"Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what YOU can do for your country!" John F. Kennedy was a wise man, and perhaps the last of the crop of Presidents who truly could have made a difference. Where've the concepts of loyalty and allegiance disappeared? There once was a country named America, and the people that lived there, loved her. They were willing to give their all for her, and for the ideals that she stood for, and had been founded on.
All too often, today, I see a greedy, gimme, attitude. Loyalty to your country and to your fellow man has been replaced by loyalty to yourself, and to your money (or your corporation, perhaps). No one is willing, anymore, to suck it up and work for the greater good. Now, I don't agree with the war in Iraq, but in Afghanistan we were fully justified and still are. Yet, I don't see anyone sacrificing. I don't see anyone rationing gas and food so that the boys overseas will be guaranteed to have what they need. Remember the guy who embarrassed the hell out of Cheney by asking why they were unable to get proper plating for their vehicles? You wouldn't have seen that kind of stuff, 60 years ago. The necessary items would have gone to the troops first, and the people at home would have simply made do with what was left over, PROUDLY knowing that they were being represented by the finest troops equipped with the finest gear in the world.
Political commentators are the worst. Multiple times, I have seen/heard one of them asked whether they've served in the military. The answer is INVARIABLY no. Hannity, when asked, stated that his father had…as if THAT narfing* matters. I get so angry when I watch/listen to these people pick apart the system, and tear down someone else's work, and all the while they put forward nothing constructive. Rush Limbaugh has made it all too clear he has no interest in joining the political structure himself…HE'S only in it for the money. Money, money, money. If we're not careful, greed and venality will tear this country apart.
I see a disturbing trend in political thought today. It is demonstrated VERY clearly by Tom Clancy's book "Teeth of the Tiger". Jack Ryan, before he left the Office of the President, recruited one of his friends to work outside the system gathering intel, and tracking the finances of "the bad guys". This is accomplished by setting up a small corporation that is allowed to build HQ where no other building has ever been allowed to , due to LOS(line of sight) issues with radio transmissions between various gov't agencies. This allows this corporation to "receive" radio intel that otherwise they'd not be privy to. This agency has a small number of office types and field operatives, and being streamlined as it is, can operate "more effectively".
I say no. I say the system is there for a reason. I say you were born in this country, that it has provided you with freedom, and a leg up, and that you owe it a debt of allegiance. "I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America. And to the Republic, for which it stands…"
These words MEAN something. They mean that the Stars and Stripes, and the form of government put in place (The Republic, or Representative Democracy) by the founding fathers should be number one on the list of priorities. That we owe our allegiance, and our lives when necessary, to this great country. That when Uncle Sam points that finger, and says "I want YOU" that you better say "You got me, sir!"
My best friend left for boot camp two weeks ago. I wish I could have gone with him, but when I tried right after High School, and then again on 9/13/2001, it was determined I have physical conditions that prevent me from joining. In lieu of being able to go with him, and watch his back, I will have to settle for asking how I can help, what I can do for my country and it's troops, and pray he returns home safely.
I challenge you all to tighten your belts, look around you, and say "What can we do to help?" Ask your neighbor, ask your recruiter, your mayor, your governor, hell…ask your President. Who knows…maybe we'll be able to start something good.