With everything we’re currently seeing on television and reading on the Internet lately, from Ebola to ISIS, is it any wonder that people are trying to find some kind of relief from the news? It depends upon who you ask, I suppose.
If you ask someone over 30, they might agree that times used to be better and they’d like to go back there, if only for a little while.
If you ask a teenager, they might tell you that things suck now and they sucked then. Teenagers often have a unique way of stating their perspective.
But, do we really have a time period in recent history that we can point to as being a period of greatness in America that’s worth reminiscing about?
For those who were born before 9/11, there are times in our recent past when it felt like the United States was enjoying a genuine period of affluence.
For instance, there was the great financial era when President Ronald Reagan was in charge. Reagan restored prosperity by “getting the government off the backs of the American people.” During his time, the United States enjoyed the greatest bull market seen on Wall Street since the 1920s. All was well with the world!
The booming economy under Reagan even carried through into the President Clinton years.
There were of course, a few noted events during the Clinton administration that stand out in our history. The bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the World Trade Center bombing, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the Oklahoma City bombing incident were not proud moments in our history that we would like to revisit.
However, those events pale in comparison to the catastrophic event that occurred on 9/11. We as Americans felt the devastation as a nation when a senseless act took so many lives. That ill-fated day dramatically changed our country.
Following 9/11, everything seemed to change all at once and we watched as our freedoms rapidly diminished.
We wouldn’t realize until much later just how many of our freedoms we had relinquished. Many of our children will never learn about the loss of those freedoms because it’s not being taught in our schools.
Those born after 9/11 may not even be aware of the significance of the 9/11 landmark tragedy because our government, due to political correctness in trying not to tarnish the religion of Islam, forbids the showing of video captured on that sad day.
Teenagers and younger children may never observe the look of terror on the faces of those at Ground Zero nor will they see the suffering of the traumatized people who watched in shock, as many jumped from the Twin Towers to their death, to escape the horrors of a burning building.
Things in our recent past don’t always bring about pleasant memories when we take a look back.
Also, currently, we are beginning to see a steady increase in the number of tragedies taking place in this country and around the world on a daily basis.
There have been rumors of war in the Middle East with severe implications to the safety of Americans inside the U.S.
Also, the public is able to watch in real-time as dictators are removed from power.
It’s all too real and happening essentially right before our eyes so fast that we can’t keep up.
It’s no wonder then that people would want to go back in time and escape, if only for a few moments. A time before 9/11 when the realities weren’t so ominous, or so it now seems.
Our desire to escape naturally occurs when the reality becomes too much to bear.
However, escapism, avoidance, and denial of what is actually occurring in this world has gotten us to the place we find ourselves in today.
Too many people have driven down memory lane for far too long. They have removed themselves completely from most of the harsh realities of the day.
America has changed because we are in denial about what we are witnessing and know to be true. Also, many Americans have chosen to throw their hands in the air and give up because they feel powerless to change anything.
We have allowed America to become a place that we no longer recognize. A place where up is down, down is up, and common sense has been replaced with political correctness. We cannot survive this irrational reasoning. It will be the death of all of us unless we do something to change it.
The America that we once loved, the one we reminisce about, is all but gone now. We may be able to resuscitate her but we can’t count on it.
What we can do, however, is begin to build a new and better America.
What does a new and better America look like? It’s one in which political correctness takes a backseat to free speech.
It’s a country where people view each other as equals. We are all different but we don’t have to allow the differences to separate us. Let’s stop always embracing our differences and instead, start recognizing and embracing our similarities.
For the most part, we are all people who have struggles, who live, and who will depart from this earth at some point. These similarities alone should be enough to help us reach out to each other with empathy, sympathy and love.
Together we can face hardships and celebrate the victories. We don’t have to try and make each other conform to our perception of what a person should be. Rather we can celebrate who we are as individuals and work jointly in a world that can, at times, be overwhelming.
We are Americans! This used to mean something to those who call America home. It still means something to most of us.
Let’s begin to build a new and even stronger America by remembering that we are hardworking, God-fearing, and compassionate.
It’s time to park the car and get back out there in the fight!
We hold the key to our own future. So, let’s refocus, get it in gear and drive on toward that future together!
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