Left To Right, My Battle With Chronic Liberalism
Ronald Reagan, American Hero
The Amature, Best Seller that the Media Chooses to Ignore
Lessons In Freedom
We were not real Americans- My parents met on an island where people from various European countries would visit on their summer vacations.
After they met on Isle Of Man, they began a long distance relationship. My father was living in Scotland and my mother was residing in the north of England. They eventually decided to settle in my mother's territory, only to be uprooted to join my grandmother in Switzerland.
There were no complaints, but when my Aunt suddenly moved to California and raved about the weather, my father soon followed. With the exception of a few brief moves back to Britain; California has been our home ever since.
My parents were not educated in American history, but they learned to celebrate the 4th of July, and I even recall being taken to see George M Cohan; the musical, when I was 9 years old. Overall we were not like so many "modern" immigrants, in that we learned about Americans, respected their way of life, and we really did strive to be like the ideal American family.
As my teen years evolved, my brother and I were being sent to visit relatives in Europe for our summers, and I was being introduced to politics. The family and friends back in Europe were different than the people I associated with in America. They all had causes, and issues. They were actually quite angry, which became old and tiresome after listening to them rant and find fault with every little thing in life. Nothing was ever good enough, and indeed they had incredibly high gas prices, and no real opportunities to escape their unhappy surroundings. From being a carefree teenager in America to assimilating into this habitrail wavered from depressing to stifling.
My cousin was on the "dole", which is equivalent to "welfare" in America, and he also worked two jobs. This was not exactly legal, but it was what many of the people were doing because they saw this as the only way to get ahead due to being taxed at such a high rate, and having a job could do little more than help maintain a status quo.
The people in Europe wanted to get out of the hole of poverty and into a level of real comfort, and if it meant breaking the law, or hiding income; with the reality of being pushed down for their hard work, even the most honest people joined the dishonesty game and became cheaters working the system.
As much as I enjoyed some elements of being in these countries, I was always glad to come back to California where the kids were deciding what they were going to do with their lives. There was always a sense of relief; as though some kind of negative pressure had been released when I stepped off the plane to live and think like an American again.
Some of the European attitudes did stay with me and I became involved with other teenage rebels who had idealistic views about the previous generation; the hippie movement to be exact, and the a general disgust with "normal", "traditional life" with the "greedy" rich in particular.
When I began stating my leftist views to my father, I was stunned by his right-wing replies.
He said that the Beatles were telling everyone that "all you need is love", while they were buying blocks of 5th Avenue. He said that these loud mouth politicians and celebrities who criticize wealth are only too happy to put on their Rolex and drive away in their Rolls Royce, after telling the "little people" that material goods are not necessary. He knew how to burst my bubble!
He explained to me that when he was living in Scotland, he was on strike half of the time, because the workers were an angry mob who were never satisfied with what they were given by their bosses. In America he did not have to listen to a union, or a mob to decide if he was going to work or spend the next several weeks on strike; he worked and it was up to him to decide what he was going to do, and how successful he was going to be. "The only way to be satisfied with what you have is to give it to yourself, and the only country where you have the freedom to give it to yourself is the United States."
He seemed so un-cool. But deep down I knew he was right. I just knew that my left wing friends would hate him for saying these things, because they were pretty narrow in their final decision that America is bad and Republicans are greedy and evil. There was simply no room for pondering beyond that.
Years later when I was working and well past the teenage rebel stage, I called myself a Democrat. The reason for this was largely from hearing the media hype that led me to believe that Republicans had no respect for women. That was the only real issue I could relate to, and that was the only issue that I even considered.
After Bill Clinton became president, I was disappointed and disillusioned by the Democratic party in general. Not just because Clinton was a cheater, but because they all, (Democrats) including the women, defended Clinton's actions by saying that a lot of people lie and cheat, and that its "a sign of high intelligence." They were really starting to sound like hypocrites to me. In my view, if a man is lying, degrading, and unfaithful to his family, and then goes on national television to lie to the country, this man is not fit to be the President of the United States, and to make excuses for his behavior is down right neanderthal. My conclusion was that the democratic party demonizes republicans in an effort to gain women's votes. But when it comes right down to it, they do not have a special concern for women at all. Its all a matter of convenience. Women vote, and democrats want those votes.
