American Solidarity

(freerepublic.com)
(freerepublic.com)

By: Wayne Brown

I recently read a rant posted by a writer friend who discussed how we as Americans have become so entrenched in our belief structure politically that we are all but handcuffed from using our own common sense.  She cited several examples of her own pointing out her views on environmental issues while at the same time claiming a conservative slant on politics.  Her point was that our labels do not always serve us so well and many times we are prone to hide from the label for fear that it will cause us problems.

 

Looking back over her thoughts, I think she made some very good points.  She also made me stop to think what I really believed and how important that was to me in the big picture of things today.  Our country is probably more divided over politically-inspired issues that it has ever been other than maybe at beginning of the Civil War.  There is a lot of pressure on people to decide where they stand and to support that stand once they take it.  Remaining outside the fray in today’s world can only be a function of either isolation or sheer ignorance.

 

As I look at my own beliefs politically and culturally, I think I probably fit well into the slightly skewed bell-shaped distribution of the American population.  That distribution is distributed fairly evenly between the left or liberal poll and the right or conservative poll with the moderates or self-described independents lining up somewhere along the mean of the distribution.  This leaves America statistically slightly skewed to the right or conservative side.  Amazingly that skew does not show up as commonly as one might think and thus we hear a lot of references to the thought processes of the “silent majority.”

 

For too long now, that so-called silent majority has remained a bit too silent hiding in the closet on some issues and holding back on others.  That portion of the population which forms the skew to the right can and are easily swayed outside the polls of effect in many instances.  Sometimes, the right candidates do not end up in the race and the voters drop out. Sometimes the voter feels like the day is lost and gives up on voting.  Any number of things can come to light which can kill the small edge in the statistical distribution.

 

That said, where does it leave us as a country and as a people?  Political affiliation and party line have been a tradition for many demographics of America over the entire time of the country’s existence. Family names pass the gauntlet from generation to generation to uphold the family’s political tradition.  Personally, I grew up in a very democratically dominated southeast of the 1960’s.  Most everyone I knew in those days were born democrats and voted the party ticket religiously.  Today, as I look back on the south of my youth, I see just the opposite, most of those states that were once heavily democratic are now heavily conservative.  Did the people change or did the politics change?

 

I think that you can say that it is a little of both.  In my days  in the south, agriculture was still pretty much the bread and butter of life there.  The impact of FDR’s post depression efforts had saved the south though much suffering had been witnessed.  Over time, especially in the latter part of the 20th century, manufacturing and jobs began to roll into cities and towns of the south.  People moved from the farms into the towns and began to enjoy life from a different perspective.  Their needs changed; their desires changed; and their world was affected by more and different things.  So, we can conclude that people did change and those changes in turn caused a shift in the political climate of America.

 

I contend that there are certain landmarks in history which are connected by dots.  Those landmarks are associated with change, significant and permanent change which shows up in the years that follow the timing of the event.  If we looked at and plotted examples of those landmarks in our recent history, we could easily conclude that events such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassination,  the events of 9-11-2001, all had permanent and significant impact on the years following that event.  There are others as we go back through time but I think you see the significance of what I am pointing to here.

 

Certainly there are other events of significance which dot history and are worthy of mention in any permanent record in history.  The difference is that these events, no matter how big they seemed at the time, did not have any real long term effect on the behavior of people on a broad basis.

 

As an example, we can look at the period directly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  America was, in those times,  a rather simple place in many ways compared to the complexities of today.  We were a people who had not yet experienced the rapid growth of technology driven by the race into outer space.  We were a people with only one working parent, a one-car garage, and a modest home normally just large enough to cover the needs of the family occupying it.  With the death of Kennedy came the years of the Vietnam Conflict and America’s deep involvement in it. What had started as a small “beatnik” movement of poetry readers in the coffeehouses of New York soon turned into a “love generation” of “hippies” obsessed with free love and drugs.  Over time those who lived these experiences and survived became adults and brought their influence to bear on the politics and population of America.  The era of the 1960’s dug the ditch of political division considerably deeper in this country than it had ever been before and it would remain so until present day.

