Straight Up with Sherri

Monday, February 21, 2005

What Being an American Means to Me

I am VERY pleased to be able to share this essay written by Susan. Being an American means so many different things to so many different people. Susan writes about her feelings on this from the heart, and I believe she speaks for many of us when she says:


What Being an American Means to Me



Today is Presidents’ Day. What better time to reflect on what it means to be an American? For me, being an American citizen is an honor and a responsibility, not a birthright. Being American is a state of mind, not a state of residence. I thank God every day for putting me here in the U.S. at this time in history where I have the opportunity to have my own opinions, to share those opinions, to vote my conscience, to be as successful as I want to be, and to raise my children with all of the benefits of this great land.

So, to the Susan Sarandons and Alec Baldwins of the world I ask, “What does being an American mean to you?” I understand that you don’t like war. I also understand that you believe the American government is doing it wrong. I have heard the cries demanding to know, “Why should the rich get richer while the poor get poorer?” and the outraged demonstrators waiving their
Anti-Bush posters. To this I say, “You have a right to your opinion and thanks to the United States Constitution, you also have the right to voice that opinion.”

I realize that there are many people that were born in the United States because their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents migrated here many generations before they were born. For those Americans that are here for that reason, I want to let you know that another privilege you have as an American is the freedom to leave if you wish to do so. It has obviously not occurred to these individuals that just because their ancestors viewed the American way of life as a positive change that does not mean that they are obligated to remain here. There are a number of other countries that do not operate in the same manner as the U.S. in fact no other countries operate in the same manner. Oh wait, that is exactly WHY America exists today, isn’t it? Of course, I remember now…

Was it third or fourth grade when we learned about the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, and the Pilgrims? Stay with me here, I know most of the Hollywood Elite never went to college but I would hope you made it through elementary school.
Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you know what that holiday represents? Those individuals demonstrated the fire and perseverance that is the embodiment of what it means to be American. They had such a burning desire to be free from religious persecution that they risked their very lives to travel to a new land and before they ever set foot on solid ground they made their first group decision and entered into the Mayflower Compact.

That need to be free and love of country was handed down to their children and those children demonstrated their metal in the American Revolution. They stepped up and fought for what they believed in and paid a very high price so they could leave a legacy of freedom and independence for generations to come. So, when Bruce Springsteen is singing “Born in the U.S.A.” or Cher is belting out the National Anthem, I have to ask what message is it these people are trying to convey? They claim some sort of obligation to use their celebrity to promote their idea of a better America but how would becoming another France be representative of a “better” America?

All the things these people are demonstrating against are all of the things that make this country great. If you want the government to pay for your medical expenses, move to a socialist country. If you want to share the wealth, maybe you should consider relocating to North Korea. Their government makes all the decisions and there is no rich/poor dynamic - everyone is equal. Of course, the people are starving to death because the government has opted to spend all its resources on weapons rather than food so you will want to pack a lunch!

I am absolutely amazed that these people flaunt their ignorance like a badge of honor. What do you say we put a “President HU Jintao SUCKS!” tee shirt on all of them and ship them off to Bejing? Do you think their argument that they have a right to assemble would work there? How about their right to free speech? I would love to find out. As for all of the wealthy Hollywood Elite, if you are so concerned about the world’s hungry, ill, and oppressed, why haven’t you opened your pocketbook to help the needy here at home?

I am an American, in the truest sense of the word. I love my country, I would fight for my freedom, my right to bear arms, my right to choose my religion, my right to free speech, and my right to tell my President, George W. Bush, “I respect you, I voted for you, I support you, and I sleep well at night knowing that the safety of this nation is in your capable hands. May God bless you and may God bless America!” It is also my right and honor to stand up and say to all of our service people, “Thank you for risking everything you hold dear to protect our way of live. Thank you for putting yourself in harm’s way to keep innocent children out of it. Thank you for your generous commitment to the oppressed people of Iraq and all of the other nations around the world. You are the heart and soul of America and the modern day “Pilgrims” that future generations will revere throughout history.”

3 Comments:

  • Being an American can mean so much. It means freedom - the right to say what you want and come and go as you please. It means the choices to do or not to do. Giving you the opportunity to learn to love and respect others regardless of the race and religion and if they are Republican or Democratic. Freedom is life.- teason28

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 PM  

  • Okay, I plead total ignorance on Terri's situation, but I'm finding it real hard to swallow what this Susan person is saying. She talks about how we're free to express our opinion and then in nearly the same breath (so to speak) says that anyone who speaks out in opposition to Bush should leave the country.

    Also, Bush is putting himself in harm's way? How is he doing that? I haven't seen him in Iraq ducking inside of an unarmored humvee.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 PM  

  • To Anon...
    I said that we are free to express our opinions, and I am thankful for that right which was given to us by the U.S. Constitution and those that defend it to this day. My comment about those that oppose our government also have the right to leave if they don't like the way things are here. The point of this is that if Americans had not defended freedom over the past 200 years, individuals would likely be imprisoned, tortured, or even killed for speaking out against their government. So, you can't have it both ways! You can't take advantage of the civil liberties that have been bestowed upon you under the constitution of this great land and then say, "We shouldn't fight our enemies, we should forfeit our sovereignty to the U.N., we should collect up all the money and split it up evenly." It is a package deal! You take the good (freedom of speech, right to prosper, government of the people by the people) with the bad (there will always be rich and poor in a capitalist society, there will always be casualties of war in a true democracy because so many communist and socialist countries disagree with our beliefs and want to take away our democratic lifestyle).

    As for Bush being in harm's way... I did not address that issue but if I had I would have said that he has been in harm's way since he took office! He is the most powerful man in the world and with all the hate and violence against America anyone that has half a brain can see that he has a multitude of targets on his head!!!! What I did say is that our military personnel put themselves in harm's way to defend this country everyday and I respect, honor, and thank them for that everyday.

    Don't you think it would be a bit careless for a man that is responsible for the welfare of the entire United States to put himself on the frontlines of a war just to prove to the ignorant people of the world that he understands the risks these people take?

    Come on, pull your head out of the sand and tune in to what is really going on in the world!!!!!!! Or at least read through Sherri blog and get a clue!!!!!!!!!!!

    Susan

    By Blogger SR7385, at 10:53 AM  

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