Happy Birthday America, sorry for the disrespect

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Happy birthday to America. On July 4 our great nation is celebrating her 242nd birthday, and what a great run our republic, which was the first great experiment in democracy, has enjoyed.  “God, Country, Family, Self” was a saying I heard over-and-over when I was growing up. This was a guiding principle that was the foundation of our national unity and rampant patriotism in the 1980s. It helped create sayings such as “I’m proud to be an American.” I have to confess that Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” still gives me chill-bumps every time I hear it played.

On a side note, I jokingly tell my family and friends who are always in disbelief when they witness the amount of food I can put away on a regular basis, that if you were to cut my legs one would bleed gravy and the other would bleed ranch. I bring this up only to tell you that if you cut my chest there is no doubt I would bleed red, white and blue. I have a deep seeded love for this country, and I know that a vast majority of Americans feel the same.

Our country has been the subject of venomous detractors since her inception, and  there has been continuous fevered protest on issues such as war, racism and overbearing governmental control.  I believe that all opinions and criticisms must be heard, intelligently and respectfully debated and ultimately brought to a vote for a final say. That is how our founding fathers set up our country in order to deal with any issues that arise, and their charter has safely navigated our country through all adversity for 242 years. Makes you wonder why they want to change it now.

It is the current protesters and detractors that increasingly concern me, not because of their protest or their attempts to disrupt, it’s because of what their protest are based on. To me, they are protesting being American and they hate all beliefs and principals this country was built upon. They are wanting us to become exactly what we have fought against for the last 100 years.

I do not consider it a protest when the issues at hand are the principals on which our country was built. That is a direct attack on our country and all of us that believe in this great nation. At some point, sooner rather than later, the silent majority that is sitting back and watching this transpire while shaking their head, will have to stand up for what they believe to protect our country. 

I wholeheartedly believe that I was born one-half century too late. My views, beliefs and love for this country are far more aligned with the children of the 1930’s who became known as America’s Greatest Generation. This generation of Americans suffered through the Great Depression and went on to fight and protect this country, and the world, from the greatest threat it has ever faced. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and their socialism and tyranny. This generation honestly believed in “God, country, family” and hardly thought of “self”. The younger generations believe in “self” only, and it’s their selfish and self-serving beliefs that is now greatest threat to our nation. 

I’m a child of the 70’s, a pre-teen of the 80’s, a teenager of the 90’s. During my lifetime I have watched rampant patriotism slowly disappear. The former actor turned politician Ronald Reagan is the first politician I can ever remember watching, and I firmly believe that he was the driving force behind our country’s revived and strengthened patriotism in the 80’s. Since the explosion of the Internet in the early 2000’s, I have witnessed a complete transformation to the selfish “it’s all about me” mentality.

I find it extremely upsetting to see the amount of disrespect being displayed towards our country by citizens and self-serving elected officials. I have read that every great empire or nation, with exception of the Roman and Ottoman empires, enjoys a 200 year stretch of greatness after which the country will slowly erode itself within. I believe that the reversable countdown for our country began in 1815 after the conclusion of the War of 1812 which gave us the “Star Spangled Banner” that honors our countries tenacity and our American Flag. Both of which has been so horribly disrespected. If you buy into my historical interpretation, it means that America is now 203 years into our run of greatness, and the detractors are at the gate wanting to destroy what we have built and defended. The question is what do we God fearing and forever patriots do now?