Just the basics…

No-1-USA-patch-197x300I watched a video dramatization on Facebook recently which included actor Jeff Daniels going on about how the U.S. wasn’t the greatest nation in the world any longer. Truth be told, it was actually quite accurate in terms of America’s decline, though the politics was deafening if you were really listening. Nevertheless, it did make me ponder how we got here from there, and where that leaves us now as a nation. Then I happened upon a National Geographic documentary on Netflix about North Korea (Inside North Korea) last week, and it all seemed so clear.

Ours is the gift of liberty and freedom, given unto human kind as a birth right from God, and memorialized in the most unambiguous set of founding documents in all history. The conundrum for “We the People”, is communicating this to a generation which will likely never benefit from the wisdom of those who secured that liberty for them.

Ultimately, we will sink or swim depending on how well we articulate to the next generation, the difference between a country which guards the freedom to debate one’s own ideology against that of another, and one in which you and your entire family could be shot or sent to a concentration camp and slowly starved to death for doing so. Frankly, I just don’t believe there’s enough of this truth making into our classrooms these days.

BTW, if you haven’t watched both of these videos, you and your age appropriate children should do so at the earliest juncture. Wake up America!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMqcLUqYqrs

I’m adding my Facebook response as food for thought.

This is a great video and speaks clearly to America’s station in the world today. It’s “in your face” and truthful in characterizing, (and categorizing) if you will, the facts of the matter. But as usual, it’s only part of the story. And while I concur with the facts as stated, and agree with the premise and ending as portrayed by actor Jeff Daniels, I disagree with the overall assertion that the United States is no longer the greatest nation in the world. Yes, we have faltered in many ways to be sure. But the reasons are far more complicated and lie in our own political complacency, and have little or nothing to do with our “national identity”. To be clear, many of the nation’s Mr. Daniels mentions in the video enjoy their freedom because American men and women who have willingly given their lives on battles-fields around the globe over the last century. In fact most of those nations would live under a Nazi flag had it not been for the more than 400,000 American soldiers who died fighting WWII. Now was America the only nation fighting for that freedom? Certainly not. But young folks in this country would do well to gaze upon the fields in places like Pointe du Hoc and Luxembourg, and understand unequivocally, that no nation in recorded history has “volunteered” more of her sons and daughters in the name of human freedom than the United States. Yes it is true we must return to the aspirations of our creed, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. But our teachers should first be teaching that it is our (ideals and principles) which make us great, not our economy and space program. Those things are the products of success in a free society, and unfortunately can be hindered by the politics of men no matter the borders inside which they stand.

It can be complicated no doubt, but we mustn’t confuse the down-turn of this great nation with an incomplete picture of who we are/were. Simply put, the United States is still the greatest nation on planet earth so long as we hold fast to our founding principles, principles which have freed the millions mentioned in this video, and at incredible cost and sacrifice. The rest is material, reward for the decency and common sense of a country grounded in faith in something greater than the sum of its parts.
America’s political soul may be wounded. Moreover, the cost of incessant ideological bickering, as well as the revisionist history being spewed in our “institutions of higher learning”, has been great. But truth be told, if we mean to “educate” the next generation in American history, so they may contemplate the difficult decisions necessary to turn this mighty ship around, then we must be honest and include all of the history good and bad. We must instill in our children, the fact that no nation has ever contributed more to the human condition, and in as short a period of time, as the United States of America. Start there, and we have a legitimate debate…

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