In the 8th grade, my social studies teacher taught me everything he knew about how America came to be. He taught of the battles it fought, the independence it declared and first great Americans that made it possible. He taught about the struggles to unite, the toils of slavery and he taught what we stand for. Now that I’m looking back on it he should have said stood.
America has been in a slow and steady decline and despite our best efforts, our ingenuity and prowess we still manage to place ourselves at the back of the queue. We are home of some of the most brilliant minds. A mass of opportunity and we still find ourselves the butts of international jokes.
A country with a government that is supposed to fear the people leave its people in fear. Seeing us staggered to do anything on our own, they relish at the opportunity to see us struggle—to see us become dependent on them when it was never created to do that in the first place. Where liberty once reigned, tyranny now resides. Where freedom held power, bondage is now prevalent.
We’ve somehow managed to politicize everything and allowed ignorance to make its way into our brains and fester like that plague it is. We are offended by the wrong things and ignore the important things. We fight for the other thing and lay waste to the one thing.
Our culture is shattered into a million pieces and everyone seems to have an idea of how to put it back together again. We care more about the rights of animals than our own people. We care more about the well-being of others than our own people.
Our economy is in shambles and nobody seems to care. We tax everything and it just makes us poorer. Our students are living in the clouds, our kids can’t write legibly, our elderly suffer and our rapist walk free. We pay handsomely for those incarcerated but what does America care more about? Clean, renewable energy. What a joke, we are.
Brave men and women built this country. We read about them in books and we see their stories retold in film. We fought for what was noble and honorable. Nowadays we try and shelter our children from what’s actually happening. There was a time when the truth was spoken because it mattered and it needed to be heard.
We once had a name for ourselves, America the Brave. Because when the enemy tried to cross us, we reigned all hell on them and everyone knew there was no point in testing us because we would win every time. But now—our pledge should be “Come all ye little enemies, we will welcome you with open arms. We will show you all the locked doors and what lies beyond, you will become like us and you will defeat us from within.”
I used to picture American as this brute force that wasn’t demanding to be reckoned with because it just was but now when I picture America, it looks like Lisa Frank’s universe has come to life. Where is the America that was sang about in the Star-Spangled Banner? Where is the America that employed Uncle Sam seek men to defend itself? Where is the America we once taught our children about? The one I was proud of all those years ago.
Our pledge of allegiance—this nation does not stand as one. We are not a republic. We have been divided for some time now and I’m shocked they haven’t taken out “under God” because he is the only one holding this place together right now.
America, you stand at a great precipice and no matter which way you fall, it’ll never be right. But I STILL have hope in you, America. I still have hope that you can return to that former glory. As free men and women, just as we can do great evil, we can do great good. Won’t you fight for what is right and good and noble?!
Dear America, we hardly knew he.
Here endeth the lesson.