Tough Life

Tough Life in USA

2008

968 Words

A bit off pace today, no one topic jumps on the page. Most of the topics are about racism. I take exception with the administration, that a racial discussion is productive. At this stage in our history one is either racist or not. My opinion, almost everyone is racist in-regards-to one group or another. Trying to force someone to deny or defer their feelings only heightens the resistance. Example– Those espousing Black Liberation Theology will certainly not be open to loving all white people. Is that their right? While it’s counter-productive to a solid Union, it is their right.
Reading the first few of the Federalist Papers, the one point which the writers keep bringing up is unity among the states and it’s citizens. Is that possible in today’s United States? I feel the writers would be appalled at the divisions in today’s Union. These men were willing to put their lives on the line for a concept of government which they believed to be the best. As far as I can tell they were correct. When I have finished the papers I will be better able to understand how they viewed dissention. Just from the first few there opinion of factions was negative.
A few days ago, I downloaded the Ten Tenants of the Republican Party in an effort to understand where I went wrong in supporting the party. Whew! Turns out what I thought the party stood for is there in the tenants. From being a very conservative party in principle, they have moved so far away it’s almost foreign to the basics.
In defense of the people in power, I can see how they moved so far so quickly. Poll driven politics took them off course. The democrats ran a government for eight years based on polls. To counter, the republicans felt they had to move left. And today, they continue to march in lock step to the left. Immigration, health care, education they are ready to throw the party over-board as quickly as the Bostonians dispatched the tea.
As of today, I am a man without a party. Do I feel alone and afraid? No. It’s better than being a man without a country. This is a beautiful country and has many, many wonderful assets. The primary asset of the United States is her hard working people. As a nation, we believe in the American Dream. That those who believe in God, Country, Family, hard work and trust, things will work out for the best.
Or do we still believe that? Can a person of meager means rise to the top? Obama is not an example of that. He has lived a privileged life. No one attends the schools he attended without some backing. His first, Occidental in California is an expensive liberal arts college for the less ambitious of the upper and upper middle class. Add Harvard in there, which may have been more affirmative action, no one seems to want to talk about how he managed his education.
Most, if not all, of the successful people I know come from privilege. Some more than others. I know doctors, lawyers and such. All of them may have come from an advantaged situation but they all had to work hard to achieve their status. Money can’t buy one a degree in medicine or license to practice law in states such as New York. One of the most difficult bars to pass. Therefore, I am not a good one to tout the rags to riches theme of the American Dream.
When I look at the world in general, I wonder how someone can complain about life in the U.S. Even the poverty class gets food stamps, aid to dependent children, health care through Medic-aid. Compared to much of the world that has no idea how they will survive beyond today. They live in terrible conditions, eat very little, have no medical care, work extremely hard just to achieve that and die young.
Compared to most of the world, our middle-class lives like royalty. And they are unhappy with their lot. A house they find to be small and cramped, ten people of other countries would find luxurious. Eating Super-Size at McDonald’s would be a feast, let alone a meal at Applebees or The Cheesecake Factory. Having a cell phone, new clothes four times a year, driving a car everywhere exists in their worlds for only the wealthy or the corrupt.
When I turn on the news, I hear nothing but complaints about how our country is not a good place to live and that people are not living as well as they should be. How much money should an unskilled, high school graduate earn a year? $20 thousand, $50 thousand, $100 thousand plus benefits is that enough to live like royalty here?
Is there ever enough? Enough toys, enough gadgets? Vacations, clothes and things do not make us happy. They are window dressing. No amount of stuff can make us successful. Only we can do that by our effort and realization of a dream. Then can we say, that we have achieved our goal. Buying a $600 cell phone does not make one successful. Earning a good wage for a hard-days work does.
Holding your lover, or your child is the reward for doing a good job in life. Seeing the joy in one’s life from a shared moment, that is what makes the heart sing. Of all the things I have possessed in my life, nothing exceeds the look in my child’s eyes when they trusted me.
We cannot buy racial equality, nor happiness. We can earn self-respect. But it’s a one-person job. No government can proclaim us successful or equal. We must find that within ourselves.

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