I began asking this question while I was in the military in the 60’s and over the past 50 years have come to some conclusions that may, be diametrically opposed to the views of a few reading this blog. In most of the places I traveled during my military days I found that America was a place that many wanted to come but viewed Americans with something less than a favorable attitude. Over the past few decades the latter portion has not changed and although many still want to come here, viewing it far superior to what they face in their own country, much of the world holds a negative view of America and Americans. My question has been and is why? Let me give you a few of my conclusions:
1. Jealousy. There are governments and people throughout the world who are jealous of the success, prosperity, freedom and independence we have enjoyed as Americans and as America. They fail to take into consideration the great price paid by America and Americans to attain this position, and our efforts to come to the aid other countries such as WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and all the other times we’ve stepped up to the plate to help keep the world from being goose-stepped down the path of Tyrannical Despotism. Our freedom has come at a price few could have or would have paid, and often without any recognition or appreciation from those we helped. It is even overlooked within our own ranks, and most fail to understand, the fragile nature of freedom, or the price that is frequently paid for success.
2. Attitude. While traveling to various parts of the world as a member of the U.S. military, I watched the visible dislike and disrespect toward American servicemen and Americans in general. That, to some degree, if not to a great degree, was the result of our attitude while in their countries. Most of those places impoverished as the were, understood the value of every penny and commodity. Most of the guys I served with showed no interest in cost, getting a fair deal or the value of money they just wanted what they wanted and didn’t care. I was, treated with more respect than most of my fellow servicemen because I haggled over price, counted my change and demanded a fair price for whatever I purchased. Maybe that was because I grew up poor and didn’t make much money. Maybe it was because I saw how they did things and out of respect for their cultures and values I attempted to blend in. Maybe it was just God protecting me and giving me favor that paid off more than once. I don’t know, but I know that American servicemen and tourist gave the view that America was a place where everyone had money to burn, didn’t understand the value of a dollar and were selfish, self-centered and often anything but polite. This attitude, I believe, is a basis for the jealousy toward us.
3. Politics. Or possible better stated as propaganda from their governments and ours. The particular group that I had much to do with in Vietnam was highly feared because of their willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done and their efficiency in doing that job. We endured the likes of Hanoi Jane publicly supporting our enemies and committing treasonous acts which not only endangered American servicemen but thousands of South Vietnamese citizens, and portrayed America as a weak-willed, divided country that could be defeated. Our military power is, unparalleled by any in the world but our politics, in many ways offsets that military might and makes us very vulnerable because of the internal division and games played with the lives and security of American people and the America we know and love. We have a President today, who has gone around the world apologizing for America. As a veteran, I believe he needs to apologize to America. Were it not for the willingness of the American people to make the sacrifices since the Revolutionary War, this world would have little freedom, if any, and most of the citizens would be living under tyrannical rule and in abject poverty fearful of every act, word and deed on a daily basis.
Therefore,, while I believe that America is the greatest country in the world and has been the beacon for freedom, we are not without our problems. We’ve become an entitlement nation and this has not been an accident but a planned process largely spearheaded by one political party. I fully realize that they have been little more than pawns in the hands of those who have the money and power who desire that the entire world be under “one rule” and that “rule” be “mammon” not God! Politicians would have us believe, that we have a broken Health Care System and Obamacare is the answer. If you want me to believe that, end all exemptions and have every government official and employee line up at the head of the line to sign up. Stop giving me inflated or deflated numbers regarding people or the cost and show me, in a tangible manner, how going this route will be better than those countries and states which have tried “government run health care” and failed. Likewise, some are suggesting that spending without concern of how or when we are going to pay it back is the answer. Continued increase in taxes ultimately results in lower productivity, places more people on welfare or entitlement rolls, and results in a crumbled economy. Government has been so inefficient in its management of those things it is now responsible for how can I believe running health care or creating jobs will be any different? This country’s foundation is its ingenuity, creativity and the willingness to take a risk hoping for a reward by the private sector of society. Most small businesses are afraid to take risks today and the mountain of paperwork and governmental regulations suggest that most will not survive the next decade or possibly the next election cycle. This will only exacerbate the problem and our great country will begin to appear more and more like the third-world countries this administration seems to want us to become.
So I say, stop playing political games with America! In all things demonstrate frugality and fiscal responsibility as we, responsible citizens, find necessary. Allow the creativity, ingenuity, adventurous spirit, independence and faith that made this country great to once again thrive! Don’t just read the Constitution in the opening session of Congress, study it, understand it, implement it, practice it and honor it. Elected officials call themselves “public servants”, so start serving the public rather than your own and special interest groups. Allow our technology the freedom to develop, harvest and produce the energy and other resources needed for independence from foreign governments. That dependence could result in the demise of this great country. Secure our borders, and secure our homeland rather than projecting an image that we are a “weak-willed” nation without the resolve or commitment to defend ourselves and bring to justice those who attack us. Make America what the vast majority of its citizen’s desire – “One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty And Justice For All.”
I am an American, a veteran, and a Christian and proud of each of those distinctions. My prayers for the leaders of this country are that they be given wisdom to lead, brought to an encounter with God, and find a willingness to follow His plan. I pray for this nation that we rise above the political games being played with our lives and hold EVERY elected official accountable. If they don’t respond help them become unemployed so they can find a different vocation. I pray for the Church that it be the Church that Jesus has and is building and be the influence upon this world that God intended! God Bless You and God Bless America!