The View From Here:
By Ken DeLaat
Wow, the USA’s initial 240 years were rough but 241 really seemed to crank up the country’s craziness quotient and expose an ever widening and seemingly unbridgeable rift that continues to demean our nation.
Side note to our two primary political parties: While dissent is always a vital component of our democracy, when most congressional voting runs nearly exclusively one way or the other determined solely by party affiliation it is no longer dissent. It is a simple (like the minds of those who follow this path) and clear case of party loyalty standing above loyalty to the country and NO, what’s good for your party is NOT what is good for our country so don’t even try with that level of BS.
By and large (or should I perhaps say ‘Buy’ and large) those who pretend to toil in our nation’s capital continue to project a rather pathetic representation of what governing in this potentially amazing country should be.
However, putting such curmudgeonly commentary aside, we have many things to be proud of in America. Every day there are feats of heroism going unnoticed in areas beyond the beltway. We are a nation of doers and achievers and throughout our land there are folks who are striving to help lift others up and create sustainable, prosperous communities that everyone can share in.
For every off the wall talk show host who discusses with a guest the possibility of kidnapped children being kept on Mars for sex trafficking (yes, really, and with a sizeable following I might add with incredible sadness) there also exists legitimate productive dialogue among our citizens in our day to day lives. Granted the trolling and self-righteous rhetoric on social media represents the antithesis of this but genuine discourse between individuals remains alive and well if sought.
This is a splendid nation. With all it’s challenges America is unique among the countries of the world with an exceptional array of people whose origins are spread throughout the globe. ’We are family’ as the song goes, though as with most families a bit beset by squabbles from time to time.
So let’s celebrate our collective birthday with the hope that year 242 brings us closer to embracing inclusion and rejecting the ideas of those who seek to promote divisiveness.
And in that spirit here are a few wide ranging quotes about the phenomena that is America. Perhaps they will provide a few thoughts to chew on along with the hot dogs, potato salad, and watermelon gracing your Independence Day plate.
“America is a tune. It must be sung together.”-Gerald Stanley Lee
“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”- Adlai Stevenson
"When you’re born into this world you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America you get a front row seat.” George Carlin
“Never let the sacrifice of others be for nothing by doing nothing.” L.M. Fields
“A politician will do anything to keep his job -- even become a patriot.”-William Randolph Hearst
“America - a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose.” -Herbert Hoover
“What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do something about them.” -Henry Ford II
“You can be proud of your country and culture and, at the same time, recognize that there is something that's wrong that needs to be changed.”-Sarah Benson
“In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem” -George Carlin
“Freedom is without a doubt the greatest blessing we have in America so let us protect it and defend it with all our hearts and all our energies.”-Lawrence Welk
“The essence of America – that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.”-Condoleezza Rice
“(Media question to Beatles during first U.S. tour 1964)
"How do you find America?"
"Turn left at Greenland.” -Ringo Starr
“In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.” -Bertrand Russell
“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”- Gore Vidal
“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”-Barack Obama
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville
“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” - Mark Twain
“At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.”- George Washington
You know what made us the biggest, meanest, Big Mac eating, calorie-counting, world-dominating kick-ass powerhouse country in the history of the human race? The pursuit of happiness. Not happiness. The pursuit.” -Will Ferguson
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."-John F Kennedy
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”- Bill Clinton
“We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come at the age’s most uncertain hours
And sing an American Tune”-Paul Simon, American Tune
And, oh what an ever changing tune it is.
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