We left Colorado for Tennessee on Thursday in our RV. This took us through some of the areas of flooding in Kansas and Missouri. What struck me initially was how pretty the country is this time of year. As we went went through small town after small town it occurred to me how remarkable it is that everything in the country just somehow works. Each small town had a sign that reads “the first . . .” or “home of . . . ” or some other sign of pride. We learned that Deer Trail, Colorado was the home to the first rodeo in 1869 although it seems that’s somewhat in dispute.
The roads we traveled — that would be “infrastructure” to those of you inside the Beltway — were all in remarkably good shape after the winter thaw. There are something like 2,678,000 miles of paved roads in the United States. The distance to the moon is 238,900 miles so roughly five round trips to the moon and back.
Every now and again we’d pass a school that looked like every other school in the country but somehow having an awesome name and mascot for their football team seemed to make them different and just a little better. I particularly enjoyed the banner proudly proclaiming “Home of the Girls Varsity Runner-Up State Volleyball Champions!”
There were pretty much the right number of gas stations and we had good cell coverage everywhere we went. McDonalds restaurants were strategically placed in every town with more than one stop light — or so it seemed. Every town seemed to have auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians, doctors, dentists and ever other basic service.
What amazed me was how all of this happened organically by people and not by government. Each area was tweaked slightly to meet the needs of the people living in the area but there was something of a consistency that went along with the diversity. Everything was created with a common purpose of what it meant to live in the United States. Remarkable.
It was all created by the People using their freedom to create the best life for their families and their neighbors. No one told the “Children’s Smile Center” to locate in Aurora, Missouri – population 7,508 – but there they are nonetheless.
I was watching the CBS Show “Sunday Morning” today and found the opinion piece by Scott Pelley rather troubling.
How many stars in the American flag?
Fifty, you say? I’m not sure. If there were fifty, then citizens of liberal states and conservative states would join in common purpose on the blue field which is, after all, called, “the union.”
Mr. Pelley is wrong right from the start of the piece because the common purpose is Freedom and we don’t need to join anything – it’s guaranteed by our Constitution and it’s the core of what it means to be a citizen. By the way, Mr. Pelley, if you are not a citizen of the United States, you are guaranteed nothing whatsoever except Due Process and basic human rights.
Also, it’s not the responsibility of the citizens of the State of Colorado to dictate to any other state how best they would like to use their freedom. The real diversity is that if you don’t like living in one state, you’re welcome to move elsewhere.
“United we stand” is a familiar aspiration. But “divided we stand” is the secret of America.
If what Mr. Pelley means is that I take responsibility for my own life and my family’s and expect my neighbor to do the same, then we’d be on the same page.
With all our diversity, in all our languages, we should agree on one big idea: we are all woven into the tapestry of stars. It’s time to see that, not as a right, but as a privilege that each of us is willing to earn, with minds that are skeptical but open, and hands ready to work and willing to embrace.
The antithesis of America in one paragraph.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Mr. Pelley might also want to refresh himself on the Bill of Rights.
On our trip through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee, we saw right before our eyes the “tapestry of stars” out our windshield moment by moment.
Instead, it seems, we are recklessly tugging at the thread that holds us together. Today, liberals and conservatives barricade themselves in digital citadels where some media, with calculated bias, assure their viewers that what they already believe is correct. If we wall ourselves in castles of confirming information, I fear a new Cold War. This time, a cold civil war.
If your thesis is correct, Mr. Pelley, then there is only one answer which is the immediate elimination of the threat by shutting down all social media sites. If our free media is acting as the enemies of the people, then their treasonous actions and their means of distribution must be eliminated!
Is that where you were heading, Mr. Pelley? I didn’t think so.