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Posts Tagged ‘Barak Obama’


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Time makes more converts than Reason.

Perhaps one of my favorite sentences in Common Sense, and it’s on the first page of a pamphlet that set a convulsive group of colonial territories upon a course which would bring astounding concepts and hard-fought liberties to a people who’d had quite enough of being manhandled by aristocrats holding power via ‘birth right’ and not by consensus of the governed.

Ironically penned by an Englishman, it gave a wary populace the grist they needed as the mill of independence lurched to life, groaning and creaking under its own weight, yet setting powerfully clandestine machinations in motion. God touched Thomas Paine upon the shoulder and nudged the muse of inspiration within.

Yet I am hard pressed to declare witness to the same fire-in-the-belly spirit today, at a time when we conceivably need it most. Certainly there are voices straining to be heard, almost whisper-thin and inconsequential amongst the thunderous appelations of media prophets (and profits). Content and editorial decisions are based more upon ratings and sponsor appeasement than upon proper distillation and dispersion of critical knowledge to the public; massive capitalist juggernauts blindly cruising upon the dwindling waters that gave it industrial, economic, and global significance.

A sobering number of “Americans” have no idea whom the Vice President is—even more stunning are those in our schools who don’t know the three branches of government. Pretty safe bet that far more people know who our current president is, if for no other reason than he more preferentially befits minorities than any other in our history. Don’t misconstrue what I’ve written—I’ve watched President Obama speak and watched the inauguration. I’m incredibly proud that America has finally elected a non-white to her highest public office. I, along with a disenchanted multitude, are waiting to see the promised “change we can believe in.”

But what do you believe, America?

It would seem to me that Reason can’t be coaxed from those whose Time is spent avoiding or ignoring that which they glibly take for granted. Ratings for American Idol are still through the roof, yet voter turnout typically hits a high of 40%, if that; the registered yet non-voting majority indignantly take any opportunity to chest-thump about their constitutional rights—rights which I most confidently bet they can’t begin to enumerate.

Video games thrill and entertain, blowing up and slaughtering enemies of all ilk, yet the virtual combatants have little (if any) idea what the fight is for outside of point totals and online aggrandizement.

Where is your fight, America? Do you not realize that our vigilance has been usurped by those who only wish to extract your cherished liberties for their own self-indulgence?

Are you comfortable with your exchange of freedom for perceived security?

How can you abide complacency and watch yourself being dressed down from within, much less in front of a leering and delighted global community.

Stand up my dear America!

Let go the teat of corpulent power and reclaim your voice along with the rest of your countrymen and women. Demand that those who claim privilege of public service do just that, perform public service, not self service.

Do you still believe in yourself America, or do you prefer to struggle and let those who should be attending you continue to look askance at your feeble exertions to right yourself?

I urge us all, a dangerously carefree and trusting nation, to bear presence of mind to our very foundations, that the cause of America is indeed the cause of all mankind. Without perpetuity of God’s grace and his bestowment to us thereof we can only imagine those things which have long held berth in our collective hearts: The natural rights of man as granted through providence, the sweet and expansive perfume of freedom, and the absolute necessity and reponsibility to self-govern.

Society and government are, and always should be, separate entities. We are the government; it is comprised of us only by virtue of our saying so. It MUST serve us, not the twisted inverse. Should we continue to feed its gaping maw it will only become more bloated, lethargic, and self-serving.

Let us do something about it. Reach across to our brothers and sisters and once again grasp their hands in friendship and unity, and work with one another to get done what must be done. Long enough we have procrastinated and allowed the feral beast to gorge upon our very souls. Confront and subdue it we must, with one loud, clear voice, lest it haunt us eternally as a thought of necessity instead of celebrated accomplishment.

If the sands in history’s hourglass are perilously close to culmination, then we have precious little time to contemplate reason. Raise your voices, America . . . from sea to shining sea.