 

Out of that era came a lot of “labels” like some of the one’s I mentioned above.  With regard to war, there were the “hawks” and “doves” that split across the aisles to argue solutions in Vietnam.  “War Monger” was a term readily used to describe anyone who supported the actions of the USA in Vietnam.  Terms such as “love child”, flower child”, “pothead”, and “peacenik” were common to the vocabulary.  It seemed that the untimely death of Kennedy signaled a new awareness in the world.  It was an awareness very much of self and self-actualization.  It was no longer a time when young people did what was expected of them.  It was a time of revolt, not just in America, but in many areas of the world.  The feelings of that time dripped down on to the fabric of this country like a bucket of paint tipped from the top of a ladder.  There was little that it did not touch and change in the process; a change of permanence but not necessarily of progress and improvement.

 

Those of us living in America today who can look back on those times in our history see that line of change and the impact that it has had as those generations have past into adults and now are moving into senior citizenship status.  We see the ties in environmentalism, animal rights, global peace, world hunger all woven into the fabric of that time since the death of John Kennedy.  We also see it in our politics and the division in our mindsets.  We see it in our stubbornness to hold our ground and not compromise.  All of that goes back to a time when Americans became a bit more selfish and changed history forever.

 

Where does that leave us today?  I think if I had to put one word on it from my personal perspective, I would call it “victimized”.  Over time now, as a people, in all our selfishness, we have unconsciously done something of harm to ourselves.  We have placed ourselves and our opinions first and foremost and shoved our place as Americans to secondary levels of priority.  We stopped asking “What’s good for America?” and asked “What’s in it for us?”  “What can we get out of this that will benefit us?”  For all the waking up America did in the generations of the post 1960’s, we did more to move to the position of a selfish nation than any other accomplishment.

 

Going back to the earlier concept of labels.  We now divide ourselves across the aisles between liberal and conservative ideas and fight to the death to prevail over each other.  It is more important to us that our side wins; that our side is right, than it is to ask what is best for America in a given process or consideration.  Being on the winning team provides us with more self-satisfaction than supporting a direction which makes sense for the overall health of our nation.

 

Having thought this through, I have come to the conclusion that my principles as a conservative take a backseat to my concern for my country.  I believe that “patriotism” is defined simply as wanting what is right and good for our country so that not only we but generations after generation who come after us can see, feel, and touch all that was and is great about a place called America.  I believe that “patriotism” is our last hope and our last bridge across that great void that now divides us politically.  I believe that we as Americans must recognize that fact and adapt our behavior to fit it.  We cannot depend on our politicians to lead us there for they, driven by their own selfish desires, have been responsible for much of the void that separates us today as a people.

 

Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.”  Truman paid for many of his own meals and expenses of his presidency because he did not want to burden the American people with it.  He held the Office of President at a level of esteem that he did not set for himself.  He knew the admiration of the American people was with the high office and not the man occupying it. On that basis, he too held the office at a level of respect and awe and was keenly aware of his responsibility to fill the requirements of the job the American people had given him.  When his term was over and the new President was sworn in, Harry Truman, along with his wife Bess, quietly got into their car and drove home just like any other citizen of America.  In Harry’s mind, the high office still remained, but Harry Truman was just another average Joe heading home to supper.

 

Much of that has been lost now in America.  We have occasional glimpses of it at times but it never seems to last.  It always seems to come back to the “me” aspect; to the power and the greed which particular people can and do glean from the high elective offices of America.  Nixon attempted to use the power of the Presidency to cover his criminal tracks in a two-bit botched burglary, Clinton couldn’t keep his mind and hands off women long enough to keep them from tainting the high office.  That list gets longer and far more populated when we move to the Senate or The House and look at the behavior there.  And in the end, we are now in an era, when far too many Americans want to shrug their shoulders and say, “you are making too big a deal of this” after an elected official has tainted his high position.  We have come to the time when our culture no longer has expectations that reach to the esteem Harry Truman might have assigned.  That seems to be our “modern day heritage.”

 

We argue about birth certificates, about conspiracies, about education records, stains on blue dresses, off-shore bank accounts, paid prostitutes, and pay-offs by PAC’s and big unions.  We argue among ourselves about the impact and value of that behavior in our society while acknowledging the presence of it.  These are not things we should be arguing about.  These are not things that should be acceptable to us as Americans.  These are nothing more than political divisions and diversions created by our elected politicians and those hoping to replace them to draw dividing lines in our population.  The poor despise the rich;  the race card gets played at the mere mention of the fact; those who seek to make money off the naïve public hide behind the virtues of environmental activism, and the list goes on and on and politicians open up a new can of them every day in the hope that it will bring more voters to their side of the tent.  We have finally come to a point where we are willing to kill each other to prove that we are right and standing on the winning side.  In doing so, we have totally lost our sense of patriotism.

