We are an angry nation! Everywhere we turn we see and hear hostility, hatred, fear and anger expressed from the front page news, to local news, to politics, and even the sports pages. We are angry about a lot of things: taxes, health care , immigration, abortion, birth control, voter registration, national debt, corporate greed, shrinking of the middle class, cost of living. I am of the opinion that we need to seriously consider a revision of or salute to our flag. We should replace the current version of “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The final words should perhaps read, “an angry nation, denying God’s love to those who don’t agree with us, severely divided, with liberty to do what we want regardless of the common good, and retribution toward those who threaten us; and with justice for those who can afford the high price!”
Our front page news and TV news every day tells about murders ,or shows angry scenes at the border towns as people shout hateful words and shake angry fists at young illegal immigrant children from Central America, In Wichita, it seems every news program begins with a “breaking news” report of some violence in the city—a shooting after a quarrel, a robbery, a beating. It includes drunken drivers killing innocent people and the family members of the loved one who died reacting in anger and demanding punishment and revenge for the killing of their loved one.
Even the sports pages contain a violent view of life: For example, football, a violent sport that is often reported in warlike terms with sports analysts speaking of the potential damage that those trying to get on a team are likely to do to their opponents—“hard hitter” a “vicious tackler”, etc.
In our political arena, after the primary elections, the candidates now state “the battle has just begun!” And the character assassination mud is already in the air for the November general election. Fear and hatred are the hot-buttons that are being pushed, and as Yogi Berra once said: “it’s deja vu all over again!” Hostility towards opponents, hostility toward immigrants, hostility towards anyone and any issue that the candidate doesn’t agree with is the way the political opponents work these days, it seems, and if you don’t agree with the person about the issues then you will be slandered, vilified, and be subject to character assassination. There is little discussion of the issues—it’s all personal and hostile and an attempt to appeal to the fear and hostility of the voters in this angry nation.
In all of the above, it seems it is always the “other person’s” fault. It seems it is “us”, the pure and above reproach against “them” who deserve our contempt, hatred and retribution because somebody must be blamed for the bad things that happen. It is always someone else’s fault. A recent example of this is an article about an interview with Kansas Governor Brownback, in which he explains the reason for his poor showing in the primary election (Brownback got 60% of the vote and his opponent, an unknown and poorly financed got 40%) is all to be blamed on President Obama! Really??!!
What goes out the window in an increasingly hostile and fearful and angry nation is any desire to strive for the “common good” of all the people. It is always “ME” and never “WE” that wins out in the midst of the hostile and fearful times I have described above. There is a better way. The hatred and fear mongers among our politicians and political party activists need to go back to “the founding fathers.
The Founding Fathers that conservatives like to appeal to had a lot of disagreements—-often very vigorous disagreements. But when they came together to write a Constitution that would govern our country they made sure to include in the Preamble these words: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, promote domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
Those in our present Congress would do well to examine and try to explain how they are keeping the oath they took to uphold the Constitution! With their hostile and partisan bickering the “common welfare”; i.e. “the common good” goes out the window. Instead of seeking common ground on any of the issues above they continue to name-call, shake fists, assassinate character, etc. It is “ME” instead of “WE”. WHEN “ME” RULES INSTEAD OF “WE” THE COMMON GOOD IS NEVER ACHIEVED..
Those in our national and state legislatures and those who elect them might well take heed of the wisdom of the founding fathers and work for the common good of all the people of this country.
Only when “WE” the People, and not ME the individual, come together to solve our nation’s problems can we truthfully salute our flag, saying: “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”