What is the matter with America?

BLACKEAGLE

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#1
Sunday, 26 July 2015


Hisham Melhem

In 2004, American journalist and historian Thomas Frank published a book entitled ‘What is the matter with Kansas? How conservatives won the heart of America’, in which he explored the reasons why so many citizens vote against their own economic and political interests. The phenomenon of individuals ‘betraying’ their social class is well known, and the history of left-wing activism in the twentieth century is full of examples of leftist and Marxist leaders betraying their privileged classes and leading the charge of the downtrodden, against the entrenched economic and political order. Frank’s book is a complex and fascinating tale, told in penetrating, witty and at times hilarious prose, of the slow transformation of his native Kansas from a left-leaning state in the 19th century, into a hotbed of conservatism in recent decades.

Frank delineates how the conservative Republicans framed the issues in deceptive ways, how they distorted political concepts and how they projected themselves as the defenders of traditional American values, and the authentic representatives of the ‘average’ citizen who is supposedly being manipulated by the liberal elites. Instead of focusing the political discourse on the economic interests of the voters, on transparent and accountable governance, and the political empowerment of a well-informed citizenry, conservatives shifted the discourse to explosive or so-called cultural ‘wedge’ issues such as abortion, banning gay marriage, prayers in schools, opposition to gun control and immigration. In this surreal and myopic world, the alienated citizen undermines his/her own interests without realizing it. Thus, ‘Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they are protesting in front of abortion clinics’.

Of demagogues, narcissists and flamethrowers
Every election cycle in recent decades brought with it an assortment of ambitious, self-appointed saviors of the Republic. Narcissists, eccentrics, publicity seekers, demagogues, rich men and women who believe that they are entitled to lead, who run along serious candidates with established political records. Although the Republican Party tends to produce most of these candidates, the Democratic Party has had its own smaller share, notably Al Sharpton, who had a checkered political past, including dabbling in race exploitation. Four years ago, the initial phase of the Republican Presidential race was dominated by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a loud flamethrower, and Herman Cain, an eccentric and unserious candidate.

This year, the large Republican field, with its well-known governors, like Scott Walker and Rick Perry, former governor Jeb Bush. and sitting senators like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, has been shaken by Donald Trump, the loudest, meanest, most reckless, most uninformed and richest mouth that has entered the political Coliseum in recent years. And like the gladiators of yore, he shows no mercy while cutting his scorched-earth path. Donald Trump will not clinch the nomination of his party, but because of his wealth and celebrity and the shameless fascination of the Media (particularly television) with his incredibly inarticulate and vacant views, he will leave a trail of political wreckage in his wake that could conceivably undermine the Republican Candidacy.

Keeping the barbarians behind the wall
Trump declared his candidacy on June 16, with vintage unrestrained arrogance, claiming that he would be the greatest president ever elected, and vowing to deprive Iran of nuclear power and defeating the ‘Islamic State’ ISIS, without saying how. Then the mouth began to spew some of the most nativist, xenophobic and overtly racist insults against Mexican immigrants ever uttered publicly by a candidate.’ They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.’ Trump was throwing red meat to the hard core nativist conservatives in the Republican Party, exploiting their fear of illegal immigration and promising them that he will build a wall, to keep the proverbial barbarians behind at bay. Trump found the convenient enemy, and his popularity soared, in part because the Media allowed itself to be exploited by a master manipulator. In a silent commentary on the lack of moral courage and basic decency, most of his rivals and the National Republican Committee refrained from criticizing his racist rants. There was no profile in courage anywhere in the Republican field.

When Trump viciously attacked Senator John McCain’s status as a war hero who languished and got tortured in Vietnamese jails for 5 years, because he was ‘captured’, his rivals realized that he provided them with an easy and uncostly reason to pounce on him. Governor Rick Perry was the candidate that stood out among his peers, when he delivered an eloquent speech warning that Trump’s political rampage could derail the Republican Party in the election. In a speech in Washington, Perry called Trump’s candidacy ‘a cancer on conservatism’ that ‘must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded’ if the Party is to be preserved. Perry said that ‘Trumpism..is a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued’.

A reservoir of alienation and idiocy
But not even attacking a national hero could slow Trump’s numbers from rising in opinion polls. Analysts said that Trump was tapping into a deep reservoir of voters’ alienation from a dysfunctional political system, a lack of an effective immigration policy, that Republicans are not thrilled with the current field, and the voters’ fascination with blunt spoken candidates ‘who tell it like it is’ and can stand up to China, Russia, Iran and other adversaries of America. It is also true that Trump was tapping into an equally deep reservoir of voters’ ignorance, apathy and idiocy.

