A long, long time ago, as rumor has it, there was a great country between the Pacific and Atlantic called the United States of America. A proud country in good and bad times.
It was fiercely independent. Many thought there was something about her that rose above other countries. Some thought that more myth and legend but many believed it. Was it more perception of the residents than reality? We aren’t sure though that can be studied.
And indeed this country became a great force among other countries. She tried to help the others in their times of need. She sailed around the world ending 2 world wars and batting down various other conflicts. Real peace eluded her for years.
Her men and women were of strong stock working to build a strong country. And strong it was. They had a certain determination. They had mostly good intentions among them, even in desperate times. In fact, in the worst of times they seemed to rise above petty to pull their resources to solve any crisis. There was a “we are one” mentality.
She, America, was the go to source for markets around the world. She was the ultimate trading partner. When others in the world bought her goods, which carried a great reputation, people were glad to buy them. And it bought plenty from others. The label “Made in USA” meant something throughout the world.
She was a place people around the globe flocked to or aspired to go. There was no other place like it. One of its great presidents referred to America as a “shining city on a hill.” Debates often went back and forth over extending or retracting her interests verses isolationism. Those ideas are still out there in books for consumption. But they sure were passionate about their ideas. They valued their ideas almost as much as the country.
Indeed, they sort of had a reverence for the past though it was not perfect. Yet because they worked through those imperfections that made her even better. And it was hard work. They had a great Civil War in the 1800’s. They united afterward as even a better country, despite differing opinions. They had high appreciation for its relatively short history as a nation.
Through thick and thin there was no better place to be.
The consensus always was instinctively to resist foreign entanglements, but as decades went on resistance grew weaker. They did entangle the country in far regions around the world. It was rationalized as the better choice. Still, they were leery of Global powers of consolidation that opposed their spirit of individualism and freedom.
One of its later presidents called those powers a New World Order.
In time, even that weaker resistance softened. Until it got to a point where some of its leaders were so enamored by this Globalism that they began doing things and scheming to get deeper involved in Globalism. The theory went that enough actions would be irreversible and that, once done, people would grow accustomed making it virtually impossible to undo. Each layer of Globalist policies added more bonds on the people. Even fierce dissenters would not be capable of mustering the resolve to undo it all. So that is the way it went.
Then She had many culture battles domestically, which strained the nation’s unity. It was called a culture war. They bickered back and forth about these cultural issues. Some saw these as bigger than the country itself, while others ignored them entirely. The date always seemed significant. They would say things like, “ it’s the 1970’s.” Or insert any other year up until the 2-M’s. The year was used as a symbol for modernity itself. Similarly, they mocked the past with euphemisms like “ancient” or “dark ages.” In that way, they thought of themselves currently as better, more knowledgeable and improving as time went on. New became old and the cycle continued. Everything in the past was perceived as “old.”
It was almost as if they could not get enough of new, anything new. For some people, change could not seem to happen fast enough. There were those who sat around trying to think up the next new thing that would catch the public’s appetite for change. They were not Nostradamus figures, but commoners trying to ride the fast-moving wave of modernity. Usually, efforts were in vaine. Fads and trends were moving fast enough without that intentional help. There was an education reformer back in the late 1800’s who said “change, if done correctly, can hardly be noticed.” However, the objective of this change was not to be unnoticed but to be obvious to everyone. The more shocking or outrageous the better. In fact that was the purpose.. They wanted change to be highly visible and unavoidable.
Well, you can probably see where all this is headed but the country enjoyed some very good years. It was blessed for many years. That is until this need for change and the will of the people were so compromised that the inevitable was certainly inevitable for them. By then, there was a margin of people who weren’t interested in keeping the country as it had been, but looking for a severely different state. They had no pride in what was or is, only in how far they could jettison it. Therein was the problem. Their preference was radical change.
Well, it should have been clear in tell tale signs over years. Sometimes people openly state even their worst intentions. During later elections, campaigns were filled with words about change. One new term grew in popularity, transformation. Most people didn’t know what it meant, at least as defined by those soldiers of change using it.
Then came another term, re-imagine. They claimed they wanted to re-imagine government, re-imagine the economic system. Re-imagine everything. The irony is that with all this re-imaging, they could not have imagined a better country than they had. But their toxic, creative imaginations could not be quenched and leave the once-great country in place.
I see it is getting late, so maybe we’ll read more about this Old Glory another time. It is an interesting story anyway. Sort of mysterious why there are not more books about it?
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