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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Political Thoughts

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Perhaps we need to investigate why our forefathers believed as they did.  Are we missing something with our current political policies?  Perhaps our forefathers knew that once you begin to chip away at our uniqueness you erode our exceptionalism.  Perhaps our forefathers felt that while we grow we need to preserve the core of our beliefs and our strengths. 

We used to be called the melting pot.  When I heard that as a child, I imagined a huge black cauldron that had soup in it.  Now that I'm older I realize what makes a good soup.  A good soup is a blending of flavors.  Each ingredient adds something to the pot but it gives up it's own flavor in order to blend together and make a "new" and different flavor.  You may add onions to a pot of soup but if onions are all you taste then it can't be a melting pot of blended soup.  Instead it becomes onion soup only.  The onions must give up their flavor so that it can be blended with other ingredients to make something make a new soup that stands alone in flavor. 

Last night I made a blended soup.  I used onions, garlic, red bell pepper, chicken bouillon, chicken chunks, corn, celery and something new....I added smoked paprika.  The soup was wonderful!  But as I sat there enjoying every bite I realized that the flavors were different from what I normally enjoyed.  I had created a wonderful new taste with the melting of flavors. The smoked paprika had added some new taste.  It wasn't a harsh paprika taste but it created this wonderful new dimension that gave the soup a depth of flavor.  I couldn't pick out a distinct paprika or onion or even garlic taste.  They had all blended to make something new.

That's what America should be.  A blending of people and backgrounds.  None of us should stand out but instead we should all be committed to one goal - American Patriotism.  We should all be committed to American Strength, American freedom and American exceptionalism.  We should be the best.  Not the best woman or the best Mexican or the best Indian or even the best heritage with relatives dating back to the Mayflower.  While we may celebrate those things within our groups - we should not demand that others be like us or even adopt our heritage.  Instead, we should and must be the best AMERICANS...period.  We should love the American flag, the pledge of allegiance and American capitalism.  We should be Americans to the core.  If you were born elsewhere and have become an American citizen then your loyalty should be to America.  You should embrace her as you would new parents who decided to adopt.  You should be proud to be a part of the country you have chosen. 

Why would that be important?  If we don't blend then we aren't connected.  If we are more concerned about being Dutch or Italian or Muslim than we are about being American then fights break out and we lose that connective string that keeps us moving forward.  I don't understand why anyone would come to this country or stay in this country if they adamantly disagree with the country - unless they simply want us to fail so they can steal our land.  If we are constantly fighting about who we are or who we should be...then we fall victim to another old but very wise statement, "A house divided against itself will not stand." - Abraham Lincoln

Read the entire speech and you'll see that President Lincoln was explaining that if we fight each other one idea will win out.  The two ideas stand as opposites and will determine what kind of country we become.  Fighting and straying from the core of who we are will ultimately change the entire framework of America. 

Wikipedia states....
The speech contains the quotation "A house divided against itself cannot stand," which is taken from Matthew 12:25: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Lincoln was referring to the division of the country between slave and free states. The "house divided" phrase had been used by others before, and by Lincoln himself in another context in 1843. Most famously, eight years before Lincoln's speech, during the Senate debate on the Compromise of 1850, Sam Houston had proclaimed: "A nation divided against itself cannot stand." During the War of 1812 a similar line appeared in a letter from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren. Mrs. Adams wrote "... A house divided upon itself - and upon that foundation do our enemies build their hopes of subduing us."

Seems to me this has been a problem for a long time.  I hope America will wake up and learn from our forefathers.  I hope that we will understand what it means and what kind of commitment it will take to be "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all!"

So today....I renew my oath...."I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

God loves you and God Bless America


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