 

Until we come to an awareness of this fact, our ability to find solutions and compromises which will address the issues will not be at the forefront.  Until we come to this awareness, we cannot even properly identify the problem because we have too many sitting in elected office more than willing to sit there and tell us what it really is.  As a result, we no longer have to think, someone else has taken that burden off of us.  All we need to know is the guy across the way is a “damn liberal” or a “redneck conservative” and our needs are filled.  We don’t need their viewpoints.  We don’t need their respect. We don’t need their opinion.  Ah, but we do, for in the end we are but one nation which will surely vanish if we continue to live in a house so divided.

 

America is here because somewhere way back there some people of varying backgrounds came together and had a vision for the future, a vision which would emboldened liberty, equality, and justice for everyone protected by it.  That nation was founded on the basis of Christian religious beliefs and formed with the idea that the “will of the people” would be served by the government necessary to the cause.  In turn, those people swore an allegiance not only to the republic but to God and each other to support what was good and best for America.  It is our duty and responsibility as patriots and citizens to see that the sworn allegiance is upheld not only for us but for those who come after us.

 

 

© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Comments 51 comments

SheriSapp profile image

SheriSapp 5 years ago from West Virginia

What can I say other than this is a detailed and really profound article. I agree that our nation is divided along way too many lines. I realize I am an ultra-conservative, some may call me a wing nut, but I know who I am, I know what I believe, and I know what I want from my government. I try to live my life in accordance with my ideals and voice my opinions often. I enjoyed your perspective here.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@SheriSapp... Many times our passion for our country comes through in the fashion you describe. I feel that way myself on many, many issues. I think that is good. The thing about it is there is nothing sinister here. You are not trying to divert your government to socialism or communism. You just want to preserved what we developed and have enjoyed all these years. What could be more patriotic. Put that same passion behind the effort to shift to a socialist state and suddenly it becomes rather sinister though usually not as exposed as it should be. You hang in there Sheri...we'll win it all someday! WB


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

I generally avoid any articles involving politics but I'm glad I read this one. You have presented a picture of a nation and all of it's growing pains. I think you have a good handle on the history that shaped today's ideals and I was one who grew up being shocked into fear by the darned air raid sirens when the schools would have you duck under your desk or line up in the hallway, crouched down with your arms over your head ... YEAH ... like that would do any good. I think the prevailing attitude as we (my generation) grew was one of live for today, which of course furthered the hippie movement and also brought forth "free thinkers."

I am a registered Independent and have only paid rightful attention to what is going on in the world for perhaps the past 25 years. I miss the days of one parent workers, one car in the garage, a time when children could actually play outside until dark and houses and cars were left unlocked. I am not naive enough to believe we can go back to those days, but I do believe we could do a much better job of being the "United We Stand" land that I grew up believing in.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

I am not an American but an Indian. I am a citizen of a democratic country. On the stand point of democracy if American people now a day’s thing differently, it is rather good of the people. In a democratic set up people’s thinking will lead the nation to the best of its citizen.


rkhyclak profile image

rkhyclak 5 years ago from Ohio

This is very well written. I come from a family that was mostly comprised of democrats until the last couple of presidents. There are still issues in my family that tends to lean that way, such as union support. I find myself viewing things nearly opposite of my family, yet have them to thank for my outspokenness and desire to be my own person. I agree that we are too divided in America. I wasn't around for most of the examples you provided, but putting what is best for America first is something we need to get back to.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne, I have long felt this division of the people is a planned effort that is working well. United we stand, divided we fall, has never made more sense than it does right now in this country. The constant bickering about issues like the Birth Certificate, Abortion, and other things accomplishes two goals. One is to further divide us into two separate groups, the other is a diversion to keep us from looking at important issues like the budget and spending issues. While we are busy arguing among ourselves about trivial issues, things we should know about are sailing through without our knowledge. I believe much of this is an intentional smoke screen to divert our attention from things that really matter.

