Posted by Lilly from ? (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 23, 2002 at 3:52PM :
Steve Earle could be a kindred spirit... check out the lyrics to his latest album.
"Lately I fell like the loneliest man in America. Frankly, I've never worn red, white, and blue that well. I grew up during the Vietnam War and whenever I see a flag decal, I subconsciously superimpose the caption: AMERICA – LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT across the bottom stripe. Back then, as now, it was suggested by some that second-guessing our leaders in a time of crisis was unpatriotic if not downright treasonous. We sent 55,000 of our sons to die far from home in the belief that if we didn't arrest what we perceived as an 'evil empire' abroad that the last domino would ultimately fall at our own doorstep. When no enemy presented itself at the gate, we began to turn on ourselves, subjecting our own citizens to clandestine scrutiny by our law enforcement agencies and persecution in our courts of law. Our newfound 'unity' became increasingly exclusive and eventually divisive until we fought each other in the streets of Washington, Chicago, Newark, and Watts.
"Well, we survived all that – and I believe that we'll survive this, as well. We are a people perpetually balanced on a tightrope stretched between our history and our potential, one faltering step away from a headlong tumble from the most dizzying of heights. But fear not – we're working with a net.
"In spite of our worst intentions and ignorance of our own history, our Constitution has, thus far, proven resilient enough to withstand anything that we throw at it, including ourselves. For myself, my faith in this one institution of our all too human (and therefore imperfect) society is absolute, but, I hope, not blind. It was built to last, but only if properly maintained. Fierce vigilance against the erosion of its proven principles is the very heart of our peculiarly American brand of democracy. It was framed by men whose names we are taught to remember by rote: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Aaron Burr... the list is long and distinguished and we call these men patriots. In times like these, it is also important to remember the names of John Reed, Emma Goldman, Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, Malcom X, Martin Luther King... those who defended those same principles by insisting on asking the hardest questions in our darkest hours.
"God bless America, indeed."
July 4th, 2002
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