The Republican race looked like a circus, and some of the acts could have been very entertaining if the status of America in the world was not very serious, with unprecedented violence in the Middle East and an assertive, even belligerent, Russia and China. Other candidates had to come up with their own stunts, to show the voters that they are still in the race. Senator Graham released a video in which he was shown destroying his cell phone in a variety of funny ways, after Trump carelessly revealed his cell phone number publicly. Senator Rand Paul had his own act online in which he was shown burning or shredding the United States tax code. One wonders, who will save the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodor Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower from itself? Watching this political spectacle, a circus with multiple simultaneous acts, one can only ask: What is the matter with America?

The L'enfant terrible of Republican politics
In previous election cycles, some of the current candidates sought Trump’s political endorsement and financial help. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012 said after receiving Trump’s blessings: ‘having his endorsement is a delight’, despite Trump’s racial and ethnic attacks on President Obama, and after questioning repeatedly whether the President was born in the United States. Many of those Republicans who were rightly indignant when Trump questioned Senator McCain’s heroism in the war, were leading the charge to destroy the reputation of Democratic Senator John Kerry, another Vietnam veteran who has his own share of scars and medals, when he ran against President George W. Bush in 2004.

Donald Trump, in his abrasive, aggressive and ruthless McCarthyism, is at home in the Republican Party circa 2015. This is a party that has been nursing in recent decades a culture of demonization of Democrats and liberalism (Democrats are not innocents of such demonization, but they have not been as thorough and as relentless as the radical conservatives in the Republican Party have been). The rallying cry of the Reagan Revolution that the Federal Government is the problem, has morphed into hostility against Government and that hostility towards Government and the paying of taxes constitute the main pillars of the new religion of the Republican Party.

In recent years, all the non-fundamental issues of governance (almost unfettered access to guns, abortion, same sex marriage, denial of climate change) have become the hallmark of the Republican Party. Some Republican leaders wallow in their denial of climate change and the theory of evolution and they relish the status of the Republican Party as the anti-science party. The Republican convention in 2012 adopted a number of planks that demonstrated the surreal world that author Thomas Frank described in his book: a plank against abortion, a plank against immigration, a plank against the ridiculous and non-existing threat of the so-called Sharia Law and a plank calling for stricter enforcement laws against adult pornography. The obsession of some conservative Republicans with some sex related issues, reminds me of the similar – actually worse- obsession with sex that many radical and Salafi Islamists exhibit.

Disquieting elections
The United States is still, and should remain, uniquely qualified to lead the world in these times of global transitions in regions as varied as the Middle East, Europe and East Asia, and in the areas of trade, communications and social media, and should remain capable of doing great things, preferably with partners, but alone if necessary. But the current paralysis and dysfunction in Washington will prevent even a gifted and strong President regardless of his or her party affiliation from pursuing such goals. More than sixty years ago, the world was envious of America’s marvelous inter-state highway system and bridges (Built by the Republican Eisenhower), a network that is decrepit and crumbling right now. The United States is the only advanced country in the world without a high speed trains. Income inequality is threatening the middle class, and most Americans don’t think that their best days are ahead. There are spaces of poverty in the country that are truly shameful. The presidential race is disquieting, and is dominated by uninspiring, average and mediocre candidates from both parties. We may end up with two candidates representing two entrenched political dynasties that have dominated presidential politics since the 1980’s. Surely America deserves better than this.

Two years ago, I lamented in this space that ‘the U.S. today, is a disheveled superpower. We are no longer the leaders in education, health, economic growth, personal income and happiness. Unless radical systemic reforms are enacted soon, the country will continue to muddle through a polarized, darker territory. This is no way to govern a ‘great power’. Is it too much to ask : What is the matter with America?
_______

Hisham Melhem is a columnist and analyst for Al Arabiya News Channel in Washington, DC. Melhem has interviewed many American and international public figures, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, among others. He is also the correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily. For four years he hosted "Across the Ocean," a weekly current affairs program on U.S.-Arab relations for Al Arabiya. Follow him on Twitter : @hisham_melhem


Last Update: Sunday, 26 July 2015 KSA 13:31 - GMT 10:31
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/07/26/What-is-the-matter-with-America-.html
 

sbatz72

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#2
I found this a great read. I always find it fascinating to read some bits and pieces of history. I am not saying that I totally agree with it. But, I think I do it also every now and again. I think I am one who is out there and voting against my personal beliefs just so that I can feel like I have made the right decision for my country.
 
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#3
The priority of the voters isn't about whats best for them. They only care about one thing: screwing over the poor. They have no issue with their tax dollars to go towards bailing out a several billion dollar corporation. But if lazy, poor people can get free food? Hell NO!!!Vote republican. If a single mom of 6 gets cheap housing? Hell No!! Vote Republican. People want free health care? Nope. Can't have it. Vote republican.

