Saturday, June 14, 2008

Character...Resolve

...missing in our country today.

If you look at WWII - I think we can agree it was the right thing to do. We fought a good fight. It was a moral imperative - it was to benefit the greater good.

But that was then - this... today? Maybe I'm to cynical - but I highly doubt our citizens, our country, our politics would embolden our country to enter that war. If that war happened today - I guarantee you - America would not be part of the heroes of that war.

What does that say about us? It says volumes about the men and women of that generation who knew what REAL sacrifice was, and is.

They lived with rationing - sugar, shortening, butter, flour, gas... you name it. A birthday cake was a luxury - you'd save up bit by bit to make one cake. The entire country was involved with the war effort. Each person lived in a way to promote and aide the men and women fighting for them.

Can you imagine our neighbors, our friends, ourselves doing that? I'd like to think I would - I love this country. I firmly believe in it's power of achieving dreams, by our own damn bootstraps. But I don't think there are many in this country that would think like that. I hope to hell I'm too cynical... but I doubt it.

This is a world where... like Noonan talks about in her article - ambivalence is a virtue. It's like we hear all the right words... but nothing of substance to back it up. It's almost like there's a smokescreen of "idealistic ambiguous gifts" hiding something more sinister and unstable. It's as if the candidates are magicians - tossing out policies, add new ones... and keeping their true identities behind the curtain. We are left trying to balance on a tight rope unsure of what they believe - and how they are going to provide change.

I want someone who will stand for something. State what they stand for and then fire all their guns on that. I don't want someone who makes decisions based on the whim of public opinion or useless polls. If you can't hire someone based on your own good judgment - then it's inevitable you will fire them based on wherever the wind blows.

I want someone of character and resolve - someone who looks death in the face and says - screw you. I want someone with balls - not designer suits.

I love words - I love how they roll off the tongue, I love the images they convey... but words mean didly squat without anything behind them. I want a proven track record. I want a consistent moral compass.

Unfortunately, many of my fellow Americans seem too shallow... too easily impressed with the flashy pants to focus on what the good of this country needs. Sadly, I'm too disappointed in our system to believe that true change will happen.

Until our people develop character and resolve like the young men and women during WWII - we are fighting a losing battle. I wonder... united we stand... is that still in effect?

4 comments:

compulsive writer said...

I fight with cynicism also, but I have to admit when push comes to shove (think 9/11) people step up. Generally more people surprise me by being better than I expect than those who disappoint with a complete lack of character and basic human kindness.

As for president? I'd like to see the day when the average joe or jane off the street--straight up middle class--not a completely out-of-touch gazillionaire (and face it, that's what it takes to run these days) could run for president and win. I want someone who can really represent.

Between the money it requires and simply what the media does to you and your family, you really have to be insane to want to run. Somehow that doesn't bode well for the future, does it?

soybeanlover said...

I think with enough pressure people will step up and do things to help each other out, we just, thankfully, haven't reached that point yet. Most people are lazy and won't do anything until they have to though.


My personal opinion, the US is starting it's decline. There is enough flagrant hedonism, avarice, etc. that I think we are on the downward part of the pride cycle. As sad and as scary as that seems, it makes the most sense to me. Nothing great made by man lasts forever. I just think of history and the rise and fall of the Roman and British Empires for example. We can turn it around, but like you said, it is going to take a lot of guts, and a lot of shake up. It sure isn't going to happen with the way politics are going right now!

Amy said...

Excellent post! Couldn't agree with you more.

Queen Scarlett said...

SBL - I agree about the decline...and it's a little scary knowing that despite our best efforts we won't keep this dam from bursting.