I only hope it is not to late for our citizens to wake up and realize what is happening.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Poohgranma...All the fallout shelters were clearly marked around town...differen times, huh but still not times that I remember a country so divided along political lines. We so sorely need some leadership in the White House which can bring this country together and drive people to work more toward a common goal. We not only need we absolutely must have it because is that level at which the leadership must occur if it is to help us bring our house together. We can all look at it any way we want but that is the reality of our future if we stand divided...we will vanish. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@H P Roychoudhury...You are correct. As a free people we can ill-afford to let anyone else do our thinking for us...one day you wake up and the world has changed and you have no idea how it came about...We must not let that happen in America. WB

@rkhyclak...It is amazing that politics can cause as much rift within families as religion or money today. Back in the GW days, I saw a lot of folks hoping on the "hate Bush" bandwagon from the git-go when Gore lost the Florida count. From that point on, nothing Bush did for them was right yet I was always amazed that they could not see his desire to help the country. That same passion is now behind Obama for God knows why and continues to hang there regardless of the things he does. Honestly, I have never seen so much blind faith in one person who had done little or nothing to deserve it or keep it. It baffles me. Still, I believe we all have to look at a bigger picture that who the President is or who own Congress and realize that whatever is done must be done for the betterment of America...I seriously do not believe that has been the case for the past three years. WB

@Old Poolman...I think you make some very good points. The Tea Party Movement has been bombasted, scandalized, cussed, painted as racist, etc, etc. and yet it seems to be the only voice in the crowd calling for fiscal responsibility and accountability...what is wrong with that? Every successful business survives on those factors today. There are far too many issues which are dividing the country which need to be resolved in a common sense manner...forget this concept of "comprehensive reform"....let's solve the problem as it relates to the problem. Energy and our approach to gain independence from it should not be a political arena. We should be on a course that the majority of Americans favor and we stay that course regardless of who is in Washington. The same holds true with border security and immigration which, by the way, are two separate and distinct subjects and cannot be solved by one approach of "comprehensive reform"....Absolutely amazing BS! Thanks Mike! WB


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 5 years ago from Northern Germany

Wayne - you perfectly describe the changing conditions of a society, of its needs and pains. Because society changes, always new and altered dividing lines show up.

It is my understanding that political groups and parties in a democracy try to latch on to those cleavages. While doing so, political groups are also subject to change. Parties change, new parties appear, others simply vanish, because the cleavage a particular party had a hold on, disappeared.

Not so in the US. There is the GOP and the Dems and not much else. Cleavages in society evolve and disappear, the party system remains unchanged.

It appears to me, the political system in the US and their parties are kind of separated from the real society. There seams to be Teflon between parties and society. Is it possible that this situation causes some of the uneasiness and pain in the US of today?


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

The way I see it. Those at the top have divided America against itself so they can create a society, of, by and for them.

People in places like Wisconsin and Ohio are catching on to this and fighting back; see my hubs 'Wisconsin Wakes Up' and '(Re)Organized Labor'.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Wayne I wrote a hub over a year ago about the new civil war going on in America and it is not being fought with guns but with Ideas and the new weapons of choice are on the internet and cable television. I have gotten to the point where I do not trust any news source. But I do know that the America of my youth is nothing like the America I see these days. And while it was far from perfect there did seem to be some semblance of stability.

That is no longer the case. And you are correct in your assessment that the majority of people were dormant and indifferent. But now it seems all Americans are engaged. I think the Tea Party was the first result of this new anger. Because this was a group of Americans that said I have had enough ! Obama gave a message of hope but the reality is that he was voted in because of anger at Bush. And the last elections in 2010 where the GOP took over congress was also a vote of anger. What's the message ? We are angry !


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris57...you raise some very good points. The system has so evolved as a two party system that it matters little if other parties show up...they just have to take the splinter vote. At present, I think the Republican Party is going through a transition of sort to redefine what it is and develop a structure around that. At the same, the Democratic Party is in much worse shape although the devotees of the party fail to recognize it. I think the Democratic Party will be in turmoil at some point as to what the belief structure actually is or is not. At the same time, I feel the liberal left thinks in terms of emotion and empathy and the right thinks in terms of logic and independence. These philosphies may not allow those in the Democratic Party to question at what point does their party depart from the ideaology of democracy. WB

