Should We Be Unhappy With America?
The other day I was reading
Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to
believe. It must be true given the source, right?
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with
the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is
unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the
citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''
Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the
summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of
these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a
grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has
seen in the last year?
Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic
Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move
through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels
we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess
having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the
world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our
car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all
involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even,
if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you
may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a
fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use
top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your
family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your
many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer
equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and
your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a
neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the
residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones
How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we
enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what
has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the
world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great
disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed
people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't
have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good
Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has
no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent
approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in
the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an
economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been
called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled
brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an
all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?
Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have
volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom.
There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.
They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general''
discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case
scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of
Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds
it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car
crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at
the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit
corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to
allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special
about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did -- insane!
Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut
off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of
your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country.
There is exponentially more good than bad.
I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:
''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on
the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom,
social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the
Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck
off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans
of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may
hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''
I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we
don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to
future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we
are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and
most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the
''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.