I don’t venture into political discourse that often outside of my tight-knit circle of friends and family. My reason is a lack of self-confidence in my knowledge. I don’t want to come across as foolish and resort to name calling like I see so much on Facebook and in the media today. For example, read the exchange below from a friend’s Facebook posting after Romney’s gaffe went viral:
Commenter 1 – Guy roof-racks his dog. we’re supposed to be surprised that he holds most people in disdain, too? Putz.
Commenter 2 – Sounds like he is just speaking reality to me. What’s wrong with that?
Poster – I didn’t say anything was wrong. I just said it was interesting.
Commenter 2 – It’s like running strategy in football.
Commenter 3 – Not as crazy as twitter made it sound.
Commenter 4 – Interesting how me and I would guess how most others sense that they are no better off in their lives after Obama was given a chance to lead this great nation. Tell me please why should he get the chance to lead this country for another term.
Commenter 5 – People that say 47 percent don’t pay taxes are just ignorant….even though they’re TOO POOR to pay income taxes, they still pay payroll taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes……just because someone can’t wave a magic wand and fix everything in one term, doesn’t mean you turn to ignorance.
Commenter 4 – Ignorance is as ignorance does.
Commenter 6 – You’re mistaken. While about half of households pay no income tax at all, a full 40% MAKE A PROFIT by filing a return. Through the “earned income tax credit”, child care benefits, and a host of other federal programs these households get back MORE than they pay in through Social Security and Medicare taxes. The bottom line: 40% of tax filers MAKE money by filing a return, even when Social Security and Medicare taxes are figured in. Half the citizenry pays no federal income tax at all. Half the citizenry now receives a federal benefit check of some kind. The minority of Americans who pay their own bills and take full responsibility for their own lives (just 20% of Americans pay over 90% of federal income taxes and 70% of ALL federal taxes — while earning about 50% of the income) are an endangered species.
Notice how those who can’t support their arguments with facts turn to name calling? I don’t want to sound like that. Nor do I want to sound like the conversations I overheard here in Charlotte during the DNC where hard facts were turned into incorrect opinions and opinions became facts because the speaker really, really liked them. Nor do I want to sound like Michelle Malkin on Fox News in the morning who masks her lack of information with big words she can’t use properly. (Seriously Fox, she has to go. Find someone more relevant than a blogger.) Thus I remain silent.
I, like most Americans, am relatively uneducated when it comes to our nation’s history. Our education system fails when it comes to teaching history. Just look at who our history teachers are – wannabe football coaches who studied history and education as a fallback plan if their NFL dreams didn’t come true or draft dodging liberals who can’t teach without fusing in their own beliefs. Neither has a place in the classroom.
This election I decided enough. This election I decided to educate myself on history and politics and start to speak up on the facts. Why? Because we are staring at the most pivotal election in our nation’s history. I firmly believe that if we as a people don’t rally against the powers in Washington, DC and force some changes that the United States will cease to be the super power that it is. In the months leading up the election, Mrs. G. and I decided to travel to Boston to visit where dreams of the United States of American and the fight for independence began. (We also heard it was a great food town. But more on that in a future post). What were the Freedom Fighters fighting for and why? Who were they? What did the go through?
The Freedom Trail helps re-educate people on why the colonists came here from England, why the Revolutionary War was fought, and who the men were that fought it. We booked our tour through The Freedom Tour Foundation. But there are other outfits you can book through as well. Just check out Trip Advisor for reviews. All of the tours were setup similar to ours and took you on a 90 minute tour of the most condensed sites in center city. We strolled past the Faneuil Hall (Nicknamed the Birthplace of Liberty), the Old State House, The Site of the Boston Massacre (Did you know John Adams defended the British soldiers in court? If you did, do you know why?), and the Granary Burying Ground to pay homage to the graves of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and others.
The 90 minute tours do not quite cover everything. There are additional stops on the Freedom Trail and are musts on your itinerary. After completing the organized portion of the tour, we followed the red line which marks the trail to North End to see Paul Revere’s house and learn how he came from humble beginnings and lived a “bootstraps” story – a real American story. We also visited the Old North Church where the lanterns were hung to start the Midnight Ride. Then we ventured over the Charles River to visit two of the most impressive sights on the Freedom Trail – The USS Constitution and Bunker Hill. We stuck around for the organized tour of the USS Constitution. It was well worth the wait to be able to go below deck on the ship that gave our country its first victory at sea. We paused as we imagined life aboard Old Ironsides as brave men went to war for our freedom and independence. A brisk walk up the hill from the USS Constitution is the site the Battle of Bunker Hill. Once again, we paused to mediate on the historical significance of this famed battle which was the most significant loss for the colonial troops. Yet, our armies continued to battle on for something greater than themselves. It was a fight for independence, for freedom, for opportunity.
Looking back, I couldn’t imagine a single leader or soldier envisioning the country that we have become – a burgeoning welfare state. They believed in hard work, not government entitlements. They wanted to control their own destiny and not have it dictated by an oppressive government. They fought against taxes that bred political corruption, not for them.
The notion that history repeats itself is not just a notion. It’s a proven fact. How is it proven? Well, just look at history. Oh wait, we don’t. We rely on bloggers, and Facebook, and biased media to relay opinion and not history. In the days leading up to the election, I encourage all voters to take in some history and formulate your own decision. Visit a historical site if you live near one. Open up a history book. Look at the living history around us. Read about what’s going on in Europe as government subsidies grow out of control. Look South to Venezuela where a leader gained his power and popularity by expanding he people’s reliance on government handouts. Look at what our government is currently doing and ask yourself – is this what our Founding Fathers intended for us? Block out the noise, focus on facts, form an opinion, and vote.