Monday, March 12, 2012

Discussions

Bob S. and I had a discussion today about a post I made a while back on the move Act Of Valor.  I love discussions that cause me to think.  I'm not the most skilled critical thinker a most folks can argue circles around me.  I remember in middle school social studies class I had to debate a gal over timber usage.  She represented the tree hugger camp and I, the lumber industry.  I did a ton of research but promptly got my butt kicked in the debate.  One of her main points was that people could live in caves as alternative means of housing and thus avoid using timber.  I got a C on that project only because of the reams of research I did.  I could have won the debate with one line that I naturally though up about 3 days later, "Exactly how many people do you know who live in a cave?"  Pretty sure that would have been end of story but that's not how it turned out.  Sorry for the bunny trail.  One to Bob S. and I discussing some things about Act Of Valor.  You might want to go back and read the original post first.

So Bob says to me:

Groundhog,

I served in the Air Force in the 80's when the military was largely ignored -- I took a different perspective from your same observation -most of the country isn't behind the military.

I looked at the type of people who served and still serve despite the fact that few still care about the country.

Think of the dedication, the integrity of those who served, still serve and will serve even though they know the country is drifting wildly from the ideal -- that say a lot.

It says we still have families and communities that can raise up such people.
It says we still have people who aspire to achieve those ideals and will defend the country as we try to work our way back - all isn't hopeless as long as we still have folks like that.
It says we still have much in the country to admire -- less then in the past definitely; but I don't see people flocking to get into Iran or Saudi Arabia, do you?

The other thing I took away is the simple fact as long as they serve; I should work to insure they have a country worth defending. It helped me realize that I need to stop being on the sidelines and get more active.
 Well put, had to chew a bit on it, then I said back:

 Bob,

It took me a few days to respond to you. Initially I needed to think it over, and then, of course, life got in the way. Go figure.

Let me try to clarify my rant some. I agree with the sentiment of the movie and I'm extremely grateful that we have people like that who will still serve their country in spite of what some people are trying to turn it into. I think the only reason the movie didn't grab me is that it didn't deal with our country, really at all. It just insinuated that everyone "back home" were chest thumping patriots who are 100% behind these guys. I dunno, maybe there really wasn't a good way to make this movie and try to explain the realities of "back home" at the same time. If I were 18 again I wouldn't hesitate for a second to join up. Heck, I'd do it today if I had any prayer of making it back in.

I find myself in a hard place. I'm proud of my service and theirs. Most of my life I've been proud of my country and yes, some of the time that was with rose colored glasses on. I suppose if you had to get down to the nuts and bolts of it I'm only not proud of part of my country. That would be the relatively large number of people that whether they realize it or not want to turn us into a Communist state. I don't think that's too strong a word for it either. I've seen nothing leftist that does not eventually equate to that type of government whether in that exact name or not.

Ensuring we have a country worth defending is the trick isn't it? We're in that nebulous area where things aren't abundantly clear. Direction isn't easily determined, even with some fairly predictable things coming. Economic problems (big ones) are likely unstoppable but who knows what will result from them?

I've read a number of people who have written lately about how we're now a country in decline. I tend to fall into this thinking myself, though as my darling wife pointed out to me recently, people have probably thought we'd gone into decline during every bleak period we've been through as a nation. Maybe we're just in a flat spot and the graph of our ascent still has a while to go up. I really don't know. I do know that none of the people who've written that sentiment lately have bothered to say exactly what we ought to do if we are in fact on that downward trend. You did though and really it's the only thing we can do and that's to get more involved.

America is ill and it's pretty serious. She's been ill before and has recovered before. There's a cancer in her that's tearing her apart and it's one we'll never be rid of. I read an awesome quote today.

"My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in our countrymen to correct abuses." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Rutledge, 1788

Jefferson was correct. I believe there are still large numbers of us that fit this category but we have largely abdicated any potions of authority that would allow us to "correct abuses". Those in authority pander to the free lunch crowd currently and they really can't say no or they'll be replaced. The abuses are enormous and the list is long. I'd like us to be able to use one of the lefts best practices against them and that would be those small incremental changes that have allowed them to get so close to their goal. I just don't know that we have the will or the time to do so. Liberty seems to come upon people in a great rush amid great events. Bondage creeps in and picks liberty apart one insidious bit at a time. Until it too can usher in its “great event” when liberty is finally toppled, crushed under its own weight due to its deterioration from within.


Can we stop this from happening? If enough of the people who were left would get active and oppose the insanity being foisted upon us I have no doubt we could stop it in short order. I know I personally don’t do enough though I do some. My list is small and I find it a struggle to enlarge. I don’t know that I’m fighting but I am resisting. I won’t stop that.

In a split comment post no less!  I had no idea blogger limited comments in length.  So I told Bob I thought it was a good discussion and I wanted to share it with my readership.  He's cool with that and cooking up his own post on it.  Anyway, he replied back:

Groundhog,

I think the only reason the movie didn't grab me is that it didn't deal with our country, really at all.

This is something that I've read in other places and I think that sentiment misses an important point -- the movie wasn't designed to deal with our country.

Not every movie has to examine the deeper political connotations of our current political situation in depth. One of my pet peeves is a movie that treats me as an idiot; having to spoon feed me their version of what is happening.

I can see for myself the corruption, the decisiveness, the entitlement mentality; it is up to me to determine IF those factors affect the situation in the movie.


Things aren't clear and direction isn't easy to determine but again I don't fault only the politicians. We, the people, have allowed our melting pot to become a salad bowl; each part that used to make our country strong now striving to remain apart.
We, the people, have said we will tolerate nearly anything instead of demanding that we take the best of each culture and resign the worst to the trash heap of history.

In my opinion it has gotten to the point where it doesn't matter if we have time or not; we have to act and act now. I'm not talking revolution but of making change politically. I appreciate the chance to discuss it here because I'll turn it into a post (fair is fair, eh).

Either we succeed on the national stage by changing the local or we set up enclaves where the ideals of our constitutional republic can weather the storm.

You talk about the great number of people who want to turn us into a communistic county and I won't argue their goal; just the quantity. I really don't see it. I see a few (relatively) moving the country and the vast majority going along for the ride. And that is in all political parties, not just the liberals. So the question is where do we go from here? Hint -- local elections.
All in all a pretty good discussion.  Lets see what Bob cooks up out of this.  He's got less slop in his gear box than I do ;)

2 comments:

  1. While you await Bob S.'s response, here's my two cents' worth:

    I served in the early to mid-70s, when the military was loudly disliked. Not everyone hated it, but there it is. We were spat upon in public, and roundly despised at home & abroad. I was stationed in Europe from '73 to '75, and the anti-American riots & protests weren't pretty.

    I felt as though I needed to volunteer, and enlisted at 17, right out of high school. Dad & Grandpa were both veterans. I didn't feel like a hero, just a guy who saw a need & took steps to fill it - there was a job to do & I did it. I used to get tears in my eyes when I saw an American flag.

    Now I don't recognize what the U.S.A. has become. I didn't leave the U.S. - it left me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rev,

    I think he's going to work up his own post on it over at his place but he may respond back here as well. Curse blogger for not having as convenient a way to get replies as Word Press! Should just be a stinking check box, but I blather...

    I think what we're boiling things down to is, what is to be done? What can be done for that matter? I'm still chewing on that. Your sentiment rings true to me. I'm floored by how much has changed since I was a kid. As I look now it's actually rather awe inspiring how well the left has used the very freedom our forefathers earned us not so long ago. Freedom is by far the harder thing to keep.

    ReplyDelete