Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Back Where You Came From

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else." -- Teddy Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918

One of the silliest statements that I have heard in the last few years has got to be...If You do not like things here then go back where you came from. Well gee...I COME from here!

What do people hope to accomplish with such a blind comment? We are, all of us, a nation of immigrants. But our ancestors came here hoping for a better life, a more equitable system of government. And, it seems to me that those who would have us return from whence we came are not talking to recent immigrants. Most who dare to question what this administration is doing, and are therefore told they need to leave, are those whose roots are here are several generations deep.

As I recall my studies of US History, it was almost my civic duty to protest what I felt my government might be doing that was diametrically opposed to those values that had shaped us as a nation. It is, as I recall, the very first Amendment to the Constitution, the first 10 amendments being known as The Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights was adopted by the first Congress, called to meet in New York City, March 4, 1789. Later ratified by the various states, on December 15, 1791, they were made a part of the Constitution. MY Constitution.

So we see in this first Amendment that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"; (What this says to me is that my government has no business telling me how or when I should or should not worship, and in keeping with that premise THEY will not establish a state religion of any kind. But now, if I do not care for the sort of in your face religiosity that is permeating my government and country, I need to leave?) "or abridging the freedom of speech"; ( One would think that I should be able to voice my opinion, right? Nope...told to leave!) "or the press", (so, if I own a small newspaper, or even a large one, then I can print what I choose, even if it is at odds with what others might think or feel? Wrong again, you should pack your bags and leave! Here, I will even help you pack and buy your plane/bus/boat ticket, or go on line and take up a collection in order to hasten your departure!), "or the right of the people to peaceably assemble", (screaming through bullhorns outside a hospice is peaceably assembling? BUT, if I dare to say I feel this is not right then I am aiding and abetting murder and I need to leave!), " to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (If I dare ask a question of My President, the man chosen to represent me and my country, I have no choice BUT to leave! The men in suits and dark glasses will escort me out.)

Well, I am not happy, and there are many things that I do not like about my country these days...(see above). I do not like what my government is doing. I think it needs to mend it's ways. I think it is driving us into a deep dark hole which may well take another generation or two for us to crawl out of. I think the President is a jerk. I think those around him do not have the best interests of my country at heart. I think he is all about what profits him and his cronies and to heck with the rest of us. I have a right to say these things. You do not agree then YOU have the right to say so as well. But the difference is, I will not tell you to leave! I will RESPECT your opinion.

I will continue to say all of the above and more, and, I am NOT leaving! I am entrenched. 300+ years of my ancestors blood sweat and tears have gone into the making of this nation. I think I will stick around.