We’ve had the opportunity to spend a few days in the Pacific Northwest with my Uncle Flip and Aunt Michelle this week. It’s always a treat to see them since they live on the far end of the country from us and it isn’t always easy to get up there. When we can arrange to have a few days to spend with them (thanks again, Landstar), it’s just awesome.
My Uncle Flip is daddy’s only living brother, and being with him is a lot like being able to be around my dad again. He tells me stories about them when they were young, and I get an insight on the guy named “Rex,” instead of the guy I knew as “Daddy.” It’s extremely comforting to me to know the family history isn’t lost – Uncle Flip is very passionate about his heritage and knowing our family origins, and he passes the knowledge on any chance he gets.
My dad taught my brothers and me to be good Americans. He taught us to respect the flag and the people who put their lives on the line for the right to fly it freely. He taught us to obey the law, to respect the lawmen and women, and assist them in any way to do their job. He taught us our rights, and showed us how to use a gun safely. He taught us to believe and have faith in a higher power, and to hold true to it, regardless of the implications. He taught us to rely on ourselves, be a steward to the land around us, and help those who can’t help themselves.
There was a time when all of these qualities were considered the traits of good Americans. People who worked hard and paid their dues were able to live freely and as long as they weren’t breaking the laws of man, they were left alone.
My daddy would be heartbroken to see the shambles of those ideas we have left in our society. It is the only reason I would ever be glad he didn’t live to see it. It would absolutely horrify him to know I can’t watch “The Dukes of Hazard” on TV anymore because it’s considered racist now. It would kill him to know I can’t walk into certain establishments with a picture of a skull, gun or flag on my T-shirt, even if I was there to spend money. He’d be more than a little irritated at the fact that I couldn’t walk my dog on a leash in certain cities, without having it taken from me, because of the breed.
He would mourn the loss of respect the general public has for the officers of the law. More importantly, he would be angry at the treatment our returning veterans have received, while a television show family of some of the most vapid and disgusting people on earth commands respect and awe from the general public.
We are upside down and backwards in the world today. Those of us who don’t acclimate to change well are having a hard time over here. The “NO” group is winning the war of life, there are far more “NO” than “YES” signs posted. After watching things unfold in the media this week, it’s become increasingly evident that the general public is so easily misguided, and so easily led, I seriously believe we are in imminent danger of stupiding ourselves to death as a nation.
We scream and cry on Facebook and FoxNews about the most non-issue issues and whip the partially and ill-informed into a frothing, gurgling frenzy. Meanwhile, the gubmint takes the opportunity to screw us in a thousand ways while no one was looking. Smoke and mirrors, folks. They fell for it, and they will again and again.
(By the way, in case you missed it, there’s this place called “Yemen” and they’re marching in the streets, calling for the death of Americans while they gather their forces and allies in the Middle East to do the same. But y’all just keep on fighting about a flag over there, don’t be concerned with the people plotting to kill you and destroy everything you know. It’s okay. The Kardashians will save you.)
As depressing as this is to me, I have hope that there are enough of us who cherish and know our history to keep it for the future generations. I want my great-grandchildren to know about the country called “America,” not the place they know as “Murica.” The thought that I will likely have to carry these histories as deep, dark secrets is ridiculous, but probably very close to the truth.
All of the bad can’t sway my love for this country. All the indignant self-righteous who consider themselves “activists” can’t make me hate the process. All the weirdness, hate and vitriol in the press only reinforces my belief that we are at least free enough to act stupid in public. As sad as it is, it’s something, and I’ll take it. God Bless America.