@teapartycrasher...The only way conservatism will win the day is for Americans to wake up the dilemma which we face. That fact is soberng, shocking. and causes one to want to know how we got here. Our present situation, once it fails and it will, will take no prisoners on either side of the aisle. We will all face the same misery. WB

@Tony0724...We can only hope that the majority is engaged and listenting. Logic eventually wins the day with fact over emotion so I feel we have a chance to prevail. We must not waste that opportunity if most of America is truly listening. WB


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Wayne, i lived in the Uk until i was 25 and have lived in Oz for the past 34 years so i have had to adapt to two different forms of government. Your hub can certainly relate to these two countries, with the same outcomes. I have never been aligned to one political party, so being a fence sitter, i've always been in an uncomfortable spot. Who should i vote for is the perennial question. There are ten thousand pros and cons with no clear answers. About fifteen years ago there was a big debate about whether to privatize one of the power industries. I wanted to join in the debate so i gained as much info as i could find available and joined in a discussion where about a dozen people had already made a decision on the issue. I wasn't really for or against as i felt i hadn't enough knowledge to really know what would be the most beneficial. I was staggered to discover that the twelve people i was discussing it with didn't really have a clue about the ins and outs of the issue and were really deciding on political ideology rather than facts and figures. We know that the real problem is that our leaders have to use short term answers to long term problems. Until that situation changes, which it probably never will, we are stuck in the same old mud pit. I've got mucky boots, but i eat well, i've got a roof over my head and a few bucks in the bank. So i'm not complaining. They had a coalition government in the UK during world war two, if only our current leaders could achieve that outcome, without squabbling. Cheers for a fascinating insight into a 'global' problem.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Politics should never be a volatile topic but it always is. This is our government we are talking about and yet there are so many people who really prefer to bury their heads in the sand. The long arm of the government reaches into every aspect of our lives. We had better find a way to talk to each other and solve our mounting problems. I say let the facts speak for themselves and let common sense rule the day. With those principles in mind, we might just get somewhere. Forge the labels, let's get to the core of the problem. Voted up and awesome.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - Nice read and now having met you, I get a better grasp on who you are and what you believe. Staying "above the fray" is another term for apathy to me. That is a chief cause of where we find ourselves.

People go through life trying to make ends meet, raise their children and provide a decent standard of living in most cases. They have placed too much "TRUST" in those who can't be trusted. Then there are those who want that free lunch and there is no such thing. Someone is paying the tab for what they consider their rightful entitlements. To me you are entitled to what you worked for and paid into. Anything above that isn't yours in the first place.

Another chief cause is all this being politically correct crap that we have to endure. If a spade is a spade then

dammit call it a spade and not anything else but. I prefer to go straight to the point and it irritates me to no end when some bonehead wants to start in with the name calling and allegations of being a racist. What stinks stinks no matter what color it is.

We have strayed so far from the US Constitution that it is truly pathetic. That to me is a hallowed document that requires strict interpretation as the Founding Father's wrote it that way. I am very concerned about the present path we find ourselves on and what we will leave as our legacy. The federal government, collectively, is totally out of control.

The mind set that "they sitting on The Hill know what is best for us" totally ignores the fact that "We, the People" are the rightful government in this nation. That fact needs to be now addressed head on if need be.

The "Great Uniter" has turned out to be "The Great Divider." The failure to recognize that by any citizen of this nation stuns me. I've been trotting around this earth for 6 decades now and have never witnessed what I am seeing now - NEVER, EVER. I thought Carter was bad but he was a kitten compared to what I am watching.

The government needs to be returned to the common man with common sense. Of that I am sure. Everyone knows what needs to be done up there, yet no one has the balls to step out there and take the necessary steps to throttle the monster. Of course, they helped create the monster in the first place. Rather than accept that responsibility they create Boogie Men to point the finger at.

The federal government can't be everything to everybody, nor should it be. The Constitution is based upon a limited federal government and not the loing tentacled monster that wants to invade every facet of a citizen's life. We need to get back to the basics of individual responsibility. I, for one, don't want to be my brother's keeper.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now. People need to jump down off their high political horses and take a good, hard look at what is going on up there, how it is going on and who is doing or nor doing what. All the partisanship in the world isn't going to solve one problem - not a single one.

The Frog


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

WB - great hub - voted up and awesome.

