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Posts from the ‘Nathanael Knows!’ Category



Here’s a simple question to ask yourself, “What ever happened to simply taking responsibility for something?”  Think about it for a second.

Webster’s defines Responsibility as,

  1. The quality or state of being responsible: as
    1. moral, legal, or mental accountability.
    2. reliability, trustworthiness.

Pretty straight forward, right.  Then why has it become such a foreign concept in not only our political system, but also in our entire culture?

Enough questions for you to ponder, allow me to explain the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head far too long.  When I was going up, if I broke something, I was expected to make amends in some way.  If I could pay for it, I would.  If not, there would be some other chore or earnest apology that could somehow make things right.  Every now and then, as any young trouble-making boy would do, I would try to blame someone else (usually one of my younger sisters).  I learned at a pretty early age that if I did this and got caught, the consequences would be a bit more harsh than if I has simply taken responsibility from the beginning.


Sorry, didn’t mean to yell, but do you feel my frustration with this one?  It doesn’t take a genius to see that something has gone wrong.  Open any paper or visit any news site (Left, Right, Independent, it doesn’t matter), and you can’t help but see the serious state that we’re in right now.  Our economy is getting hit, unemployment is higher than it’s been in over 20 years (note: this is a debatable point because they’ve changed the way they measure unemployment), we’re fighting a war, but forcing our troops to fight with one arm behind their backs (and the other in a sling), political corruption on both sides (but for some reason it’s not “corruption” if they tell us they’re accepting money)…you get the point, right.

It’s all pretty clear, but of course, our elected officials know that if they actually man-up and say, “Yep, we really f***ed that one up,” we’ll vote them out of office and they’ll have to rejoin the ranks and live in the mess they’ve created.  On one hand, that’s an understandable concern.  Yes, we will vote them out of office (if we actually get off our butts and vote…but that’s a whole other article).  On the other hand, though, why isn’t there a single representative out there that will just admit that we have a problem and it’s ALL of our faults.  Enough of this childish finger pointing and pontificating.

But, before we start joining in on the finger pointing game, let’s remember that we’re all guilty of not taking responsibility for what’s happened to our country.  I’m a pretty conservative guy, so it’s easy for me to look at the current administration and talk about how they’ve thrown out the Constitution.  To be fair, though, I have to remind myself that the last few administrations were the ones that started chipping away at our freedoms.  So where does our responsibility fall in all this?  Mainly by falling for the “Us vs. Them” game and acting like this problem is too big for us to fight.

Redefining the “Us vs. Them” will first take some humility from all of us, but it’s also the first step in each of us taking responsibility for what we’ve allowed to happen.  We need to understand that we’re now at the point where the “Us” is WE THE PEOPLE; the American people that are being abused and screwed by an elitist class of professional politicians.  By that rational, obviously the “Them” are those same politicians that are tearing our country apart focusing mainly on them and theirs while they give lip-service to “The People”.  As we talk with our peers, as we “reach across party lines”, we need to remember that even the person in Starbucks that doesn’t see things the same way as us, is just as much as a victim of this political game as we are.

So what do we do?  I wish more than anything else that I had a quick fix for this problem.  I feel like I have a pretty big stake in this thing we call America.  Both my maternal and paternal ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War.  My great-grandfather was wounded in France in WWI (I have a copy of his Purple Heart citation framed on my bookshelf).  My maternal grandfather served in the Navy.  My paternal grandfather served in the Texas National Guard and his wife served in the Navy.  My own father was in the Army for 21 years.  My brother-in-law has served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  I served in the Navy for six years.  To think that my entire family has served, fought and bled for a country that is falling apart is disheartening, to say the least.  Guys, I wish I had the answers, but I only have a few suggestions.

My first suggestion is that you start taking responsibility for what has happened to our country.  Note the shift from the plural “we” to the singular “you”.  YOU need to take responsibility.  Not the other “you”; not the other people reading this post. I’m talking to the YOU sitting in YOUR chair reading this post on YOUR computer.  You need to stop taking the attitude that someone else is going to contact their Representatives and demand a change.  Do you understand that if everyone is waiting for someone else to get dirty, no one is doing anything?!

Stop by your Representative’s local office.  A little face time has lot more impact than an email they can just delete.  Be nice when you go there (I would even recommend dressing a little nicer than jeans and a t-shirt).  Remember, if the elitist class looks down on us as a bunch of uneducated, WalMart shopping, rednecks, we don’t need to go in and reinforce that idea!  Tell them you’re concerns.  Ask the hard questions.  Someone taking the time to visit is not only impactful, it also scary.  Our politicians know that for every one person that takes the time to get active, there are about 1000 more that feel the same way, but don’t have the time or desire to go visit.

Here’s my second suggestion: redefine the “Us” and “Them.”  As much as a love talk-radio, I also think most of the political talk shows are hurting us more than helping.  They feed into the Left vs. Right, Liberal vs. Conservative dialogue and keep the People fighting amongst ourselves.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to talk-radio, read books or watch TV, I’m just saying to pay attention to the division and try to filter it.  Remember that the “Us” is now ALL of us that are being oppressed and the “Them” are those that are stripping away our freedom and taxing us to death.

Finally, reach across party lines.  I live in Los Angeles, CA, right now.  You can only imagine how hard this is for me!  I’m surrounded by people that I disagree with on more issues than you can even begin to imagine.  But rather than focusing on our MANY differences, I try to focus on the fact that we all agree that we’re getting screwed.  Admittedly, there are some people that just refuse to budge.  “Obama’s the best thing to have ever happened to this county”…”Everything is still Bush’s fault”…”Anyone that makes more than $30,000 a year is evil”…whatever.

But there are also those that see that we do have some common ground and a common enemy.  Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things is WalMart REALLY all that different than Target?  Is Burger King REALLY all that different than McDonald’s?  Is Hertz REALLY all that different than Avis?  Do you think that at this point the Republicans are REALLY all that different than the Democrats?  Sure the underlying philosophies are different, but at this point in time the end results are about the same.

So fight the urge to bury your head in the sand (or your Xbox 360) and realize that both you and I are the key to fixing our country.  We’ve left it up to our “elected” officials too long now.  We’ve seen what that’s given us.  The next time you get in to a heated discussion with one of “Them”, remember that the politicians count on Us fighting amongst ourselves.  Yes, there will be topics that we will NEVER agree on, but I think most of us can agree that this path is leading us down a dangerous road.

You can’t expect others to take responsibility for our country, if YOU don’t do it first!

I Make Hippies Cry: Nathanael Greene