Some thoughts on Amer­ica

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Ge­orge Arata, La Plata

Over the last few years, I’ve be­come more in­ter­ested in politics as I get older. The last two years I have be­come a po­lit­i­cal junkie. Peo­ple have said they’ve had enough, they’re sick of it; they are glad the cam­paign and elec­tion are over. I go from C-SPAN, to NPR, to CNN, to FOX, to MSNBC — to all of them and the printed press to hear and read what the news folks and jour­nal­ists think. Then I form my own thoughts and opin­ions.

It sad­dens me to hear peo­ple say they are ashamed to be Amer­i­can or they are go­ing to leave my coun­try. I am proud to be an Amer­i­can. Al­ways have been and al­ways will be. I’m not go­ing any­where. My plan is to make it bet­ter. I’ve sup­ported my pres­i­dents in the past and I will sup­port them now and in the fu­ture. I have not agreed with them on is­sues of con­cern and have been wrong more times than right. But, be­cause of our great sys­tem of gov­ern­ment, we have checks and bal­ances. We will never have a Hitler or Mus­solini. Re­gard­less of what the pun­dits say, there are good peo­ple in Wash­ing­ton and our state govern­ments. With more hu­mil­ity and less ego, though, cred­i­bil­ity will greatly im­prove. “Not a ser­mon, just a thought.”

For those who say they are leav­ing, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Per­haps your va­cancy will open a spot for a refugee who has lost his par­ents in a bombed out vil­lage, lost his home to an ISIS sui­cide bomber, lost a brother who drowned try­ing to get to safety on a boat car­ry­ing 300 peo­ple de­signed for 10. Seems to me there are mil­lions of peo­ple try­ing to get in our coun­try but not many choos­ing to leave. The ones who are leav­ing are air­men, sol­diers, sailors and marines. But their ab­sence is tem­po­rary. They leave to de­fend this great coun­try. Take from some­one who knows … they can’t wait to get back home to the good ol’ U.S.A.

I am not a racist. Never have been. I was raised by par­ents who de­spised racism. My best friends are of dif­fer­ent races and cul­tures. I learn from their ex­am­ples of peace, jus­tice and hu­man rights. I have no use for those who use their power and the cam­eras to in­cite ri­ots and en­cour­age burn­ing their own com­mu­ni­ties. Nor do my friends.

The cam­paign com­mer­cial show­ing our next pres­i­dent us­ing the “F” word, mock­ing a spe­cial needs per­son and be­lit­tling a fe­male jour­nal­ist is un­ac­cept­able. It de­picted chil­dren watch­ing it. That was a pow­er­ful ad. But let’s be hon­est here folks. There is trash like that on fam­ily hour T.V. ev­ery night. Is “The Walk­ing Dead” the num­ber one show on T.V.? We have be­come naive to heads be­ing chopped off, blood gush­ing on the screen. Ev­ery other com­mer­cial touts a new drug that can make a man a fourhour love ma­chine; two peo­ple sit­ting in a bath­tub look­ing out at a moun­tain. Our 4 and 5 year olds are watch­ing this ev­ery night.

Our chil­dren are en­cour­aged to buy all these “ma­cho” videos of some guy jump­ing out of a he­li­copter shoot­ing 20 peo­ple with a 100 pound ma­chine gun. This is not re­al­ity, folks. I won­der if the tragedy of mass killings in our world is in­flu­enced by video games as vi­o­lent as some ad­ver­tised. We have come a long way from “Leave it to Beaver,” “Fa­ther Knows Best,” “Donna Reed” or “Mar­cus Welby.”

My plan is to shoot bas­ket­balls in a hoop with my grand­son, throw a base­ball or foot­ball with him, not a grenade. Help him learn to play gui­tar or piano, not video games. Jump in a swim­ming pool or a pile of leaves, not out of a chop­per, un­less it is to de­fend this great coun­try of ours. That I will en­cour­age, as hard as it will be.

I love my God, my coun­try, my fam­ily. If nec­es­sary, I would take a bul­let for any­one of them. In the mean­time, I’m stay­ing here in small-town Amer­ica and con­tinue to leave it bet­ter than I found it. For those who choose to leave, I hear North Korea is nice this time of year.

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