I was learning about business in my late 20s, and befriended two intelligent Cuban ladies who were very conservative in light of their horrific experiences with having to leave Cuba when Casto's uprising became unbearable. With a group of American's and the two Cuban ladies, we planned to visit Cuba. I was the young one who still had some liberal tendencies gnawing at me. But our quest was to visit the island and look at some possible areas in Cuba to buy property when Castro dies. We had always heard about the beautiful beach properties, and my Cuban friends had childhood memories of their beautiful homeland before Communism destroyed their freedom. Cubans and Americans were were wondering what would happen when Castro finally passed.
My Cuban friends were living in Cuba with their family when they were just young girls. Their father had worked hard all his life and put all his effort into running a small store. He was providing well for his family when one day Castro's army came in to the shop and said, "hand over the keys, this is no longer your place." These ladies came to America with nothing besides the devastating memories of their hard earned possessions being taken from them, and they immediately got jobs and went to school to become dental hygienists. Did I mention that they are Conservative?
I had heard these fine ladies tell their story of losing their freedom before, because some liberals had began touting their desire for more government control. But somehow, even when listening to someone's real life story, I was able to put it in back of my mind with the thought, "very sad, and that will never happen here."
After we landed in Cuba and found someone in the street to "taxi" us, I was amazed at how many people were walking around the streets at 2:00 am. It was almost the same as walking around at 2:00 pm. The way I can describe the overall appearance of Havana is to just imagine the nicest shopping mall in your area, and then think of it in 40 years. How would it look if it were never painted, or maintained in any way? Think of the windows being broken, the air conditioning no longer in use, and people who have not bathed walking through the broken doors. I will never forget the smell of intense body odor in one of these non air-conditioned places. I could not wait to get out. The streets featured some of the most frightening potholes that were so large and deep, a child or dog could easily fall into it and no one would ever know.
My Cuban friends said, "Well, it looks like Castro has succeeded, everyone is equally poor and no one can get out of it. "
After working myself through school, and making plans in life, I now felt trapped in this atmosphere. If I were living here, what could I do? Well, its quite simple, there is no choice. Nothing ! Witnessing this mess actually scared me. It did not take me long to decide that I would rather be dead than live like this. There are no jobs, and its illegal to make money, because making money is "evil". That belief is now alive in America, but on a smaller scale. Its just a matter of time,or another generation for the scale to tip just a little more.
I found that it is impossible to take the desire to prosper out of people. Cubans are not sitting around feeling happy to be poor. They are trying to get their hands on a car so that they can illegally "taxi" tourists they find around the airport, and the children are prostituting where ever they can find Europeans with money. Their parents can not tell them not to degrade themselves and just go to school and work hard to get ahead either. That freedom does not exist.
One day, we went to Cayo Coco, a beautiful beach that does not allow Cubans to visit. Yes, the fat cats want their money, just as my father had warned me that liberal politicians talk about the evils of money and can't spend it fast enough. Castro is not living the way the Cuban people are living. Cubans who are living under the communist system have no money and therefore no worth. Which means there is no point in they going to Cayo Coco to experience the beautiful beach when people from other countries can fill the beaches and pay top dollar for the experience.
I got a sinking feeling in less than one week. I had not really appreciated the United States. I can go back to the U.S. and do whatever I want. No one can do that here in Cuba! I regretted every liberal thing I had ever said or thought and I felt ashamed of myself. One of my Cuban girlfriends said out loud, "when I get back to the United States I am going to kiss the ground." I was thinking the same thing.
When I see Occupy Wall street protests, I wish I could send those protestors to Cuba. They do not realize it, but they are complaining about having too much freedom. This is exactly how the Cubans got themselves into trouble. Revolting for less freedom and opportunity. The vision seems to be upside down.
"Stop Capitalism, and "tax the rich", are the words of spoiled people who can only see the glass as half empty. Its on a large scale the same thing as my liberal friend who has given her children everything they have ever wanted and continues to pay their insurance well into their adulthood. Now she has three adult children asking for more. It reminds me of my father's coworkers in Scotland, getting together to complain to big daddy (their boss) that he needs to give them more.
The only way to get something you really want is to make yourself responsible for achieving it. As my father said, America is the only country that provides the freedom of responsibility. I have worked hard and appreciated my freedom to make my own life ever since, and have never had a liberal relapse.
God bless America!