WHAT HAVE WE LOST?
Did you ever have one of those nights when you just couldn’t sleep, because something was rolling around in your head, driving you crazy? Tonight, I just couldn’t stay asleep because the theme song for “Jesus Christ, Superstar” was nagging me awake. It’s not so much the song, but the time in which it was written, that was bothering me; it was a time when this country was strong, independent, safe, and prosperous. The more I thought about it, the more I remembered what we have lost, and I had to get up to write this.
I remember going to war, in 1968, at the ripe old age of 18; the turmoil of the draft resistance and anti-war movement had not yet come about, because the Tet Offensive had not yet claimed so many American lives, and there was still honor in being an American Soldier. This country was directed by the “Silent Majority”; the courageous veterans of World War 2, and the hard-working religious families that made up the backbone of America. The average American home, at that time, had one working parent, primarily the Father, a stay-at-home mother, who influenced the children by monitoring their lives, through close parental guidance, and children who attended public schools that had one goal; achieving the best educational standards possible. Life was simple; study hard, get a good job, and raise a family. Wages were fair, comfortable retirements were possible, and safety and security for families was an acceptable norm. Anyone could become whatever they wanted to be, through hard work and personal goals. Movies like “American Graffiti” were written about those times, and it is easy to see the natural simplicity in the way things worked back then.
Did we have our problems? Yes. But we felt the responsibility of a people that was concerned for the improvement of its future, so we did everything possible to change things for the better, but changing things, without correctly monitoring the situation, does not always lead to a better world. Slavery was a hell created by our ancestors, one that has been a burden of shame for modern Americans. And we saw the Blacks stand up to the racism that held them down, so we joined them in their efforts to change our society into a truly “equal” one. We opened up our schools to them, to give them an equal chance for success, and some took advantage of that opportunity and excelled. But many brought their anger and resistance to change with them, and it spread like a cancer throughout our country.
It was our responsibility to make them conform to the exact same standards of educational excellence of White students, but we were afraid that, by making them excel, we would be pushing our ideals on them, and we didn’t want to force them to do anything, as we wanted to be “fair”. So, instead of bringing their lives up to our standards, we have allowed our school system to drop from being the best, to being one of the worst, in the modern world.
Teachers are so afraid of “being racist”, that they won’t fail a student, because they may seem to be “prejudiced” in their evaluations of that student’s grades. We have taken the safest school system in the world, and have allowed it to degrade to the point that teachers are being beaten up, students and teachers are being shot, and anyone can graduate with an “attendance diploma”, which simply means; I didn’t study, I just went to school.
Gasoline, which is the basic need that drives our economy, used to be in great supply, and was cheap and plentiful. Everyone could afford, at least, one car, and most families had two, and a boat. But we let “environmental issues” invade our lives, and gas prices began to dominate our very existence.
The environmentalists claimed that we were destroying the Earth, and that we needed to limit our use of the natural materials that allowed us to live as we did. Suddenly; we could no longer drill for our own oil, in our own country, without protests of anger from groups that wanted to end our self-reliance upon our own natural resources, so we moved our needs overseas, to the Mid-East, putting the control over our economy in their hands.
Now here’s something that most Americans are not aware of; most of the funding that allowed environmental groups to work against the oil companies, the money that came in through “anonymous donations”, came directly from the people that ran the oil companies. Why? Because it was in their best interests to move operations outside of the US, where they could allow prices to rise, without the interference of the American government so, by supporting the environmental groups, they could make it appear that they had no other choice but to move out of the US. And, although we are not allowed to drill for new oil in our own territories, we allow foreign interests, like BP/Amoco, to drill in our Alaskan reserves, while we “can’t”.
Our country was once home to the biggest oil companies in the world; Shell, which is now owned by the Dutch, Amoco, which is owned by the British, and Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela, among others. How did our major oil companies manage to be sold to overseas interests? Well, remember all of the “concerned” hippies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the ones that wanted a better world, one that would exist without the “personal” interests of Americans who were only seeking “financial gains”? Well, they finished college, got careers in major American companies, many of whom wound up with controlling interests, then they sold those companies to overseas corporations for huge profits, the very thing they stood against while “dancing in the streets”!
And, remember Ronald Reagan, who wanted to end the control over our country’s manufacturing base, by the heavy taxing governments of the cities, states, and Federal agencies? He supported NAFTA, and opened the doors for them to move out of our country, and into the hands of foreign interests, who do not have any concern for the welfare of the citizens of the United States. The same Ronald Reagan who nationalized a huge number of illegal Mexican immigrants, with the promise that no more would be allowed into our country? Now we have to rely on foreign governments, who control our manufacturing base, to supply us with the needs of our country, and quality and reliability standards have degraded to the point of absurdity!
It is time for the “Silent Majority” to end its silence and to become the “Proud Majority” it once was! It’s time for us to regain our control over our country, and our government, before the daily lives of the hard-working citizens of this country degrade into no more than “serfdom” to the intellectual elites that control our government and business interests! Wake up America!
You have control over our government through your votes for local, state, and Federal politicians, and you have to learn to use that control to change things for the better! Quit voting for “likeable” personalities, empty promises, and hidden agendas, and start finding out who, and what you are voting for! Become loud and vocal responsible Americans, and quit letting those that use our media to gain their own self-interests sway our children through idiotic “reality” shows that promote the idea of “success without effort”, and begin setting standards for your own families that will allow for them to succeed, and return to the quality of life that we once had in this country!
If you remember only one thing, remember this; we are the ones that control our government, and businesses, through our voices, and our votes, and our dollars and, if our country continues down this path to self-destruction, it will be our own faults!
Michael J. Kilgus