I have said so many times that our kids are not as patriotic as we were taught to be. I remember being a child and knowing I was proud to be an American. I don't think we hold that value as close to our hearts anymore. I am not sure many kids would even identify with Patriotism. It's sad to me. Most of the men in my family were in the service - most of them put in 20 years. I have an nephew in Korea now and a cousin who has past his 20 years but is still in the Air Force - he a pilot too:) I hope they are not risking their safety for a country that doesn't care.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Wayne,

I would take somewhat an opposite position. At the present time, the divide is so wide that any "meeting of the minds" for the sake of moving forward will be probably be a move in the wrong direction, as it will be a chimera of two completely incompatible philosophies (essentially, state vs. federal locus of power).

Your conclusion was certainly correct in the Founders' time. The republicans led by Jefferson and Madison were not that far apart from Hamilton's federalists. The former were midwat between what we today call libertarianism and conservatism, and the latter were midway between what we today call conservatism and centrism. The ultimate compromise was ordered liberty based on state locus of power, very small federal government, and inalienable individual rights. Essentially, the meeting of the minds led to a final Constitution that reflects the spirit of today's mainstream conservatism.

The problem we have now is that to "heal the divide," we must somehow reconcile constitutional democracy with "socialism lite" (progressivism, socialism without formal dictatorship). The two are irreconciliable. The divide can't be healed. Either one side will win, or alternatively we'll have a perpetual culture war. For the past 120 years, the progressive camp has certainly been winning from a federal lawmaking and judiciary point of view. Now the task is to first halt that advance, and then reverse the damage.

I'm not happy that this has to be a culture war, but in reality, that's what it is. And if we don't roll back the progressive agenda quickly, we will collapse, financially, geopolitically, and ethically.

Stu


THAT Mary Ann 5 years ago

Ambitious hub, Wayne.

Near the end you say,

"That nation was founded on the basis of Christian religious beliefs and formed with the idea that the “will of the people” would be served by the government necessary to the cause."

Jefferson didn't even want the US to celebrate Thanksgiving officially for fear it would look like an embrace of a religious holiday. And in 2011, with a country far more diverse than the America of the late 18th century, we can't simply focus on a "Christian" society when the constitution asks us to respect all faiths and those of no faith.

So all this wrapping oneself up in the flag may sound "patriotic" and feel "patriotic" but, in fact, for constitutional scholars it is often viewed as very anti-American.

I always admire your passion and the lengths to which you go in your writings to try to make your point, but frankly I am still not sure where you are on the political spectrum. I don't like labels either, and I agree that as we mature we are pretty much a blend of many political views across the board, but an embrace of the Tea Party doesn't seem to leave much room for flexibility in a lot of crucial social areas that, frankly, most Americans want government to stay the hell out of. So are you a Tea Party guy or not?

Great hubs make us all think, so congrats on that score!


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Wayne, This is an awesome beautiful hub. I don't like seeing our country so divided either. Hopefully we will one day stand together and put our country first.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Wayne:

Conservativism winning the day, IMO, would lead to the kind of society I spoke of in my comments; a sort of 'USA Inc'.

I think people in Wisconsin and Ohio have gotten the first taste of what 'USA Inc.' might be like, and are rightly not happy.

Mimi:

Always nice to see someone who hasn't swallowed what Beck, etc are told by folks like the Koch's. We'll stand together once enough folks see who's dividing us.

Also, all this talk about the 'Founders' might make a look at my hub 'We The People?', worth the time.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Tea Party Crasher - You seem to have a tendency to want to crash another person's article to "not so subtly" promote your own. Are you have problem attracting a readership.

I could never imagine why!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I agree with you. I belong to that small age group (or generation) stuck between the WWII generation and the baby boomer. In general we have a view that agrees with some of both of those groups and disagree with other aspects.

I find it important to be clear on meanings. For example, "patriotism." Patriotism should not be confused with "chauvinism" which means agreeing with you countries actions no matter what. Patriotism requires an intelligent loyalty. To some extent in the 1960's both the anti-war people and the pro-war people were wrong to some extent. Those supporting the war, to some extent, were often blindly loyal. Those against it were often self seeking opportunists (some of whom are in our present administration I think) or "useful idiots"

When everything is extreme it is hard to get a balanced view.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wayne, this is one of the best hubs I have ever read. I shudder every time I see or witness someone reverting to ignorant labels as some kind of quickie index-card solution. It isn’t. I fear I no longer understand people who view partisanship, today, as the answer. It just seems to have denigrated into immutable extremism that fans the flames of ignorance and distrust. Perhaps that’s the Independent in me. Divisiveness solves nothing and only creates more havoc and impenetrable chasms.

