people with nothing to lose are deadly.

So, I say to you, the leaders and wanna be leaders, read that opening to the Declaration of Independence, I mean, really read it. Read it until you understand it. Until you have it memorized and remember… this country was founded by men and women who were fed up with the fact that their voices weren’t being heard.

Have a great week.

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