Thursday, June 04, 2015
Today I am grateful for American History. We have been in a phase of American historical education through war movies, TV series and day trips lately and it’s caused me to question the motives of every single political figure I am aware of. They don’t get it. None of them. And they need to. Now. Before it’s too late.
I don’t want political candidates to stump-speech me to death. I want them to tour Philadelphia and listen to the passion in the ranger/guides voices as they inform the assembled how blazing hot and humid it was, how it stunk, and flies were everywhere, when the founding fathers, brave men and women, were creating our nation.
I want them to watch the TV series, “TURN: Washington’s Spies” and realize that every person involved with the creating of our nation, male and female alike, risked life, limb and financial security so that we could live in a country free from tyranny. They trusted that once we grew and developed, we would continue their legacy. Have we?
I don’t want candidates making promises to me about the problems in our nation being caused by the division of Republican and Democrat. I want them to go to Gettysburg and tour the new Visitor’s Center and diorama and feel what it was like to be part of a war that pitted brother against brother. I want them to sit in a little cubby at one of the exhibits, like I did, and hear the female voices describe what it was like when the men decided to stop killing each other and had moved on to other battlefields, leaving them to smell the rotting flesh and bury the bodies.
I don’t want politicians making promises to me about equal rights. I want them to read books by authors like Greg Iles (Natchez Burning & The Bone Tree) so that they know that while we have come some distance towards equality for all, we still have a long way to go. Lessons can be learned, even in fictional stories. Create jobs that give people dignity and they will work up to the challenge. Strip a person of hope, with empty promises and you leave them with nothing.
I don’t want candidates to spend millions of dollars on campaign promotion that’s nasty and counter-productive. I want them to use that money for the betterment of society as a whole. And I want them to pay taxes on that money. When I win the 10 billion-dollar lottery, I will be very happy to pay a boat-load of taxes and so should they.
And while they are learning the historical lessons that made our country what it once was. . .yes, once was. . .because I don’t believe we’re there anymore. I want them to bawl, like I do, every time I witness a gross injustice, racial prejudice, an abuse of power, or the financial ruin of good, hard-working people. . .struggling to get by in a country that has gradually slipped from number one.
Then I want them to start a movement of integrity, honor, honesty and self-sacrifice in the political arena that will give my grandchildren and great-grandchildren an opportunity to study the re-growth of American in their American History classes.