We as Americans are becoming divided by symbols and flags while our enemies unite under common banners to do us harm. We have seen a division across this nation over every issue under the sun in which we disagree. Feelings of hate, resentment and disdain replace just about all traces of nationalism and love of country, at least for some of us.
Many who know of our history and sacrifice are doing their best to hold on to a belief that our diversity is what makes us strong. For nearly 400 years, this soil's original inhabitants were visited upon by foreign immigrants. Within the first two centuries of colonization we had done the impossible and became an independent nation free from control by the world's largest and most powerful armies, and we did so in order to create a nation where at least in principle we acknowledged that while we come from many different backgrounds, there is a greater equality which binds us in a compact to live together under one flag, where we had united to stand together against all forces of evil which had worked to threaten our ability to live as free men and women, to make use of our vast natural resources in order to thrive as a people and to pursue our dreams for happiness.
Yet holding on to this nation has never been an easy task. When our Independence was declared and our great confederation affirmed by the ratification of our Constitution, there were some among us who were not treated as equal. Native Indians were forcefully removed from lands which had belonged to them as a birthright and placed on reservations. Indentured servants and slaves were mistreated and denied the same liberties as their masters. Inequality among races and sex continued for more than another 200 years. We even went out and stole the Islands of Hawaii and forced their people to live under our rule.
You may be asking yourself, how then could we have ever considered this a great nation?
Some will even point to our current international relationships, where we continue to impose our way of life and beliefs upon others by force or threat of force, a growing amount of attention given to psychopaths and police officers who take away the precious lives of the innocent, and greedy corporations and corrupt politicians that squander our money for their own nefarious purposes, all as additional evidence that our nation is not as great as we would like to believe.
Our division on so many issues regarding race, religion, sexual preference, political affiliation and economic classes have placed us upon a path of coming apart at the seams. This is evident by the uptick in protests, riots, flag burning, flag removal, hate speech, violence in so many forms and a growing disgust for our political leaders who do little to diffuse such unrest or who deliberately work to undermine the progress we have worked so hard to achieve over the past four centuries.
Yet before we start allow our hearts to fill with hatred against others for every failure of our nation, we must understand that at this stage in our progress, the fault lies at each of our own feet. We are a great nation. We are a great people. No nation on Earth is perfect, but there are elements of our history, long rooted in a concept of liberty.
Our nation is great not because of the issues that divide us, not because of our mistakes, but because our great diversity has empowered us to extend the torch of liberty throughout our lands and even beyond our own borders. We liberated Europe, we sent a man to the moon, we created wonderful innovations in science and technology and had once been the envy of the entire world, out producing all other nations combined, accumulating massive wealth, we finally put an end to segregation, we gave suffrage to all races and sexes, recognized that we are all truly created equal and strived again and again to better ourselves. Thru it all we have held on, and held strong to our nation's founding principles which have made such progress possible.
Now, you can sit back and arm chair quarterback about how things could have been done better, that is your right. There have been major mistakes. But the truth of how great we are as a nation is evidenced by the fact that so many Americans from so many diverse backgrounds have come together, time and again, generation after generation, to build a better America. This is something we should each be proud of.
Now it's however a time of struggle yet again, where a new form of intolerance and hatred is expanding. You know, a downturn in our economy, our prosperity, international relations and other negative conditions have weakened our American spirit. Our frustrations turn to anger, and the seeking of those who can be blamed become central to our thinking. We have become a nation once again too quick to judge eachother according to our differences rather than focus on our combined strengths in order to put us back on track to become the great nation that we can be, if only we remain united.
We must remain united, focusing not on our differences, but on our ability to overcome tragedy and despair, to work and produce and provide for our own happiness and to pass down this tradition to our children so that they too will have pride in our combined heritage which will drive them to excel well beyond our wildest dreams for their happiness and posterity.
This is not what we are doing when we tear each other down for our individual beliefs, which in themselves have no cause or attempt to harm. The forceful removal or desecration of symbols which others hold in high regard, for the mere sake of your own sense of personal gratification or retaliation is a childish path for such a great nation to engage upon. Recent affairs continue to expose an intolerance by one group or another who rather than live and let live, interject and attempt to force their beliefs on others. We have no time for these games of capture the flag when we have enemies that want to force their beliefs and will upon us all and to do us serious harm.
While we fail to unite, go out and burn our nation's flag, remove our symbols of heritage and religious beliefs, all of which we are each freely entitled by our hard earned liberty to enjoy, our enemies are uniting against us. We have for too long focused on these divisions rather than focus on our mutual prosperity and liberty to live in a world where we are not oppressed by those who would love to see us fail, enslaved or killed off, so that they can do what we don't do, which is to take advantage of our great and abundant natural resources. This is our land, we must protect it from encroachment and theft. We must do all that is necessary to ensure foreign or domestic enemies do not harm our ability to live in freedom. This can only be accomplished as it had in the past when we come together as one. We have little strength in our own divided groups. The reason we became a nation at all was in order to chart our own course and not have it dictated by our enemies. You must recognize that our nation's flag is a symbol of that unity. When we desecrate it, we show the world that we are unable to overcome our petty differences.
The First Amendment to our Constitution is meant to protect us against any action by our government to silence our voices, but it should not be so poorly interpreted to provide an excuse for an intent to silence the voices or beliefs of others with whom we share such important societal bonds. Live, and let live, and let each of us enjoy our freedom to do the same. Don't rub your success in the face of others who simply have a different belief than you do. Do not force them to conform to your way of thinking. Not only is this an impossibility, the outcome will only introduce animosity and divisiveness.
If we are to remain a strong nation, to become a great people, we must be tolerant of each others' differences. It is that tolerance which gives us the greatest strength and the ability to stand together, united under a single flag, the long and hopefully ever enduring stars and stripes, forever!
This blog post from an executive staff member is not to be contstrued as an official statement or act made by or on behalf of the American Militia Association and might not represent the views or opinions of the Association, its Directors, officers or employees.
Such posts and their comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of the organization.