Make me believe in America again

Lately as I have been asking myself what I want to hear that would motivate me about this November’s election cycle, I realized it was the wrong question. The real question is: what do we all need to believe in again? There was a time when I can recall being proud to be an American, a time when I would talk to my friends abroad and they wanted to be an American or at least be as closely associated with America as they could possibly be. Is it just me or does it seem that feeling is totally absent for the past few years? This is not a political statement because if I had to put a finger on it, the absence of this feeling goes back farther than the current administration.

What marks our current cultural climate that disturbs me most is the blame and ridicule that dominates almost all public remarks from any side. It may not be direct words but the undertones are obvious and palatable. What do I mean? These are just a few that come to mind:

  • Personal sacrifice – when was the last time you heard a GOOD story about the men and women in our military from some action or mission?
  • Hard work – there used to be a time when the fruits of one’s labor was something to be admired and enjoyed instead of ridiculed and chastised.
  • Personal accountability – when was the last time you heard a story about someone that took responsibility for a mess regardless if they created it or not, and did something about it?
  • Self sufficiency – when did you last hear about someone that was in financial trouble and worked through it without a handout, subsidy, or modification?

If I had to name one major underlying problem in today’s cultural DNA is that a person can live without consequence. Our national policies are built on the concept that all it takes is a Federal program to take away the consequence of one thing or another; pick the subject and I think you’ll find it at the root. A life without consequence is a pernicious lie that eats away at the heart and soul of our nation. We are so defined by the struggles in life and the many lessons it can teach that to remove consequence is to mean that we no longer learn how to improve. Our spirit gets sapped away slowly but surely to the point where we no longer have any identity at all.

I think it’s time to go back to the basics because it’s what got America there in the past. The Declaration of Independence stated it eloquently when said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It’s the┬ácombination of these powerful ideas that has drawn people from all over the globe to America in generations past. From it a nation was forged that worked under hardship, endured numerous perils, and built an identity that was a model for many.

Dear Mr Candidate, Make me believe again that this is what America stands for.