In January 2009, I turned the lights out in the bunker. Since then, I have been observing. A few days ago, I fired a test shot out of the bunker to check the com lines and was pleased to learn that my signal was going out Lima Charlie. There is a lot to talk about these days and all of us who love this country and the principles on which it was founded need to engage to ensure that our voices are heard loud and clear. The alternative is not acceptable. The fields of fire are cleared, aiming stakes are in the ground and the dead space is covered. So let us engage.
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In the cyber world, millions of blogs vie daily for attention. As if that did not create enough noise, they started tweeting although more like cawing crows than morning songbirds. The talk radio and cablevision commentary ranges from reasonable to insane. Then there are the cable television debate programs with one yapping head appearing in the box on the right side screaming is to and another in a box on the left side screaming is not. In all forums, one side tries to rise above the noise and the other tries to drown them out. Irrational shouting is more common than civil conversation or debate. Entering this environment is like searching for a quiet booth in a noisy back street dive stinking of stale smoke, stale booze, over-perfumed ladies of the night, and backed up toilets accompanied by the tinny notes of a deafening out of tune band, from which to contemplate important issues and solve problems.
Some people, who have successfully built audiences of millions, manage to communicate above the barroom din. Still, it is a standoff where each side mostly sings to its own choir. What is missing from this scene is the barroom bouncer willing to take each side by the napes of their necks and toss them into the urine stench permeated and trash dumpster filled back alley. For the sake of our nation and sanity, we need a quieter and more decent place from which to examine our national problems. Presently, the United States Congress does not appear to be that place as it is busy setting the example for the remainder of the bar’s clientele.
Engaging in earsplitting bouts where facts and reason duel emotion and ideology is futile. No one wins. No one can win. Futility be damned, both sides continue to go at it enthusiastically. Standing unyieldingly in the middle of the noisy barroom dance floor, both insist that they have secured the high ground factually and ideologically. Neither has. All we are accomplishing now is grinding the foundation of humankind’s last great hope into dust. No one is winning and we are losing sight of what is important – like our steadily eroding freedom. America is losing. When America loses the rest of the world also loses.
It is better to contemplate things in a quieter environment, but we cannot disengage. Instead, we must find a way to focus all Americans and ourselves on an undeniable conclusion. The United States of America is in peril of being a future chapter in the annals of the world described as a majestic place where men once lived free. We cannot meekly give up our freedom to mortal men. Paraphrasing the poet Dylan Thomas, we must not go gentle into that good night. We must refuse to be bit players in the ancient history account of the magnificent, divinely inspired, human accomplishment that once was.
Shouting across the noisy room is not the answer. The Americans who have always sacrificed to preserve our country and its God given freedoms will have to do it again. The often heralded silent majority who turn the wrenches, put out the fires and fight our nations wars from the battlefield rather than from the pristine rooms of the nation’s capitol and who do not engage in the barroom brawls called debates must raise their voices above the roar. Only by them will America be saved – again.