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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Should we be Americans First? Is that a Good Thing?

The other day, sweet Wifey (she is so sweet) posted an article on Right Truth called "Hyphenated Americans". This was concerning people who refer to themselves as something other than AMERICANS, such as black Americans, Hispanic Americans, gay/lesbian Americans and the ills created by these identities. No doubt that multiculturalism is a bad thing.

But I'd like to look at this with a little bit different slant. Actually in the the beginning I don't think most Americans thought of themselves as Americans first. Rather they identified themselves as citizens of sovereign states, Virginians, New Yorkers, South Carolinians, and in many cases their allegiance was to a particular state rather than the "Union". Perhaps in the very early times they identified themselves as members of small communities. A prime example of this was the great general Robert E. Lee. Lee was a military man, a West Point graduate and no doubt a good and loyal soldier, but when the civil war broke out he cast his lot with Virginia which seceded and joined the Confederacy. Had Virginia sided with the Union or if Lee had lived in Pennsylvania then I have no doubt he would have been known as a great Union general.

Ahhhhh yes! Sovereign states! What a nice concept! 

"Sir, how do you identify yourself first?"

"I am a Tennessean! A citizen of the sovereign state of Tennessee!"

I think it's pretty hard for any of us to grasp this concept today. It seems wherever we look, wherever we turn, whatever we think, the big, powerful, greedy, bloated federal government is in the way.

I'm not trying to fight the civil war all over again but from 1865 forward it seems things have gone downhill as far as the sovereign states are concerned and have moved more and more toward an all powerful central government. The administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson moved us toward centralization in massive chunks.

Today we have an administration and much of congress that totally ignores the Constitution, tramples on the sovereignty of the individual states, ignores the rule of law, and tells us what to eat, drink, smoke, drive, what to do, what NOT to do.........BARF! How did we get here? Well since the end of the civil war we have allowed for the erosion of states rights, little by little. Like the frog in a gradually warming pot of water, it may be too late for us as we suddenly find things boiling over all around us. I heard Rush Limbaugh lamenting yesterday on his program that 35 percent of Americans receiving income today are receiving it from the backs and hard work of others. That is over a third, people! And what will happen if suddenly the checks stop being written for that 35 percent? RIOTS! We've seen a slight preview in Wisconsin already. WAAAAA! Pay for my health care! WAAAAAA! Pay for my retirement! WAAAAAAA! It's outrageous and unsustainable and it's all due to our massive federal bureaucracy and they continue to want more and more. 14 trillion and climbing with no end in sight. That is our future.

Would we be better off today if we primarily identified ourselves as Tennesseans, Kentuckians, or Arkansans and NOT Americans? I don't know. Frankly, most of the state governments today are as intrusive and corrupt as Uncle Sam, and like I said before we may have long passed the boiling point, the point of no return.

But what about the idea of SOVEREIGN states? Will we ever really see this again? Well I think we are starting to see at least a hint of this. Arizona passed their much maligned immigration law, mainly because the federal government refused to enforce the law and protect the borders. Of course there was great outrage by liberals and the feds. Many states are saying NO to the federal government by fighting Obamacare in the courts. So far they are pursuing this by lawful and peaceful means. Will federal oppression one day become so great that states will simply tell the federal government to GO TO HELL and dare the feds to enforce their stupid federal laws against the will of the citizens of the state? We hear talk of secession pop up from time to time. Do states have a right to secede? Some say the civil war solved this issue. Did it? It seems to me that the Constitution is as ambiguous on this particular issue as it was in 1861. Let us not forget the words of Thomas Jefferson:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...."

Am I proud to be an American? You bet! I am proud to be an American based to the founding principles of the Constitution. The world is a much better place because of America. I am proud of that.

I am not so proud that we have allowed the greedy, corrupt, central power to take over our once great country. I am torn and twisted. Everyday when I watch the news, I become even more torn and twisted.

What say the rest of you?

1 comment:

  1. I regularly participate in Zogby surveys and one question they always ask is "do you consider yourself a citizen of...
    1. The world
    2. America
    3. your community

    I always answer "America"

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete