Monday, February 9, 2009

I believe...

Barack Obama is NOT America. Really he isn’t.

Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, this is not about politics, but it IS about how I see America; America the Beautiful.

Sure, Barack Obama MAY be the American President, the public face of America, but he is NOT the America I know and love. Once upon a time, when I was a little girl in England (okay, littler,) the first time I was aware of the iconography surrounding any US President was when the shots that killed JFK echoed around the world. In my naivete I thought JFK WAS America and dreaded what would happen to America as a result of his assassination. As Americans know better than I, those were tumultuous days in the USA, but America survived and thrived.

Just as some Americans spent the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency being the quintessential “ugly Americans” that the msm loved to give air time to; just as loud mouthed Americans screamed abuse and blame on Bush for everything they perceived as wrong with their own lives - and their country - so, too, today, do I hear a lot of despair about America from Americans. Even as the world – with the cheerleading msm leading the parade – hey, America is not that bad, they are now a kinder, gentler country because they elected the Obama camp - I see beyond that current resident of the White House. The world may think Obama IS America. He is not, just as NO president is America, but merely the PUBLIC face of a country.

I believe America is the mother in New York who struggles through her own agony to comfort her pre-teen daughter as she mourns the unexpected loss of her two adult children within weeks of each other.

America is the tearful veteran who struggles with losing the family farm in the farmland of America; the farm which his ancestors had nurtured for generations, and which his father had entrusted to his safety.

To me, America is the newly created grandmothers, seeing all of America’s future in their grandchildren's eyes. One creates baby formula from scratch, and the other joyfully takes her grandchild from the new parents for the weekend. They see no punishment in the birth of these littlest Americans.

The world may see only the President of America, but I see the single mum, who, because of an extensive education that she paid for herself, moves across country to a great job, to give her teenage son a slice of the American dream, that is available to all willing to work for it.

A few decades ago, another Canadian journalist broadcast a radio piece that he had written about America. Gordon Sinclair said, in part:

When the Americans get out of this bind -- as they will -- who could blame them if they said "the hell with the rest of the world." Let somebody else buy the Israel bonds. Let somebody else build or repair foreign dams, or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes." When the railways of France, and Germany, and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both of 'em are still broke.

I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They'll come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they're entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. ...

(You can go here for the original broadcast audio, or to read the rest of this.)

Sounds familiar to me! Could have been written about, and to, the present day America, that is so close to my heart.

The current administration globe trots with an olive branch (okay, is hard to hold anything in an unclenched fist, but you get the image!) for Russia, Iran, Germany, the EU, and the middle east, to prove that the old regime in America is OVER, to “set a new tone.” Meanwhile the America I know and love is being nurtured in the same way by her citizens that they have done since the Mayflower first arrived.

As I write this, folks in Kentucky are working together to overcome the disaster of the ice storms. Many without power for many days already, or even well water, are turning to their communities, their neighbours, to help each other. (And, according to one item I read, not a FEMA official in sight. Well, okay that was political. Mea culpa.) Fact is, when it comes down to survival, politics are meaningless, irrelevant. When the chips are down, Americans on every street in every community, in every state, just get on with things.

America, as I write this, releases statistics that half a million jobs were lost last month. Such numbers are mindboggling, but individuals who ARE America are rolling up their sleeves and taking care of business. (Yes, I am resisting another political comment… Whether or not I believe the statistics coming out of America right now, I DO believe in the strength of spirit I see daily in the people of America.

The America I know and love is the man who prepares to bury his veteran son, who dies unexpectedly, a long while after his return from serving overseas. It is the mother who comforts her young son as his little friend undergoes brain surgery. It is the young parents counting their blessings as THEIR young son thrives after major surgery late last year.

The retired school teacher who is so generous in oh so many ways, is the embodiment of America to me, as she reaches far beyond her own community. The Silver Star mother who always has an ear to lend, an open heart, to anyone in need, is America to me.

America IS the mother, working a full time job, who opens her heart and home to a young grieving mother in her own neighbourhood, and makes the time in her own grown family’s needs to enfold and comfort.

And yes, at her core, America is the mother who starts an organization in her kitchen to support some of her son’s brothers and sisters in arms, serving overseas. America is individuals seeing a need, and asking “how can I fix this? What can I do to help?”

America the beautiful that I see does not wait for a President to call them to one day of service. The America I love is the army officer whose career is dedicated to serving, and preserving his country, no matter who his CinC is. This same officer prays with his young son and wife as he heads off to Iraq. The America I know is full of special individuals who don't need to ask what they can do for their country. They are already busy doing it.

As the resident of the White House says she “has never been more proud of America,” the mother who welcomes her Marine son home from a warzone, as she bursts with jubilation, pride in her son and her country is the America I hold dear. She, and her son, ARE America.

As I look at America, I see the retired grandfather, who works longer hours now than he ever did, helping to make his community a better place, for the families in it.

Oh yes, Presidents come and go, but the real Americans I am blessed to call friends remain; it is they who ARE the America that most of the world never gets to see, as the msm perpetuates the mythology of the icon which is the President of the US – any president.

The army mum, who waits with great dignity and quiet pride to hear from her son, who has one of the most dangerous jobs in the military? SHE is America to me. She is the America that most will never see, because the msm doesn’t think her story – or her son’s service – is worth the column inches.

The young fiancée whose love is in yet another ‘hot spot,’ and who rarely hears because he doesn’t have access to communication; she, ALSO is America.

The mother who has two children deployed overseas, yet continues to volunteer for other troops and their families.

The young father who will take any job at all - and sometimes two if he can find them - to put food on the table for his family. HE is America to me.

America IS the sum of her sons and daughters, who diligently, and with great sense of purpose, and pride in their country, continue to serve their country at home, even after they have served overseas.

The milblogger veterans who keep the spotlight shining brightly on military issues; those still serving who also make a point of finding help for any troop that is lacking that touch of “home.” These men and women who wore/wear the US military uniform with pride may never make headlines, but they ARE all that is good, and right, about America.

The veteran’s wife, who fights the bureaucracy, to get her husband what he has earned serving in dangerous places around the globe, IS the country this alien loves.

The wounded warrior, after a lifetime of serving America (under more than a few CinC’s) who works to reclaim his youth that he left in the ditches of Vietnam. HE is the America I know and admire so much..

The poet warrior opens his heart and pulls at the fragile scabs of old psychological wounds, gained in Vietnam, so that others may gain understanding. HE is the America I see when I look southwards.

The Gold Star family, now in Florida – he a retired Marine - who work tirelessly year round honouring the mission of their son who went to Iraq, proudly serving to “do the right thing” for the children he met. These Americans, like so many other “average” Americans, work tirelessly year round to serve their communities, their country: America the Beautiful.

The Gold Star father in Georgia, who every single day misses his son, as he works within the judicial system to serve America; all the while heading a non profit formed in his son's name, so that the children in Iraq also are able to live their lives with no fear. These families make the choice to serve, just as their children have done.

All of these, and oh so many more, ARE America to me. To me, every one of them is the embodiment of the real America, that most outside her borders will never be priviledged to meet or know.

Interestingly – to me at least – is the fact that every single one of these LIVES the motto of the US: In God we trust. All of them – without exception - have a faith in a higher power that shapes and guides their lives. Not for any of them “Goddam Amerikka” (okay, so I got political again. I thought I was doing really well. *Smiles*) Of the people I have mentioned here, every single one of them lives their faith. Not one of them needs a pulpit to prove their love of God, or country. It is evident in everything they do. They each live their faith - in God and America.

No coincidence of course, and interesting to me, is that every single one of these Americans has the hugest hearts. Really they do! Just as Gordon Sinclair wrote decades ago, when any disaster hits, anywhere in their country or around the world, Americans open their hearts and their wallets, usually long before the politicians have “debated” what the proper procedure might be. Since America began, her people have not waited for anyone else to tell them what needs to be done. The need is evident, and the need is answered. Period.

Every one of these Americans is resourceful. From the grandmother who collects children's clothes for Afghan children, to the mother who makes Blue Star ribbons for a parade, just because the need is there.

America was built by pioneers, and I am here to tell you the pioneer spirit - the pioneer heart - lives on in the America I know. To the world, America may just be a huge mass of land and 300million plus population. To me, America is the sum of amazing individuals.

I believe that no matter who the current President is, America is strong enough to withstand any and all policies the government bureaucracies/employees may enact. Her history proves the truth of this. The PEOPLE are America.

I believe…

And I am not alone in this staunch belief in America’s people. Recently I told you all about a father/daughter band called Michael Darwin's Theory. A couple of weeks ago, they released a CD, with a free download, called “I Believe in America.”

There are some great songs on there. Much as I love “I Believe in America,” I have to insist you also watch the Guitar Wars video on their site. Just downloaded, it is priceless! Hey, it really IS priceless – it is FREE! Go to their site here for your very own FREE download! (Did I mention this great music is FREE?!!!)

As Michael himself says:

This is a song for America and her people. It is a song to unite us and give us strength. It is meant to give inspiration, faith, hope and determination. Look back on American history and embrace the future together, because together America is strong and what America is meant to be. Hang in there and believe in America...

America, I love you, and I BELIEVE!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Brat. That took a long time to read because I had to stop to dry some tears quite a few times. To tell you the truth, I really NEEDED to read this message. Maybe I can sleep better tonight.

We press on.


Anonymous said...

Geeez that was good, no excellent! I am with Sylvia, tears and sniffs.

That was just what I needed.

People are so dang gloomy these days, it is hard to be positive sometimes.

What a wonderful post!


ps I am sending a link to some friends, a must read!!

Anonymous said...

One of your best Brat, and that is really saying something. Yeah, I shed a tear too.

Thank you,

Findalis said...

Well written. BTW, I know of 2 nations that came to America's aid during Hurricane Katrina. Canada and Israel. Both sent doctors, medicine, food, and clean water.

Where was the rest of the world?

Anonymous said...

Thank You my friend who just happens to live in Canada!!

Michelle McGhee said...

MamaBrat, that I do believe is one of the best pieces of journalism I have ever read! You really need to post a two-hanky warning though :) You are an American in every sense of the word. To bad more of our own do not feel the same way. God is not finished with our country yet though...with prayer and perseverance we will stand!
God bless you! Hugs all around, Michelle

Anonymous said...

Thank you my Canadian friend, just what I needed to hear this Monday morning after listening to so much gloom and doom from our dear leader!

Anonymous said...

Brat, as usual you get right to the heart of the matter. Thank you for reminding us that we are a great nation and we will get through this. You, my dear, are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo!! Just saw this article linked over at Little Green Footballs! *waves to lizards*


K-Dubyah said...


I'm so sorry to tell you that I can't link to this...

I'm going to re-post in it's entirety!!

A must read, with a box of tissues handy.

You, my friend are a true blue red-blooded American, who just resides in Canada. Is there any enticement that would make you consider relocating? Huh, huh??

Love YOU bunches~

Bill and Bob's Excellent Adventure said...


Anonymous said...

As a Gold Star mom, I thank you thank you thank you. you have touch my heart more than you can imagine. I believe too. God Bless you

Oh can you write my speech for a dedication of a Bridge named in honor of my son.. I could use your help... just kidding. Thanks again.

Dean said...

Thank you Aunty Brat. Magnificent!

My son is smiling down on you from the mansions of the Lord where he and his brothers in arms are on guard.

This means more to me than I can convey in words and you know the reason.

We will never forget.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and giving us some inspiration. As MsMarti said, "People are so dang gloomy these days..."

You've giving me some hope. Real Americans are still here, with all the potential for good.

Keep writing.


Anonymous said...

Read it cried, sent it on to the good colonel, got a scolding, and the admonition, "Don't send me things that make me cry when I am in important meetings, it's embarrassing, will have to read the whole thing to the members of the meeting in explanation...."

Anonymous said...

That ought to set Washington on it's ear!