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Recently I read an article about Thomas Jefferson, the subtext of which was a take on heroes. Interesting, because I’d say it’s a safe bet that the majority of American society knows little about Jefferson removed from his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. My intention here isn’t to bore you with a common man’s interpretation of Jefferson’s life or accomplishments. Actually I wanted to speak to the subject of heroes.

You think I threw you a mental stumbling block, don’t you? How in the world does Jefferson, or any other founding father, become construed with something like heroism?

Glad you asked.

When you read or hear the word hero the immediate thing that likely comes to mind is probably the hero of comic book or movie variety: Superman, Batman, Capt. Jack Sparrow, Robin Hood, Luke Skywalker, etc. We associate so easily with these fictional heroes because we feel endeared to some trait or traits they possess. These characters perform all manner of super-human feats in the name of justice, revenge, love, or plain old self-interest.

But true heroes, as this article pointed out, are not those who punch, shoot, pummel, vaporize or otherwise vanquish their enemies in the name of fulfilling a storyline. They are genuinely men and women of profound moral convictions.

Sure, Superman battled for justice, as did Batman; those are pretty moralistic things, right? They put themselves on the line for some greater good, not for their own posterity or personal glorification. Men, such as our founding fathers, believed strongly in what liberty and freedom meant. They all agreed upon the concept of Natural Rights. They all had deep seated convictions about how power should be handled and how a new nation should be governed.

These were indeed men of profound moral convictions. And we assuredly have people like that among us today—if you give it even the faintest shred of thought energy you’ll find they’re closer than you think.

Let’s first bring distinction between a hero and an idol. Using the definition above, even including the additional criteria of consistent courage. These qualities engender admiration and inspire us to follow a worthy example. To wit:

    • The men and women of our Armed Forces . . . heroes
    • Good teachers doing everything in their power (and sometimes at their own personal expense) to teach our children . . . heroes
    • The aforementioned founding fathers . . . heroes
    • Law enforcement officers, firefighters . . . heroes

Again, you’re stuck on the founding fathers bit, aren’t you? Understand that these men (not to exclude the troubled Continental Army) put their very lives at stake by commiting treason when they declared independence from the British crown. The Declaration of Independence itself was a blatant form of sedition. Tell me that doesn’t take some serious cajones.

So perhaps we’re in agreement on my meager list of heroes. Here’s a quick list of idols:

    • Britney Spears . . . idol (sorry GBU)
    • Athletes and popular sports figures . . . idols
    • Rock stars, television and movie celebs . . . idols
    • Dare I say that even President Barak Obama, given those who look at him through the filter of celebrity . . . idol

Look, anyone who has read my blog for a while knows I’m a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks . . . yes, I know they suck this year. My favorite player, my ‘guy’: Stephen Drew. I don’t idolize him, but I appreciate his hustle and solid play. I certainly wouldn’t say he’s a hero of mine. But given my definition of hero, and completely subjective categorizing of heroes and idols, he falls under the idol category.

Let’s be clear here—idol worship is something I don’t condone or recommend, and I assure you there are but three entities I worship, and that’s that.

My heroes are people I didn’t know were heroes until I could completely grasp the concept. People like my parents, who did everything within their power to make sure my brother and I were provided for. That takes courage, moral conviction, and sacrifice; sounds like heroism to me. Other unsung contributors like nurses and daycare people. The doctors, and especially pediatricians, who don’t shuffle you off to an answering service in the middle of the night, but answer the phone when their patients call. I’d say that takes strong moral conviction and sacrifice, too.

And while I’m here, I’d like to take one more dip in the pool of controversy. Idols do not role models make. Can I put that any more succinctly? If you ask me, parents should be role models for their children, not some person whose likeness or voice travels upon the airwaves. It’s absolutely positive for a child to look up to someone because they may represent something good, maybe even something they find inspiration in. But it’s flat out wrong for a child to look up to someone because of the lifestyle they lead or the money they make.

I truly doubt anyone reading this blog has any issue with that. Typically speaking, well informed, well read, educated people lean far more towards being heroic than anything else.

Heroes are people of admiration and noble qualities. Look around you, and I bet you’re sure to find some close at hand.

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