Monday, June 13, 2005

What Is This America We Love?

Hi folks,

My nom de Blog is Mr.Kurtz and I will first thank Rosemary for her generosity in asking me to guest blog here. The theme is stated. Love America First.

Before I get into the main posting I will extend Birthday greetings to President George H. W. and Mrs. Barbara Bush. Mr. Bush was 81 yesterday and Mrs. Bush turned 80 on Wednesday, June 8. They are (naturally) celebrating together and I can think of no better example of an American family. You can send them a card here

So what is this America that we love? Is it our "...spacious skies and amber waves of grain... or "Thy liberty in law" of that famous song?

Is it in the extraordinary documents proclaiming this:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..."

and the very cornerstone of that "Liberty in law".

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Perhaps the phrase "We the People..." better defines it. Russia is a marvelous land, much larger in area and at least the equal of the United States in its natural wealth, yet the Russian people lived under the most brutal repression for a thousand years. Their writers and composers reached amazing cultural heights and their land stretched for a quarter of the globe's circumference, yet they were slaves until nearly 25 years after men had walked on another planet.

Germany, then the most cultured nation on earth, began a war that would extend for 31 years and kill more than 75 million people if, as many believe, WWII was simply a continuation of WWI.

Why are we different? In a sense, we are Germans, Russians, Kikuyu, Thai or Swedes. We are Lutheran, Unbeliever, Muslim, Catholic and Jew. We have have not escaped society's horrors; we too, participated in the enslavement of other humans when others, still groping toward our cherished franchise, abolished it and fought a Civil War that slaughtered more than three-quarters of a million of our vital young men leaving scars still unhealed. We expanded our land by war.

Yet today, the United States of America, accused by many of the world's peoples and many of our own citizens of imperialism, initiating religious war and greed for the resources of others is the only bulwark between billions of those people and a new Medievalism. A world of narrow, absolutist Caliphs and tyrants and that supreme perversion of democracy, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

Why do we not follow the course of empire expanded or submit to the amorphous hegemony of a floundering supra-national identity such as the European Union or the moral corruption of the "United Nations". And why also, does a particular end of the American social and political spectrum wish us to abolish our national identity.

This post will be continued and if we can't settle on definitive answers, maybe the questions are more important.

I invite comment and criticism: ideas count.