Monday, April 12, 2010

A beautiful mob

I attended my first Tea Party event yesterday in Clinton Township, near Detroit. I confess that I've never attended any kind of political rally in my life. I'm one to cast my vote, make my opinions known, but otherwise stay out of politics. That's for people with time to spare. I'm busy. Trying to make a living here, you know?

A funny thing happened to me on my way to minding my own business, though. Let's start, shall we, with the beginning.

In October of 1981, I'm a short, pudgy, fourteen year old boy living in Yorktown, Virginia. I know, pretty cool place to live, huh? I don't get to call it home, though. I was a Navy brat. Dad was a lifer. Home was wherever duty took him. Yorktown would forever be, though, the place that impacted me the most. This October day will always stand as the pinnacle of that early influence.

You see, for those of you not up on history, October 1981 marked the bicentennial of the Battle of Yorktown, the final victory that would boot the British off our shores. In Yorktown, it meant a week of no school. That's how I saw it. We went down to the battlefield and checked out all the displays, the reinactment and, of course, the girls. The highlight of the week was a visit by the new President, sworn in only nine months before. I thought that was kind of cool, so I stood by the road to watch his motorcade pull into the park.

Mind you, these were not happy times in the U.S. The country still reeled from a massive recession. The hostages in Iran had been released around the same time as the inauguration. And Viet Nam was still a very fresh memory for millions. By 1980, very little national pride remained.

Fourteen year old boys pay little attention to those things, though. After all, there's girls. Even if they didn't notice you, they took up about 99% of your thought patterns. That was until a limo with a President rolled past me on an October day. I knew little about Ronald Reagan, only that my dad was thrilled about his election. When I saw him through the glass of that limo, waving to the crowd, I suddenly felt proud of my country. Perhaps it was because I'd seen a few of his speeches by then, or maybe I was caught up in Bicentennial fever, but 1981 would prove to be the year that the conservative seeds would be planted in my brain. I went on to join the Navy myself in 1984, serving under a Commander in Chief who inspired us to give our all for this country.

Fast forward to 2010. No longer do I see a nation of proud Americans. I see a country deeply divided, and a President determined to divide it even more. Instead of inspiring speeches, I see apologies to our enemies, I see a President mocking those of us who disagree with his progressive policies. And I see a Congress and Senate full of career politicians who refuse to do what is right, more concerned with their political futures than the future of this country.

I've said many times that this generation will have to sacrifice. We cannot leave our children with a $14trillion dollar debt. That means we'll have to forego many of the benefits our parents enjoyed. But is that enough? I'm not so sure anymore. I may have to stop minding my own business and actually take part in this system. If I want change, I can't do it from a blog or facebook.

I'm not sure where I'm going from here. All I know is that I cannot sit and watch my country be destroyed by a radical regime. And once this one is voted out, I have to stand vigilant against the next one that will surely come along. I can't join the military again, but I can still fight. I'll have to sacrifice. There are things I'd rather be doing than passing out fliers or joining an "angry mob" at political rallies, but what did those men at Yorktown give up? The time for minding my own business is over.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I enjoyed this post.

Kim T.