Take Me Somewhere Else
My American patriotism is waning. It’s been waning for the past decade. More so in the past six months. I had always believed that we – as Americans – are better than what we produce. Meaning we are better as a people than those we elect to represent us. I still cling to that belief. Even though the belief is not as strong as the HOPE that we are better. I’ve come to the conclusion that not many people are interested in the history of … well … history. Even today – on July 4th. Two hundred and forty one years after the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was voted on (and passed by the Second Congress) on July 2nd. It was then ratified on July 4th. It wasn’t signed until August 2nd. This was a formal statement from the thirteen colonies to break away from the rule of Britain’s King George III. There was a laundry list of reasons why our forefathers decided it was time to be a free nation. Take a look at the list THEN (241 years ago) and compare it to the laundry list we might have now:
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Some of this sound familiar in 2017? We’ve become a boil on the ass of the world stage. And we’re all just sitting here waiting for it to be surgically removed (using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution), or to pop not knowing whether there will be relief or become infected. The problem (and this is only my opinion as ONE American in the land of so many) is that people aren’t paying attention.
I ask around here in a town to the north of Tampa. No one cares what’s going on until it happens to them specifically. I lurk faithfully on Twitter where there seems to be a lot of rhetoric, but not a lot of action. All bark…little bite. And Facebook can’t be bothered with political posts. Those bothersome thoughts of our political discord are interrupting inspirational memes and photos of dogs and cats. The online debate of where our country is heading (hint: straight to the shitter) becomes extremely two sided. People are so divided. They are either for one side or the other with no chance of ever meeting in the neutral middle to have a conversation and exchange of ideas. We’re either liberal or conservative. No such thing as a little bit of both. We’re either black or white. No chance of being both or neither. Man or woman…because transgender is just too confusing. Straight or gay because loving one person -any person-will throw a monkey wrench into the cogwheel of emotional stability.
What everyone CAN agree on is that every single holiday marked on the calendar has to be accompanied by firecrackers. They’re not fireworks being popped off like a redneck symphony as I type this. There’s a difference. Fireworks create sparks of art in the sky. Firecrackers are just noise. And the problem with fireworks here in the land of guns and “stand your ground” laws is that I can’t tell the firecrackers from gunshots. It would probably be easy if the firecrackers would only be ignited on the actual day of which we’re celebrating. But they’re not. We have firecrackers popping here through the entire month of July, then again in January (for the New Year) and then in May and September and November. Come to think of it, I pretty much hear these pops going off every month of the calendar year. There’s no discrimination. The firecrackers in America have become what the vevezula represents at a soccer game…a fucking annoyance.
Yes. The American spirit has been fading from the heart that motivates these fingers to provide an explanation. I’m a veteran of the United States Air Force. I did my duty. I still love hearing “The Star Spangled Banner” and know all the words and what they mean. I fear there are others that know the words as well…but have no clue what they’re singing. I get chills when a fighter jet flies high above me among the clouds as that jet makes its way to MacDill Airforce base. While others below that very same jet pay it no mind. And the fight we all have in common recently is the orange man renting the Oval Office. The lies, the deceit, the oppression of any person he feels is below his social stature is deplorable to me.
We all know that America is (or should be) the land of the free. Opportunity, convenience, good fortune and a fair shake. I don’t feel that every citizen is getting any or all of that. And it’s not by accident. It’s more by design by those in elected offices who are supposed to represent the rest of us and ensure we all have a chance at opportunity, convenience, good fortune and a fair shake. The most powerful line in the Declaration of Independence is contained in the preamble :
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
I certainly agree that it’s time to alter our current government. Because as it stands right now…this very July 4th… I have no reason to be proud of the America I am occupying. I absolutely love the American idea. It would bring me joy to be able to celebrate a Fourth of July in the manner it was intended. Today…I cannot. The American flag is a symbol to me, a sign of hope and prosperity. I’m not so sure that’s what it means to others. And then there are a select few that use the American flag as a prop in the background of a selfish photo-op.
Go on with your celebrations. I’m going to stay inside and dream of the day we can all abide by the original declaration to be free of tyranny and pompous heads of state. When that day comes, when the resistance rises up and wins back the country I will be the loudest and proudest American at the front of the parade. I’ll wave my American flag free of stains and maybe…just maybe…I’ll blow a vevezula to ring in the new occupation that will actually abide by the rule of law set forth two hundred forty one years ago – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The most powerful words strung together in a sentence in the English language. Followed closely by JUSTICE FOR ALL.
Happy July Ffffpppffft.