Up and awesome, btw.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Frog:

Not really. Just trying to show people how their being (mis)lead to vote against their economic interest, IMO.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Your self-promotion seems to be on a lot of Hubs, Just an observation. And it isn't appropriate.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Thanks for reminding me, Wayne, of the decency, wisdom and ethics of our former president, Harry S. Truman. If only Obumma could have taken a page from his book.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

WAYNE ALERT!!!

I got to worrying about Wayne not answering so I called him. We talked last night and he's fine. He's visiting his Mother and has no computer access. He'll be back on shortly.

The Frog


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

One final note: I should have said “such divisiveness…”

Both sides of the partisanship issue have important things to offer and to value. I just don’t agree with the all-or-nothing/us- versus-them premise, and do not view this as patriotism. Is this what our founding fathers had in mind?


Stu From VT 5 years ago

TeaPartyCrasher,

You have a very wrong impression of what the TPM stands for. It's planks are:

(1) Constructionist legal interpretation

(2) National debt reduction

(3) Free markets

Both unions AND corporate America HATE the TPM, because it won't compromise these principles for tax loopholes, earmarks, and other special interest goodies in exchange for contributinos.

The TPM is not anti-union; it's merely against MONOPOLY unionization (forcing people to join a union as a condition of accepting a job).

Regarding corporate America, go to some federal or state Chamber of Commerce sites. You will see nothing but contempt for the TPM, because the TPM wants to end government handouts to business.

Stu


Stu From VT 5 years ago

FP,

I think TPC has more in the ideology department than actual facts. See my post above.

Stu


Stu From VT 5 years ago

dahoglund,

Good post, Stu


Stu From VT 5 years ago

TPC,

Who is misleading who to vote against theor economic interest? How is it in our "economic interest" to overspend and print gobs of fiat money, rather than exercising fiscal prudence to reduce the national debt? You are not looking at the problem at a macro (national) level. You don't care that we could suffer a currency collapse and resultant depression. All you care about is getting your handouts today, and to hell with tomorrow. What happens today DOESN'T MATTER. What's important is where will we be 30 years from now, solvent or bankrupt?

Stu


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Stu - Some people want to live for today without a care in the world for what their children and grand children and their children have to face. That's the "ME" generation. It's all about them.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Stu:

And you think giving MORE power to corps and their CEO's MORE tax cuts to said corps and MORE tax breaks to those CEO's is going to help?

Like I keep saying--the folks in Wisconsin and Ohio have woke up, they see what the Tea Party is all about an America of by and for CORPORATIONS.

That is not the kind of America I want to see!

Frog:

Seems to me that the cons are the 'ME Generation', it all about GREED and ME. You folks just can't turn off Beck and Limbaugh long enough to see it. Folks like myself and my fellow 'Crashers'; folks see this.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

No, TPC. It's all about "YOU" if you think the course the nation is now on is acceptable. Keep your grubby little paw out and expect Uncle Sugar to fill it. That's about to end, whether you like it or not.

You couldn't see your hand in front of your face son. There's a chump a minute. Don't be one.


mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

Very much a thought provoking and well written hub. This hub has made me revisit my thoughts and beliefs, to determine whether they are based on selfishness or a love and concern for country and my fellow Americans. Very well written and a timely piece as well. It also shows your open-mindedness to other ideas, an asset that we should all try to develop.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Genna,

Unfortunately, Obama has divided this country so deeply that we now have three completely incompatible factions: conservatives who demand constructionist interpretation of the Constitution, centrists who have no ideology at all, and mainstream liberals who have been goaded into being near socialists who view the Constitution as an artifact of history (or at best something to be interpreted activistly to achieve whatever the "goal of the day" is).

These positions cannot be reconciled through negotiation, because they are too far apart. The only solution to our legal and financial crisis is to elect very strong conservatives who will take us back to Founder principles by repealing the legal damage of the Obama tenure, impose draconian fiscal restraint to run surpluses and pay off the official debt, and phase out the big federal transfer programs so their treasury assets can be abrogated (they are too large to ever pay off with any amount of fiscal restraint).

