All the way up until JFKs time, presidents were likely, and felt comfortable with, likening the US to great “Western Civilizations” like the Greeks and the Romans. Civilizations who made great advancements in literature, architecture, fine art, and philosophy.
Nowadays, just about any time you get into a conversation about anything to do with the US, there’s likely someone in the group who’ll say, “At least we don’t live in the “Third World.”
At that point I realize how low American expectations have fallen. The America that is “at least not the Third World” is what’s become acceptable. What have we done, as Americans, with our freedom in the past 50 years? Nothing but continue to expect less and less from ourselves and everyone around us. And, at the same time, we hope that no one will question our complete lack of diligence toward, motivation for, or adherence to, the ideals set forth 239 years ago.
Obama had a grand old time, early on, comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln (The Great Emancipator). And before I say anything further about Obama, you must know that my understanding of him is that he is purely the front man, the face of, and/or the image of our “democracy.” I don’t regard him as our president, our Commander-In-Chief, or even as our leader. I didn’t feel or think of any of these things with regard to George Bush either. They, to me are just convenient targets, figureheads, or even masks for the people behind them who control everything that happens in this country. They give a face to faceless; the cowards who hide behind their coattails.
I, as many of you do, find these people to be the only tangible representation of that thing we wish we still had something to do with; democracy, equality and liberty. They are the face of a faceless corporation hell-bent on controlling, manipulating, dividing and conquering everything that we hold sacred, and everything we hold dear. So it’s to them I say, and I hope many of you join me in saying, “what happened to the idea of America, the ideal of America, and America’s supposed precepts.”
Why are we not trying to advance civilization any longer? Why are we not trying to raise the bar, lift the human experience and transcend the bounds of our human bodies? Why must we continue to grovel in the gutter, avoid the real questions, and twist the beauty of living into a commodity and a cancer. Why are we not following the dreamers, patronizing the talented and furthering the meaning of being a truly civilized, compassionate and creative force in the world?
We had it once; the drive, the spirit, the camaraderie, and the common interest in lifting one another up. When did infighting, obfuscation, and selfishness become the center of all political affairs? When did we lose sight of common goals, of common interests and common understanding. We the people are not so different as we once were. So, why have we let the daily drama of childish, sandbox babble become all we expect of our leaders?
We can only become better, and expect more (and I’m not talking about more in a financial sense, I’m talking about more: ethically, morally and spiritually), by expecting more from ourselves.