|One Country Under the People
Author: Miss Badwolf PM
The American Project: an essay I wrote for my US History class, on my view of America. A take on freedom, government, the Pledge, paranoia, religion, conspiracies, and war. The musings of a young woman on her country.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 1,207 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 02-15-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3101262
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One Country Under the People
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most patriotic person around—not in my family, not in my circle of friends. I'm the first one to call conspiracy and point the finger at Big Brother; great faith in our government, I have not. Calling me liberal would be a bit of an understatement, and I'm very critical of every issue and its mother, but that doesn't mean I don't have pride—I do. I'm an American born and bred, and I have a lot of love and respect for our country. For all its faults and mistakes, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. There are a lot of places in the world where I wouldn't have the freedom I have here; I know that and I am grateful that in the United States, I am free.
I'm not a big fan of the Pledge of Allegiance, though I say it, for the most part. There's that little bit about "one country under God," as in capital G, pledging allegiance to the Christian God, no questions asked and no choice, in a country with religious freedom; that's the part I omit. From my point of view, that's not only unconstitutional, but wrong and unethical, and I will not be a part in it. To me, that violates the First Amendment, my personal favorite. I have to agree with Mr. Michael Newdow, that I have a right to live without God imposed on me by the government and teachers; this is not a theocracy; it's not technically a democracy, either, like how China isn't really communist, but rather "communist with a Chinese flare." So, I'll stand up with my hand over my heart, recite the Pledge (minus "under God"), and observe a moment of silence, because I do love and respect this country.
Normally, I am not a confrontational person. I'll seethe silently and internally, and curse loudly in my mind, but I will not let them, whoever they are, see that they get to me. This extends to my opinion about the colloquial War on Terror; let other countries judge us. No matter what they think or what they say, we are America, and we are the strong and brave. My father once called us the "World's Policeman," and I think that's accurate. America is always getting involved in the affairs of other countries, and sometimes that's a good thing—standing up and protecting the Little Guy is always honorable. It's not always smart, however, and that tendency to fight for others has of course created enemies, such as the Al-Qaeda, and led to wars with which I don't necessarily agree. Of course, America should defend and protect—we would be letting the "bad guys" win if we backed down, and that never works. But not letting them win also means that we can't let them scare us into turning on each other and persecuting American citizens who are guilty of nothing except being of a different ethnicity. Finding and stopping terrorists is an important thing, but not at the cost of civil liberties and a sense of being able to trust thy neighbor and classmate. America also have to get her crap—yes, that is the technical term—together, and now that Osama bin Laden is dead—not even going touch the conspiracy theories on that one, right now—and Afghanistan as a relatively-stable government set up, the government should turn its attention back on those that need it more—the American people.
America needs to focus less on the concerns of other countries and turn that focus back on herself. Sure, it's noble to fight the good fight for the bigger picture, but what good will that do when our own country is crumbling? America is being torn apart from the inside by an antiquated governmental system and a bifurcated political system that does more to fight itself than to help the people; the economy is in the toilet and yes, politicians actually have to debate about human rights. Each side wastes resources and funding on discrediting the other that otherwise could be used to help create jobs and opportunities, feed the hungry and provide an equal education to all children despite economic and social differences. Perhaps I sound like a socialist—I've been called worse—but that's not true. I don't believe that everyone should be taxed out the whazoo to pay for total healthcare for all, but I do think that parents should be able to take their kid in for a broken bone or serious illness and not be thrust into exorbitant fees because they can't afford insurance, driven into poverty trying to pay them off. There should be more education opportunities for those who never graduated high school or didn't go to college, or both, and more equality in the workforce. The government should also keep its big, overbearing, tiny technicality-loving nose out of the issues better decided by the people they effect, not the rich and influential who do whatever the hell they want no matter what the law says. Now, I love a good loophole, but not when it helps the government—which, despite the supposed "separation of church and state," seems to be controlled by religious fanatics, cough cough—infringe upon my personal rights and civil liberties.
There is a lot our government does with which I do not agree, and I'm not shy about proclaiming that, loudly and often. I'd be lying if I said that didn't get me in trouble sometimes, but dirty looks and a few smacks across the face aren't going to change me. Sometimes I'm sure people wish it were otherwise, but in this country, there's a little thing called Freedom of Speech, guaranteed by the ever-loved First Amendment, something I take advantage of frequently. I'm all for giving the people more power and say over how our country works; let the people truly control this country, not just in name in a system that works against us. The day-to-day lives of the bourgeois, diverse majority are dependent on the choices of the wealthy and affluent minority, what they say is best for us. This is not Lord of the Flies or a Stephen King slash Hollywood horror story; this is modern-day, largely suburban America, for crying out loud! The country is not going to crash and burn around us because the people are given more control of their government. In fact, that just might save us before history repeats itself and America find herself, not necessarily in this lifetime, facing a revolution.
I wrote this essay for my US History class last semester, I thought I'd post it here. I got an A, though my teacher did recommend I see a psychologist. Something about paranoia. I didn't listen; he's just out to get me. XD
I do love this country, but I believe that less government is best.