That Old Time American Principle
Not to long ago, we were a country that stood on principle. As a nation we were united to fight evil and prevail. We had a nation filled with men who would sacrifice every thing that they knew to win the battle against many forces of evil everywhere. But, it seems that we have lost that Great American Principle.
This was quite apparent last week when the Congress voted to call a genocide a genocide. Maybe we should have done this many years ago, but at least some of our leaders recognized that we could find some common ground and at least agree on something so obvious. Sometimes it takes some time to stand up for something that is so obvious. And, a majority, a large majority of Congress agreed on this matter. Some pain takes a bit longer to figure out and make the appropriate gesture. The Catholic Church only recently acknowledged the evil role that the Church played in both the Spanish Inquisition and the smear of Galileo. These things happened 500 years ago, 400 years more than the Armenian genocide and it was a good thing.
But, unfortunately America has lost its principle. A weak leader like George W Bush is more concerned about Turkey’s reaction to this recognition than he is of the moral principle behind the action. And, George W Bush has claimed to have moral principle. But, like usual, his actions speak louder than words. George W Bush is a man of principle for the new age. That is code for: He is a man of principle as long as it doesn’t interfere with his agenda. There was a time when a leader’s agenda coincided with his principle. But, we are now living in a new age where a personal agenda trumps principle. Oh, please give me back the old days when men lived by principle!
It wasn’t so long ago when we saw minorities being put down, kept from voting and placed away from the central society. But, everyday Americans saw this injustice and drove hundreds of miles to help these people rise up against their oppressors. This was a time when Americans had principles and they knew the difference between right and wrong. They weren’t simply concerned with their personal self interest, but they were concerned with the well-being of fellow Americans across the country. Moral principle was valued then and people took the time and money they had and used it to further the cause of American freedom. This was truly a time when we had American principle.
Injustice wasn’t limited to a single minority in a single region. When these Americans with true moral principle looked around they saw injustice in many places. People saw how large corporations used automation to systematically destroy our country and our planet. They dumped toxins into our lakes, rivers and seas. They pumped disgusting gases into our atmosphere all in the name of production. These corporations argued that they were benefiting the people by producing goods for the people at such a low cost that everyone could have anything that desired. But, the people argued back, “If you don’t have your health, then you don’t have anything.” This was a good old American value that I remember so vividly from the past. There are so few people today that care about health any more!
Today we have to fight a president tooth and nail in order to get health care to our children. Twenty-five percent of the adults in our country can’t afford to take care of simple health needs. And, when something tragic happens to them they go to the emergency rooms of our hospitals where they know that they can not be turned away. As a society we are paying many times what it would cost to take preventative actions before things would get this far out of control. Today we have a President and Vice President that are using all of their energy to save energy companies that want to continue to destroy our environment. The more we damage the environment, then the more it will cost to pay for the health care of the people effected by this. There was a time when Americans would see this tragedy unfold and they would mass in the streets and shout and stamp their feet until our leaders would listen. Or, our leaders would live by principle and feel compelled to pass laws to fix these problems. But, America no longer has these principles and they people no longer feel compelled to do anything but eat, drink, watch TV and play video games. Maybe they fall asleep from time to time, but that is always something that they feel compelled to do.
Somehow we have elected a president that is compelled by “principle” to honor a religious figure in the Dalai Lama in order to defend religious freedom and give the finger to China, but is afraid to acknowledge a hundred year old genocide because he is afraid of what Turkey might do. Since when are Americans compelled by principle to rattle the cage of the worlds most populous country, but they are afraid to stand for principle against a tiny backward third-world country in the Middle East? What happened to true American principle? Why has America become such a frightened little dweeb country? I remember, like it was yesterday, when Americans stood for principle and they weren’t afraid to back down from even nuclear powers like the Soviet Union.
George W Bush once claimed that we were compelled to go into Iraq because of principle. Iraq never provoked us, and that attack had little to do with defending our borders. But, George W Bush told us that Iraq might threaten us in the future and this preemptive strike was some type of time bending defense of that future threat. And, in order to save us from the smoking gun of a mushroom cloud we were justified to attack Iraq and hang their leader. This was considered a matter of moral principle.
Over the past few years Turkey has been attacked by Kurdish rebels living in Iraq. These are real attacks where real Turks have been killed. This isn’t some strange bending of the time line. And, under the American doctrine of defense the United States of America would certainly feel compelled to attack these rebels if they lived on our border. So, Turkey would certainly be justified by American principle to follow the rebels back into Iraq after one of their “night raids.” And, Turkey passed a law condoning just that. Shouldn’t our principled president support such a principled and justified use of force for a real, not imagined, threat? But, our “principled” president condemned Turkey for passing this law. Oh, where have our American principles gone.
Please bring back the days of American principle where Americans stood up to its government when they knew that the government was wrong. Bring back the days when the people felt the American moral principle and acted on it.
Don't forget what Stephen Colbert said, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit