Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Time to Reaffirm America's Values

According to the polls afterwards, the 2004 election turned on "family values". Yet everyone's had a hard time actually defining what those values are. I wrote this article last December. It's time to re-visit the question, especially in the wake of this week's news.

It seems that a Portuguese poet understands better than most Americans what America is, and what it means to be an American. It's a shame that someone from another country understands us better than we understand ourselves. A major part of the problem is that most Americans don't know squat about this country, its history, or the rise of its government. That's compounded by not knowing the differences between our nation and its government and the history, culture, and government of other nations. Nor do we seem, as a nation, to be terribly interested.

Here's a thought game for all readers, regardless of where they live: If you had the power to do so, how would you re-write the US Constitution, and its Bill of Rights? What would you add? What would you remove? What would you change, and why?

I have the book "Miracle at Philadelphia" in my personal library. It's dry and hard to dig through, yet a "must-read" for anyone interested in the genesis of our Constitution. The Constitution itself, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers are all online through Thomas, the online site for the Library of Congress. So are hundreds of other letters and papers written by the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Being an American is being something quite unique. Not knowing what that something is constitutes a major failure of most Americans today.


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