Defining American exceptionalism

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If there were ever a moment in time to take a stand for American pride it’s now. If we want to preserve for our children the respect our ancestors enjoyed we need to draw a line in the sand and proclaim “enough.”

The ugliness over the Arizona-Mexico border has spilled into neighboring states all because this administration wants to appear favorable to Latinos. It chides Gov. Jan Brewer for her state’s legislative actions because its afraid it will lose the Hispanic vote. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hadn’t even read Arizona’s new immigration law when it scolded them. In so many words they pronounced Arizona’s law enforcement incapable of fairness in executing the law. When did we lose respect for our country’s police? Massachusettes?

How many of us would not have read the bill knowing we were going to be asked questions about it? More disrespect? Arrogance of power? Incompetence? Stupidity?

If we look north to the sleepy border of Vermont and Canada we see our federal government is all too anxious to take action. They are all geared up to rob 4.9 acres from a dairy farmer for renovations to a border crossing that really needs to be shut down not spruced up. A crossing that receives on average two or three cars an hour is worthy of spending an estimated $15 million? Could someone in Washington justify that for the taxpayer as well as the dairy farmer? How about we take that $15 million and send it to Arizona to help secure that border?

The Phoenix Suns protest their state by wearing jerseys written in Spanish, yet, when two men wear jerseys supporting the new Arizona legislation they are tossed from the game. (They were later allowed back in.)

A small New York town makes English the official language and the New York Civil Liberties Union threatens to sue. Conversely a small Texas town makes Spanish its official language and no one hears a peep.

Why so much disrespect of all things American?

I find it troublesome that President Obama finds righteousness in his arrogance but derides the U.S. for hers. He chastises the upper and middle classes as if they don’t deserve what they have. He champions the impoverished while forgetting we are a nation forged by the descendants of the worlds impoverished.

Does he believe every American is the son or daughter of European aristocracy? Are not the majority of us the descendants of farmers, coopers, chamber maids, railroad workers, miners, iron workers, seamstresses, switchboard operators and other honorable, laborious workers? Our ancestors came from England, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Poland, France, Spain, China, Japan, Vietnam, from every corner, and they worked their way to the middle and upper classes, the government did not chauffeur them there. My maternal grandparents lived in a one-room shack with three children and no running water. My grandmother worked at a can factory while my grandfather did odd jobs. My paternal great-grandparents lived in a row home with 13 children. My great-grandfather was a brewmaster, my great-grandmother did many things one of which was an oyster shucker. My paternal grandfather had Multiple Sclerosis but still managed to be a steel worker. My mother was a secretary for Montgomery Ward, my father was in the Navy before becoming a police officer who supplemented his income by being a garbage man, an act which could have gotten him fired at the time. Hard work and triumph over adversity is embedded in the American DNA. We managed to persevere and in each new generation we nurtured pride in our advancement while cultivating charity for those who were still struggling. This is “why” we are such a giving nation, we’ve been the deprived.

Do we have moments in history we are not proud of? Things we wish we had never done or done differently? Yes. We are imperfect humans. We have spent decades righting the wrongs of participants of inappropriate behavior. However, you cannot eternally hold accountable the living for the deeds of the dead.

This administration is making it difficult to maintain American honor when it degrades the meaning of “American Citizen” by continually supporting countries that belittle us. Mr. Obama may not take pride in being the American President but we still take pride in being Americans. He continually looks down upon this nation for transgressions decades old while simultaneously overlooking the wonderful works we have displayed for just as long. Recently the American people who are themselves struggling to survive economically, sent over $8 million dollars to Haiti, every penny without government prodding. We redistribute our own wealth on our own terms. Yet Mr. Obama allowed the Mexican President to chastise us on our own soil for how he perceives our treatment of others? Americans aren’t fleeing the U.S. to get into Mexico; he should readjust his mirror. Mr. Obama also allowed Michael Posner to compare our troubles with those of Communist China? I don’t see any of Obama’s cohorts trying to become Mexican or Chinese citizens.

A look back through history would show our president, if not for the hard working, self-motivated poor who bloodied their knuckles becoming “American”, we would not be the nation of honor he is trying to rip from our hands. Why so much anger when we expect all illegal immigrants to do the same? You earn your right to be American, it is not given to you and you certainly don’t take it.

For decades we have taken pride in our image as a giving nation. In one year of this administration they have done their best to destroyed this rightfully deserved American attribute. We are tired of the disloyalty, divisiveness and embarrassment. We are tired of pitting citizen against citizen. We are tired of Mr. Obama appointing colleagues who willingly assist him in implementing his youthful delusions of a “perfect society.” We are tired of his supporting brutal and/or socialist dictators while peeing on American achievement and pride. It’s time to cultivate unity, allegiance and love of America. The year of social experimentation is over. The overwhelming majority of Americans have rejected Obama’s vision of “fundamental” change. It’s time to be a leader, not a lecturer. You were not elected to foist upon us “your” vision of America. You were elected to protect “the” vision of America.

You were elected to bring transparency to Washington, to give back voice to the people. But everywhere we turn there are veils, hushed tones and belittling or suppression of opposing views.

It’s time to put on your big-boy clothes and tell your radical friends you cannot play at social engineering any longer. The truth is Americans like the foundation of their country and are going to fight to keep it. The citizens are calling you back to reality and are still willing to let you do the job they elected you to do, not the experiment you decided to try since you were elected.

Cindy Stickline-Rose is a former law clerk and office manager, as well as a mother of five children, one of which suffers from cerebral palsy