America the beautiful

By Bill Taylor

It seems to me that the Fourth of July, the celebration of the birth of this nation, is an opportunity for us to take a deep collective breath, step back, and think about what we have here in our country. That thought came to me recently as we were driving through the countryside returning from a wedding. The drive was very easy as the route took us through quiet small towns and villages and by way of fields now showing this year’s crops so my mind could wander a bit

I got to thinking about what a truly beautiful and blessed country we live in with its bountiful fields and farms, homes, businesses, schools, medical facilities, and all sorts of manifestations of how remarkable this nation is. Above all, we enjoy freedom beyond that not imagined in most parts of the world. These images just kinda bubbled up as we drove home after having witnessed a couple, surrounded by family and friends, being united in marriage.

The ceremony had been traditional in that it was in a church complete with organ music; the bride wore white; and there was a processional of the attendants of the bride and groom down the aisle followed by the bride escorted by her father.

The event was non-traditional in that the bride selected a male attendant along with her female attendants. (The couple was Caucasian, her male attendant was African-American.) Among other exceptions to custom was that the bride elected not to take the last name of her husband – we’re not sure if we should call her “Miss”, “Mrs”, or “Ms”. But no one was concerned about these trifles. All in all the entire trip was a happy time, a memorable experience in our great land.

So why bring this up? Well, unfortunately, this “feel good about and appreciate” our country is not shared by some influential people and almost all the electronic and print media. They provide a steady drumbeat about what’s wrong with our nation. According to almost daily articles in not only major newspapers but local ones as well, there is nothing worthwhile in the United States. Elected leaders are vilified as “idiots” “morons” “lunatics” as are those who elected them.. Business is portrayed as preying on its customers; “profit” is evil; and owning stocks or bonds is considered part of the corruption. Yep, according to these folks there’s not a redeeming feature anywhere to be seen.

The electronic media, with a few notable exceptions, have nothing but criticism of our country. They lead with “stories” emphasizing problems, a number of which are not necessarily real, but as the saying goes, “Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.” They see nothing positive about gains in the number of new jobs, record low unemployment rates for minority groups, or the increase in the Gross National Product (GDP). Nope, according to what is called the “mainstream media” we are on a rapidly increasing downward spiral.

One of the manifestations of this “nothing is good or worthwhile here” attitude is the ever-increasing claim that we have the responsibility for accepting those Central America “migrants” whose journey to our southern border has been well financed and publicized. This “blame America” theme is that our nation’s use of drugs has fueled the violence by Central American drug lords which has driven these folks out. Therefore we are responsible for the exodus and must be held accountable by accepting the “refugees.” How about them apples?

Oh, there’s lots more on this subject such as how some people are being targeted for harassment in public and at their homes because of their political affiliation. They have even been ejected from public restaurants who serve only “decent” customers. According to a U S Representative, that’s just fine.

You know, I betcha this faction couldn’t find anything positive from a visit to the countryside hereabouts with our small town/rural values of family, religion, patriotism, and optimism about our country. And they sure wouldn’t understand how so many small businesses have started up and been successful. That simply couldn’t happen in their version of America.

Well, folks around this part of the country will go ahead with Fourth of July parades, community activities, fireworks, and family events – the descendants of my parents have had a family Fourth of July picnic for over 65 years. And I’ve been thinking, maybe I should discontinue my newspaper subscriptions and stop watching those TV anti-America pundits.- but then I wouldn’t have the fun of laughing at their foaming-at-the mouth ranting. At least that’s how it seems to me.

By Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, a local resident may be contacted at [email protected]

Bill Taylor, a local resident may be contacted at [email protected]