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Opinion

Remember Who We Are

by Diana Erbio – As we continue down a path of  becoming a nation that is more and more polarized on many fronts we must stop and remember who we are.  America’s greatness is its people. From our nation’s birth We the People have opened our arms to those who sought freedoms and  opportunities found nowhere else.

Americans have prided themselves in being open-minded, with a willingness to listen to and embrace newcomers. Although along with that open-mindedness has been an expectation that  our countrymen and women  bear a high level of personal responsibility. We have long recognized that free individuals cannot be both reliant on government to meet its every need and free of government restrictions.

As we travel further and further from the days of our founding it seems we are becoming a people more and more reliant on government for solutions. Too many Americans are forgetting the rights written into our Constitution and Bill of Rights, our God-given rights (or for those who do not believe in God, the rights we were born with ). These rights cannot be taken away by any individual or government. These rights are part of our being. That has been the draw of America.

As government grows, we are often pitted against each other. Various groups or individuals vying for government perks. One group demonizing another group in an effort to reap rewards from the government piggy bank.

Instead of reveling in the positive aspects of our Republic we focus on the negatives. The blame game has become common sport and is reflected back at us on a daily basis in the newspapers and on the news. Even our entertainment, movies, theater and music is filled with negativity. More focus on the goodness of our nation would be uniting.

Where are the heartwarming stories of Americans who have achieved personally and in doing so have helped many? Where are the tales of Americans who have sacrificed all so that future generations could have the  freedoms to pursue happiness?

Instead of really listening to differing points of view we are stifling speech.  Labeling certain speech as hate-speech may seem like the correct thing to do, because who wants hurt feelings? But here again shouldn’t we stop and remember who we are? Speaking out has been the American way. It has paved the way to correcting wrongs.

Years ago on playgrounds and on neighborhood streets kids could be heard shouting in retaliation to harsh words “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!” or if something one said was disapproved of by others this common phrase would be  uttered in defense, “It’s a free country isn’t it?”

It is time for us to stop being over-sensitive to words. This over-sensitivity is leading to less freedom for all. We must teach our children and grandchildren about the rights they were born with that are guaranteed by our Constitution, for they are tomorrow’s guardians of these rights. How can they protect them if they do not even know what they are?

As Americans we must once again talk to each other in frank, honest terms. We must take the time to really listen and understand. Often we have a lot of commonalities but the way we are communicating is not helpful, each group sticking to its own dogma instead of reaching out to find common ground in our freedoms and opportunities.  An interesting e-book, for $1.99 at Amazon, The Three Languages of Politics by Arnold Kling addresses the way we are expressing ourselves these days and ways in which to open up the dialogue and speak to each other instead of past each other. Arnold Kling makes a good point when he says, “I believe we can reduce our level of political anger by better understanding the other languages. You can still carry the belief that you are right, and you do not need to split differences or compromise. However, you should be less inclined to demonize people who speak different political languages.”

The  path to remembering who we are can be found with more speech, rather than less, and as protected by the First Amendment  it does not have to be politically correct speech.

 

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Kevin Egan

One Nation, Under God. We have lost our conscious contact with a power greater than ourselves – God. Our country was founded on Christian principles and we, up until recent times, have been protected by God. Remember, resistance to tyranny is obedience to God. Our government has become tyrannical. America must remain a Christian nation and We the People must resist any attempts to change or weaken our Constitution and Bill of Rights. And I am talking about whatever it takes.

DrJCA1

Common sense, decency, cooperation, and compromise are simply words in a dictionary now. Left AND right, our politicians and far too many of us citizens have divided into two seperate and never equal camps. Between the give away the farm liberals, and the holier than thou conservatives, we have become two nations simply tolerating each other under the same “roof”. Liberals think it’s OK to steal from the affluent and give it to the lazy. Conservatives think it’s OK to focus on abortions and gay rights, rather than jobs and the economy. Both are equally stupid trains of thought. Too many of us believe that everything conservatives extremsts say is alright and wonderful. No, it’s not. Until we get our act together, we will not win any more elections. Extremism has NO place in politics.

Jacqueline W.

I was born and raised in England. After two years of college and working at the same time., I decided I’d like to go and live and work in the USA for a year before settling down as it were. I saw an ad. in the paper that offered employment in “America” and I applied. I was told I would need a “sponsor” and that they offered employment as “domestic help”. Meaning – care of families and children. I wastold basically I would be filling a job that, I was told, was difficult for Americans to fill. This was not my plan in life but it would get ,e over here. I told them I’d like to go to California. (Of course – didn’t all foreigners??). But oh, no. I had the choice f New York, Philadelphia or Baltimore. Why I asked? Well all Europeans have to “land” on the… Read more »

Michael Lee Pemberton

“We the People” have been inundated by unassimilated aliens. Mexican immigrants to the United States of America still consider themselves Mexicans and their primary loyalty is to the people, language, customs, religion, beliefs, government and lifestyle they left behind, or rather did not leave behind. It is the same with every other group of immigrants of every other racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, social and economic class. When did we STOP requiring that immigrants have a sponsor who was an established citizen of these United States of America and who, without recompense, agreed to be responsible for the integration and assimilation process? Didn’t relatives, friends, volunteers and socially oriented immigrant organizations shepherd new arrivals “fresh off the boat” at Ellis Island? Why do we NOT require a sponsor, either an individual or bonded company, to take responsibility for tourists? Why do we NOT require sponsorship and responsibility from employers and educational… Read more »

Bob Sonnelitter

This country has too much government which is destroying the attitude of personal responsibility as well as infringing on our civil liberties. The government is taking away our civil liberties in the name of providing more security. Civil liberty must come first otherwise our freedom will be destroyed and the increased security will cease to protect us from the very thing we need to have protected, our freedom. My father, a democrat, frequently reminded us that “the world doesn’t owe you a living.” Where has that attitude gone? It has been taken away by the liberals who promote the welfare state. It is not the responsibility of government to protect people from themselves. Our immigrant ancestors did not receive any government assistance. They came here for more freedom and the opportunity to flourish. We do not need to be proving assistance to immigrants, they need to make it on their… Read more »

Harper

“These rights cannot be taken away by any individual or government” Unfortunately it seems that is exactly what the gov is trying to do. obama is hell bent on getting guns to the Syrian rebels and taking ours away. The administration has no goal of improving the economy but getting more and more people on the gov dole. obama’s goal is to get as many people on SNAP(food stamps) rather than get them working. Our country is getting more and more lazy by the day, week, month and ear, I see it every day. Why should people get a job when they can sit at home and get unemployment. The country is very different today than when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s…I had newspaper route, when the route was walked twice a day. I mowed lawns in my neighborhood. The youth of today only want to… Read more »

J. DiBlasi

Thank you for your thoughts, yes we have become a nation that many of our forefathers would not recognize. My generation, the baby-boomers, have failed our children and this country. Much prayer is needed along with speaking up on all issues.