It’s been an interesting few months; well, years, actually, that I’ve paid more attention to my conservative friends and acquaintances. You know the type – the ones who espouse The Constitution in its unabridged form and intent, get all up in arms over the liberals and socialism. Where before I might have tried reasoning my way through a conversation, I’m now exposed to Fox News on a daily basis, even the morning programs recorded for viewing when time allows throughout the day. Yeah, me. I have no escape short of packing up and moving, so I effect deafness, ignore the snarky television commentary, and engage only in face-to-face discourse. All I can say is thank God I can carry a conversation, and my side of it with strength and conviction.
I’m nowhere near the right or left, tend to ride the fence line without getting snagged by barbs on either side. I’ll check the gaps and tighten up the wire, mend a hole here and there, and make sure things keep contained. What’s interesting about this is the rediscovery of what I learned back in the 60s, remembering the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the dissection of it, line by line, big word by big word, and the discussion of what it means to me, my life, my family and my country. It has nothing to do with Fox News or HuffPost rhetoric and propaganda.
A few books have been placed in front of me; some I recognized and others that are new and need to be read. “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” a book by G. Edward Griffin about the Federal Reserve; worth your time. “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, “The Best of Times,” by Haynes Johnson, “The Making of America; The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution,” by W. Cleon Skousen and, last, but certainly not least by a very, very long shot, The Constitution of the United States – a remarkably thin little publication every American ought to find somewhere in their belongings.
I’m no fan of Glen Beck or our former Governor or either of the Clintons. I refuse to enjoin myself to the insurance mandate simply because I expect one day it’ll be my time to die and no amount of medical care will change that inevitability. In the meantime, I’ll pay my bill. I share generously, believe churches and charities are charged with helping the less fortunate among us, as are families obligated to tend to their own. I’ve come to see with a little more clarity the direction our country has been headed, the road it travels, and the destination we surely will find looming. I’ve not been idle or slothful in my listening, and it would serve each of us well to listen up, pay attention to our fellows and what they have to say about the State of the Union. Become informed, be a voice, and use that grey matter inside that hard skull atop your spine. Things change in relation to ambivalence, inattention, apathy, and when some of us suddenly realize we’ve been bought and paid for with a false sense of peace and entitlement, will we have forgotten how to use that backbone to stand up and make our voices heard? God forbid.