One theme that recurs throughout the books is buried behind much of the story. In the later years, the years when the troubles really begin to become obvious, a sort of nationalism takes hold of the United States. This is not all that unusual.
As a country, when we face a perceived threat, we tend to unify. It is a documented part of our history that many of the revisionists would rather you not know. Even the so called ‘progressives’ were angry and looking for retribution after the events of September 11, 2001. You won’t get them to admit it now, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I know, I spoke with many of them, and their attitudes were just as fiery as any conservative. Now, they look back and are positive that they only had time to sympathize with the oppressed Muslims that were forced into such extreme acts (yes, that’s sarcasm.)
How many of my readers realize that when the vote came up to declare war on Japan after the bombing of Perl Harbor, the Senate unanimously approved the resolution 82-0, while the House of Representatives vote was 388 to 1. The one vote against was a Republican, the first woman to hold a national office in the United States, Jeannette Rankin (she was also instrumental in ensuring women had voting rights.) Don’t be too angry with her, she was a lifelong pacifist and never hid that fact. This is just one example of how our people come together against a common threat.
Unfortunately, we have become such a fractious society that this may not happen anymore. Worse, politicians and others are exploiting the divides between us for their own gain. While they will deny it, it is and has always been my belief that a politician’s only concern is remaining in power. I don’t need to give you examples; you can find them any day in any news source. Party affiliation is not a factor. The desire for a person or group of people to have power over others seems to be a sickness that has persisted throughout the ages.
Nationalism is neither good nor bad; it is simply patriotic feelings, principles, or efforts. Carried to extremes, it becomes oppressive and, often, something evil. Extremes in the opposite are just as bad. Groups that attack supposed ‘fascists’ become the very thing that they attack. Each group has been convinced that they and they alone have a lock on the ‘TRUTH.’ As long as they can be coerced into believing this, then the ones who are pushing them along will maintain and gain more power. The sheep never seem to know that they are being led to the slaughter.
What is the answer? Until and unless we are all willing to change the things that our children are being educated on, including in college, there will be no answer. The divisions may start at home, but they are forced wider in the education system. Theories are being taught as fact and, worse, our children are being told to fight for a future based on these theories. Hatred is being fed to the young and the young adults disguised as ‘correct’ ways to think, rather than them being taught to think for themselves. While I believe that the human race must stand together against some threats, I also believe that the individual must have the right to make choices without undue influence or duress.
If I tell you about my God and Christ, that’s all I’m doing; you get to make a choice. If I put a sword to your neck and tell you to recant your beliefs and follow mine, that’s a bit different. If you sit in a classroom and I tell you that there is a debate about what affects our climate, here are the arguments, you get to make a choice. If all I tell you is that man is destroying the environment, that the sea levels are rising, people are dying from drought, flood, landslides, etc., you are not given a choice, you are being driven.
This is not and cannot be a perfect world. Not yet. We can make it more tolerable if we take the time to realize that everyone who wants you to believe something without question has an agenda and it isn’t for your own good, ever. I have a rule of thumb when someone tells me something, I always ask, “Who has something to gain from this, what is it and why?” It could be a politician seeking more money or power, a teacher or professor seeking to control the minds of his or her students and gather a following, it could be anyone trying to gain from suppressing and subjugating you in some fashion to advance themselves.
There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your country. There is nothing wrong with wanting your country to be ‘first’ for you and your family. There is nothing wrong with equalizing the balance of trade so that the country is not being taken advantage of. There isn’t even anything wrong with defending ourselves against the threats and attacks of another country. That is part of what being a country is. Globalism doesn’t work unless everyone is participating, and no one else appears to be interested.
Have a wonderful week everyone.