Recent conversations with various people have reminded and re-inforced to me just how out of touch so many have become with the Foundations of the American Liberty, and the very principles of democracy and governance. Publicly and privately, I have re-iterated that if those that love the Constitution cannot convince the American People of its value, with words, no degree of rebellion will do so.
These conversations have occurred with people of various ages from tweens to 90 year olds, from self-described Communists to Constitutionalists, from those who espouse an even greater expansion of government power and taxation, to those who believe the government has a conspiracy behind every event in the news. It will never cease to amaze me that some will believe that all corporations are evil, and "the people" would be better served with complete government control, a monopoly, of the same services, rather than the personal choice between various companies that must compete for their purchases.
Nor will my astonishment cease that so many can not see the cause and effect of American jobs being moved to China because they, individually, along with so many others like them continue to purchase cheap Chinese products, rather than buying the few things still Made in America. They justify their puchase of the cheap Chinese trinkets, with their claim that they can't afford and should not pay for quality products made by their neighbors. Then they turn around and complain that "corporations" are shipping jobs overseas. They want higher wages, but fail to recognize that they are unwilling to pay for the higher wages of their neighbors, preferring the cheap prices of goods made by asian kids and Chinese political prisoners.
Some have even suggested to me, that there is no "American culture," that it has been subsumed by consumerism, and that we as a people have become superficial. In some respects, I am forced to admit their point, even as I observe some of the culture of the South sapped by the same forces, while many old traditions of the South are claimed by its opponents for consumeristic or altruistic reasons, and very different ideologies.
As a kid, my father often took us to the Farmer's Market, where we bought bushels, literally, of fresh produce, from farmers he personally knew, at prices others paid for a few cans of processed food. My mother would slave over the stove for days, thereafter, with all of us helping, canning and freezing the food we'd eat for the next year. It was decades before I realized a pressure cooker could be used for "regular cooking." We had three, and a process for streamlining the process. Today, people go to the "Farmer's Market," because it's popular to buy "organic" foods, as if the stuff you buy in the supermarket is non-organic matter. They pay inflated prices.
We almost always had our own garden as well, which produced the fresh food we put on our table, as well as contributed to the canning process. It wasn't a trendy thing to do. It was the economical and smart thing to do. It was the Southern way. And after years in the military, I remember the surprise of the taste of a garden grown tomato, versus the mass produced stuff I had been eating in the mess hall for years.
Recycling meant re-using and repairing things that today would otherwise be thrown away. New cars were a rarity, and we fixed our own cars, not to mention changed our own oil.
America does have a distinct culture, even if has been washed over by a culture of consumerism and multiculturlism. America's culture is one of Freedom, of Liberty, of personal Independence & Responsibility. It is one of doing what's necessary, and all that one can for themselves, before asking for a handout. It is a culture of helping your neighbor when he needs help, but not one of being a subject to the whims and largesse of the government, even in a crisis.
My entire life I've heard of the "responsibility" to vote and I would counter that it is a "Right" to vote, but the responsibility is to educate yourself on what and who you are voting for, or against. I believe we've gotten into the mess we have because too many voters have no idea what the politicians they put in office are doing. Too many vote solely based on the letter behind the name. Some I have encountered are still voting based on which party did what to cause the Great Depression, and which they perceive presided over its recovery. Others vote based on propaganda over things that cannot be changed by the people they are voting for. There is ZERO chance Roe v. Wade will be overturned. ZERO. There is no way a Constitutional Amendment would be passed to ban abortions, and that is the ONLY way that it could be changed.
Our Founders created an alliance of States, formed for a Common Defense. They purposely and with reason made domestic governance a State responsibility and authority, banning the Federal Government from interfering in State and Local matters. They immediately passed the Bill of Rights, protecting the People from the Government, based on the inalienable Rights granted every Individual, by "the Creator" as they had previously stated in the Declaration of Independence.
Today, we have widespread support for the suppression of Free Speech, when it supports that with which we disagree. If it's labeled "hate speech," or argues against the messianic nature of the Politician in Chief, it "should be banned." We have widespread support for punishing corporations that build their products overseas, because Americans won't pay for the inflated union wages of stuff made here.
It is time for us, as a Nation, to revisit how the American Culture created the Foundation of Freedom, why the Founders created a system in which the greatest domestic governence was held to the lowest levels, and how the Right to Vote carries with it a Responsibility to know who and what you are voting for and against.
It is that Liberty and Freedom, which created not only the Greatest Country on Earth, but also the Economic and Military Superpower we became. It allowed penniless orphans to be become the richest men in the world, and allowed the richest heirs to become paupers.
Democracy just means you get a vote in something. It doesn't in and of itself guarantee you a single Right. One needs only look at 2009 Iran, or 2012 Russia to see that a vote can have as little positive effect as urinating into the wind. When the Rights of the People to speak against a government are suppressed, and the choices of politicians limited to those the powermongers at the top choose to allow you to pick, one is not a citizen, but rather a subject of that regime. Do you think they want to live under the oppressive yoke of their tyrants? NO, but they have no means (arms) to throw off their chains of bondage.
If the American People wish to maintain their Liberties, and their Rights, and the capability to choose, then they must educate themselves on the people and ideologies of those they put in office, and not just support a letter behind a name.