What the centrists/liberals don't understand is that the government "provides" nothing; it really only borrows money when it provides handouts, and these debts have to be repaid. The federal debts in total (on and off balance sheet) are now 700% of GNP and totally non-collateralized. We are broke.

Stu


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Frog,

Sadly, the "me generation" well describes about 2/3 of voters. And of the other 1/3, only about 20% of them even vote, and only a fraction of the 20% are activist.

In our form of government, ultimately the people are to take credit or blame for what happens in government, because we decide who to place there, or accept what others decide by not voting.

It's the old saw "be careful what you wish for, because you might get it."

Stu


Stu From VT 5 years ago

TPC,

I have no desire to give more power or tax loopholes to corporations. I simply want to free them from red tape, export tariffs, etc. so they can operate efficiently. I would like to see the FIT go away for both corporations and individuals, and just go to a VAT or end consumption tax. This would broaden the tax base almost 50%, allowing for much greater federal revenue without imposing a high tax rate. And all loopholes for corporations and the wealthy would be eliminated.

Wisconsin and Ohio are not engaging in "pro-corporate" activity. They are trying to end monopoly labor unions from bankrupting the state. The fights in Wisconsin and Ohio are about state employee unions, not private sector unions.

Stu


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Stu and Frog:

The Koch Brothers have taught you well. . .

Thankfully there's folks like me, and Warren Curtis here on HubPages to point out and speak out against them.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

TPC,

What does any of this have to do with the Koch brothers? ONE member of the Koch family runs ONE major conservative group (Americans for Prosperity, of which I am a member), which advocates for free markets. What could be more American than that? Why should the government be picking winners and losers with selective bailouts, subsidies, export tariffs, etc.? Wouldn't consumers be best served if business were subject to free market competition, resulting in lower cost and higher quality? Whenever the government "picks winners," it creates lazy oligopolies that overprice, underproduce, and cut corners on quality (because they have reduced competition).

Again, the union issues in Wisconsin and Ohio relate to STATE EMPLOYEES, not private sector workers. Nothing in the Wisconsin or Ohio labor bills impact private sector workers one iota. So I fail to see how any of this relates to the Koch brothers.

Stu


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Stu - TPC has a bit of a problem concentrating and staying on topic. Usually one of two things contribute to that, maybe both.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

FP,

"bit of a problem" - You have a gift for understatement.

Stu


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Stu - It's an art my friend.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

My idea is that both political parties were taken over by extremists. Rather than voting enthusiastically, many, many of us have been left with choosing 'not as bad as the other'. The republicans are playing their dance now, determined to nominate a 'party' man they can control. Luckily, we do have a voice now - the tea party. And the internet. Our only hope is that the 'silent majority' speaks loud and clear in 2012.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Hi Sheila,

I don't think either of the parties were taken over by extremists.

The Democrats have been pushed in a socialist direction by the administration, and the GOP is very heavily weighted with centrists.

While the Democrats have been led to an extremist position, people with hard core extremist views (e.g., self-avowed socialists) are a small portion of Democrats in Congress. Most Democrats are mainstream liberals, being led by the nose by Obama, his Czars, and most likely some crazies on major Congressional committees.

I agree with you on the TPM. The only way to fight the Democratic onslaught is to retire the RINO's and Democrats, and replace them with true conservatives. In this regard, 2010 can only be viewed as a partial victory. It's true the GOP took alot of seats, but very few went to TPM freshmen. We have to do better in 2012.

Stu


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Hi Wayne, great read. Yes we have lost something along the way. In this age of political correctness our values have been jeapordized. We need to get back to our Judeo Christian values that our forefathers so graciously believed in and fought for. America has lost it's power, it's honor and patriotism due to the far left ideals and policies - I am saddened but know there is also HOPE in the horizon, a change of personnel at the White House would work for starters. Blessings to you and thanks for this amazing hub.


Stu From VT 5 years ago

Whidbey - BRAVO!!!!

Stu


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@WhidbeyWriter...Great points. I live in fear of never seeing those days again as each passing day brings a new level of insanity in Washington. WB


blake4d profile image

blake4d 4 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

I have always thought that Harry Truman was probably one of the better and more practical presidents. Glad you brought him up in this hub WB. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@blake4d...Things were much better back in Harry's day...I'll say that! Thanks for the read and the good words. WB

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