by Andy Weddington
Friday, 12 December 2014
"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object."
Though not news it merits mention, again - we bear witness to extraordinary government incompetence.
Tone is set from the top.
Cite something the president has said or written that has inspired the citizenry? And with substantive effort has measurably moved America forward?
Leadership is getting things done - for the better.
Signs abound and polls so attest to the contrary.
Name something the president has touched that has not fallen apart (and created bigger problems)?
This morning I sit at a dining room table in visitor's quarters aboard the historic Washington Navy Yard.
A couple blocks away is the likewise historic Marine Barracks 8th & I.
A quick recap of the day's start...
The alarm sounded a few minutes after 0400.
Since, I've been to the gym; had a couple cups of coffee and a bite to eat; caught up on news; showered; watched the sharp Marine color guard report to raise colors at 0800; had a haircut; and strolled a bit about the Yard - looking at history and thinking.
Back in quarters, over another cup of coffee, I read an article titled 'The Other America' by Victor Davis Hanson. Something he wrote caught my attention:
"In such a depressing American landscape, why is the United States doing pretty well?
Put simply, millions of quiet, determined Americans get up every morning and tune out the incompetence and corruption of their government. They simply ignore destructive fads of popular culture. They have no time for the demagoguery of their politicians and the divisive rhetoric of social activists. Instead, these quiet Americans simply go to work, pursue their own talents, excel at what they do, and seek to take care of their families."
Dr. Hanson also made mention of our military writing, "Yet superb American forces continue to ensure that the United States and its allies remain safe."
I worked out amongst some of those "superb American forces" this morning - some active duty (including a recognizable four-star admiral); some reserve; some retired military; and some civilians who work for the Department of Defense. Count them, too, as "...quiet, determined Americans get up every morning and tune out the incompetence and corruption of their government. They simply ignore destructive fads of popular culture...".
Thankfully, our government's incompetence is overshadowed, and salvaged, by a competent military (exceptionally so) and a segment of the populace (overlap noted) that goes about carrying on in the spirit of Patrick Henry's America.
The pretty landscape, the symbolism, of Washington, D.C. - The White House; Capitol; Washington Monument; Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials; Iwo Jima Memorial; and, yes, the Washington Navy Yard - especially at night, is not depressing. It's actually inspiring.
Sadly, today's incompetence and corruption betray yesterday's symbols.
Yet with the likes of those Americans I was privileged to be surrounded by this morning in the gym, and others like them on watch about the country and world, protecting and defending their quiet brethren who go about daily life trying to make a difference for the greater good - there is hope.
'The Other America' by Victor Davis Hanson