The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

American Pride

My friend recently got a new passport (no, that's not his photo) . . .
What can I say, I swelled with American Pride when seeing the design and imagery.

I can't be sure, but I think the way that we as Americans view our history is drastically changing.
I grew up with the vision of America as a vast land of infinite possibility.
Manifest Destiny.
We said the pledge of allegiance every morning with our right hands over our hearts,

One nation under G-d, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

George Washington could never tell a lie, Abraham Lincoln intoned the Emancipation Proclamation.

Today it seems 'in' to show the truth behind our founding fathers -their faults and follies.
I don't deny the human nature and darker side of the Founding Fathers, but human nature is to look up to Heroes, be they real or mythological, and the stories of America, forged in the crucible of the great experiment of liberty, are necessary to form our common identity as a nation.

If not we are left with a parade of superficial 'pretty' people pumped out by Hollywood.

I would rather have Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt as the American Way then charlatans of Hollywood.

As a Jew I know there is even more then that, there is a Torah, a Rebbe . . .
But the American people as a whole need to have pride in their country.

"May God continue the unity of our Country, as the Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world."
-the Golden spike

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Irina Tsukerman said...

I agree. It's important to learn from mistakes of the past, but it should be done with dignity, without vilifying our very roots.

Chaim Friedman said...

You're forgetting that the new passports are supposed to contain RFID tags that will track your every move. Liberty and freedom for all! Yeah... uh huh...

yitz.. said...

it seems to me that the more people tout something and puff it up on the outside, the more hollow and meaningless it is on the inside. when it's real and meaningful it speaks for itself.

Alex said...

Chaim: Don't flatter yourself - I highly doubt that the government gives a fig where you, personally, are going, or that they plan to do anything about it. (And of course, most people don't carry their passports on their person domestically; even in foreign countries, many people leave them in their hotel room or whatever. So it's hardly as though every move of yours is trackable.)

Your complaint is of a piece with all of the hullaballoo about the NSA's so-called "wiretapping" program - as if the government could care less about what you, Joe Schmoe, say about it. (Then, of course, if these programs are turned off and the government thereby misses a chance to capture some terrorists, you'll be the first to scream bloody murder that they're failing to protect us, and that they must be in cahoots with the terrorists to keep Americans in fear, etc. etc. ad nauseam!)

Yitz..: by that logic, I suppose we should never talk about (lehavdil) the greatness of Hashem, or of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov?

We do owe America's founding fathers a great debt of gratitude for shaping this country as one where we Jews can live (on the whole) peacefully, and spread Torah and Yiddishkeit to an almost unprecedented degree.

Mottel said...

Irina: At least now I know I'm not the only one.

Chaim: You know that they know that you know what they know . . .

Yitz with dots: There are two levels of chitzonius -when there is a fecade with out true inner content . . . and when the inside is so full it even comes to exposure on the the most superficial levels.

Alex: Very well put! If the gov. wishes to spend the time, money, and man power to know what I do . . . let them.

Chaim Friedman said...

Of course they want to know what i am doing at any given moment. I mean, i'd like to know. Umm... Isnt that good enough reason to suspect that they'd want to know too?

Alex, i'll agree on a very general basis. I still feel uneasy knowing that i cant get away with murder because they now have the tools to track my moves. But seriously, there are many harmless cases (civil) where they can use this technology to seriously -expletive- you. Ex: Speeding - new cameras that track your speed and automatically ticket you- I mean, nobody was around so bugger off.

There's also the fear as a jew, knowing that unfortunately history repeats itself, that if there is ever a need to practice religion illegaly or to even escape with our lives in the event... We will be incapable of doing so living in a police state. I know you'll say that you can't live your life with such outlandish ideas floating around in your head but still... It's the problem with any police state. The govenment will have too much power so that when the time comes for citizens to stand up they wont have a chance. It may also evolve into something other than a peaceful democratic country....
Just some rambling

Irina Tsukerman said...

Chaim: I can't imagine why we'd need to practice Judaism illegally. If that time comes (G-d forbid), there's no reason to stay here. Jews do have their own state.

Mottel said...

Just for the record . . . Chaim is a fellow Warsaw'vian, with a dry sense of humor who often plays the Devil's advocate, and then sits a corner and smirks at the mayhem that ensues.