Times are hard here in the States, it’s true. This is shaping up to be one of the worst financial crises we’ve ever faced, and from the look of things, we’re taking the rest of the world with us. The worst part, though, is that we’re driving ourselves into the ground. Yeah, that’s right, we’re responsible. Not Iran, not Iraq, not the Taliban, Bin Laden, Russia, North Korea, China, or anyone else. Us.
Our economy seems to be based on foreign oil, which presents a problem, but it’s one we could surmount if we chose. We have oil reserves and oil fields enough to last us through this crisis, enough to bring the price of gas back down to a dollar or less per gallon if we chose. The problem is, we don’t choose. The citizens of the United States of America, where we harp on the freedom of choice, will not make one.
Once upon a time, we were a proud nation, and rightly so. We were a nation of idealists, of thinkers, of people willing to fight for what we believed in. We had morals, we had rights, and we had a voice. We had a big stick, too. But times have changed; no longer do we hold true to our ideals, to our morals. Day by day, we fall further down the educational ladder, because our youth are fed ever-increasing amounts of raw, ripe horse shit. And that big stick? We’ve poked it at a few too many hornet nests we really had no business poking.
Corruption runs all the way up the line, from the common man to the very leaders of our country. Our military, once the greatest in the world, has fallen to inter-service bickering, to scare tactics, to the whims of bureaucrats. Its own charities are holding their money aside in this time of crisis, hedging against a not-so-distant future where their funding will need to be cut so that the common man may continue to live above the poverty line. And because of the decisions of a few, we have more enemies now than ever before.
Diplomacy fails us daily, as our crumbling markets and the corruption of our government eats away at the heart of our nation. We have forgotten the other half of the maxim; we have forgotten how to speak softly. For decades, we have lain aside the olive branch in favor of the sword, and now that we are trying to pick it up again, we find the branch has withered and died, leaving us with little more than an empty husk. Nations which should be our allies speak of our impending downfall, a renewed Cold War; not of munitions, but of words and money.
Daily, we cite our freedoms, tout them to the world in the most vulgar ways imaginable. Is there any wonder that our youth have taken to gunning one another down in the streets, in the very schools which should be teaching them better ways? A terrible cancer gnaws at our nation, one which will soon need to be removed, if it is not already too late.
The time has come for us to remember. There was a time when we were young, when we were vibrant, when we respected our neighbors, when we were respected in turn. We are a nation of contrasts, a melting pot of cultures and technologies, of science and religion, of people from all corners of the earth. It is time for us to remember, and to change our own course away from the destructive path we have walked these past decades.
Americans, it is time for us to change.