seven years

I don’t want to think about the past today — not because it isn’t worth remembering, but because I want to keep my eye on the future.

In a little less than two months, the adult citizens of the United States have a choice to make.

One side tells you America is great. We are the best nation on earth, and the other guy envies and hates us because of it. They tell you our economy is strong, and the people who think otherwise are whiners. They tell you our health care is fine, because anybody without insurance can just go to an emergency room, where they cannot be refused care. They tell you our environment (and everybody else’s) is not changing, and nothing happening with it is our doing. They tell you we can answer all our energy needs by drilling more.

The other side tells you America can be greater. We are a wonderful nation, but that does not mean we should not make ourselves better still. They tell you our economy is faltering, but we can change it so that the guys at the bottom have a chance to lift themselves higher. They tell you our health care is inadequate, but we can change it so parents don’t have to choose between going to work and staying home with a sick child. They tell you our environment is in flux, but we can change the habits that are sending it awry. They tell you we can answer our energy needs, not just for now but for the future, by looking to answers other than oil.

One says we don’t need to change. The other says we must, and we can.

The first side tells you their attitude is patriotic. I call it arrogant. Patriotism is not resting on your laurels, assuming your forefathers and foremothers did all the work for you. It’s rolling up your sleeves and acting to make things better, because you want to see your nation become more than it already is. It’s looking to the future, and asking how you can improve it for the generations to come.

Patriotism is hard work.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . . .

Good words. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t stop with the Constitution. Justice, domestic tranquility, and all the rest — perfection included — are something we need to keep fighting for.

0 Responses to “seven years”

  1. cathschaffstump

    Well said.


  2. celestineangel

    This is probably the best way I’ve heard it put in a long while.

    I’m still unsure about the election. Not because I’m torn between one side or another, I definitely know I’m all for change.

    I just can’t help but think… people aren’t ready for the level of hard work and real, true, change that’s necessary in order to actually fix our country. They say they are, they say they want it, but when it comes down to actually changing attitudes and habits… that’s a bit harder.

    • Marie Brennan

      What do you mean when you’re unsure? Unsure about how it will turn out, or unsure about what you yourself will do?

      • celestineangel

        Unsure of how it will turn out.

        As I said, I’m all for change, and for doing the work and what’s necessary to make it happen. But not everyone is, and I don’t just mean the people who will vote for the side that doesn’t want to change.

        I can’t help feeling that people want the person they voted in the office to do all the work for them. It doesn’t work that way; sure, the President does a lot of the work, but there’s responsibility on us as citizens to 1) support him in his endeavors (so long as they are morally and ethically the right thing to do) and 2) enforce the measures he takes to change… especially when the change affects the way we live, as anything involving the environment, health care and economy ultimately will.

        I’m torn between optimistically and idealistically hoping the revolution will indeed happen… and pessimistically saying “But people will never change.” Because ultimately, the revolution must happen on an internal level in every individual before it can have any effect on outside factors.

        • Marie Brennan

          That’s why I think one of the most important things about Obama is that it isn’t just him. He has the potential to sweep a lot of down-ticket Democrats into office with him, which means that now it’s not just the President but Congress and governors and state legislatures and mayors and so on; and more than that, it’s the common people, because he’s inspired a vast number of individuals to step up and take part. Will all of them stay active after the election? No, of course not. But he’s built momentum that wasn’t there before.

          100% participation will never happen, and even 70% participation won’t appear overnight. But getting ten or twenty percent up and running makes the rest of it more likely.

  3. raisinfish

    Very well said. I love this post. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. kateelliott

    Well said – thank you.

  5. d_c_m

    FRAK YES SISTER!!! It is the duty of every generation of American to continue to form a more perfect union!

    Thanks for your post. 🙂

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