Someone like Trump plays on the prejudices of American bigots. He hates Mexicans, women, gays, poor, and liberals. Thats their kind of man.

People will vote for hate every time. And its sick. It makes my stomach cramp when I think about anyone taking that hate monger seriously.

So, whats wrong with America is bad people who hate. And the terrible people who vote for the bad people who hate.
 
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#4
That's what's great in a democracy. The elections would never fail to bring in the circus to town, so to speak. We would see all kinds of candidates that's why in the Philippines, there is now a law against the so called nuisance candidates who are not fit to wage a decent campaign. I remember a guy named Racuyal who promises to make the roads paved with rubber so it would be smooth, as smooth as his mental capacity.
 
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#5
A nation which doesn't have a common identity where race is the most important factor in determining how people are treated. America is no better than apartheid South Africa when it comes to division by racial lines. They also have a lot of people who think that poor people should not benefit from their tax dollars while they have no problems with it being spent to fund a war or bail out companies.
 
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#6
There are so many problems in the USA, to pin point just one thing would be an understatement. Every country has problems and they all project the illusion to the untrained eye that they are perfect or with very little flaw.

The founding fathers as they are referred to inherited the land from invaders and conquerors. That alone should tell everyone what was to come. How can you profess democracy when the country was taken by away by force and segregation?

Fast forward. Politicians in general do have ideas and outlooks on how the country should be ran. But I think those outlooks are shaped or disfigured when the lobbyist and big business write them big contribution for their Presidential campaigns. Both Democratic and Republican Nominees both spend 1 billion dollars for their presidential campaigns. Where does money come from? It comes for 400 wealthy and powerful families that want to solidify themselves permanently in the financial sector of the USA permanently by "buying" their president to be. How do they exactly do that? They give both nominees 1 billion each. It doesn't matter who wins, they are covered either way.

In the past 20 years we have been in and around the middle east fighting wars that we shouldn't even be apart of, started, and continue to be a presence. War is big business. Feeding the war machine is very lucrative. Sales of weapons to other countries equals to billions of dollars every month. I did say month.

Like every country, it is about wealth, and the relentless pursuit to hang on to that. I'm still rooting fro Bernie Sanders for the next President to be. If he is elected he very well could be the old president to sit in the oval office. He is at the end of his life span and I think with his ideas and the fact that his legacy will be based on the next 10 years, he will make a difference in the USA. You can't take your money with you to the grave.
 
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#7
Reading over this forum has forced an otherwise quiet voter to speak my piece so to speak. I can honestly say that I never paid much attention to the "politics" of the world when growing up. I was not an "activist" for anything. Now that I am older (and we won't say JUST how old LOL), I have paid attention somewhat to the decline of our country due to the politics we "embrace". First of all, I HATE that we have "sides"......it's always "us against them", "left against right", "liberal against conservatives". Democrats against Republicans". We wonder why we have such a divide in this country? We hoop and holler about black vs. white, Christians vs. whatever religion, and on and on, but the very "powers that be" (politicians mainly), make it a divide by the very nature of their "party". Why can't we just be "AMERICANS" voting for the best "AMERICAN" candidate, be they black, white, red, green, rich, poor, left, right, whatever. Sadly, as long as there are 2 people still left on this earth, there will be division. Sadly, also, money talks in this country. NEVER will you see a "good ole boy", hard working middle American run, let alone WIN an American election. Sorry to say that I am almost sorry to have taken a notice in our political train wreck. I am heart broken over the direction our country has taken.....my father fought in WWII, my brothers in more recent wars.....and for what? We are giving our country to "undocumented aliens", WHICH, by the way should be called what they are...ILLEGALS! We are throwing away our religious foundation this country was built on and fought for so that we won't 'OFFEND' anyone. Well guess what? This ole girl says if you're offended, then leave my country. How far do you think I'd get in a foreign country if I protested HALF the things these influx of people are protesting. I will get off my soap box for now, but just have to vent a little. I am NOT a college educated person, but I will tell you that I LOVE my country, even though I am not so proud of her anymore. We need to wake up and stop worrying about "offending" those who have NO stake in this country, and by that I mean weren't BORN AND RAISED AND HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY for at least 10 generations here in America. Ok, done now.
 
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#8
Sunday, 26 July 2015


Hisham Melhem

In 2004, American journalist and historian Thomas Frank published a book entitled ‘What is the matter with Kansas? How conservatives won the heart of America’, in which he explored the reasons why so many citizens vote against their own economic and political interests. The phenomenon of individuals ‘betraying’ their social class is well known, and the history of left-wing activism in the twentieth century is full of examples of leftist and Marxist leaders betraying their privileged classes and leading the charge of the downtrodden, against the entrenched economic and political order. Frank’s book is a complex and fascinating tale, told in penetrating, witty and at times hilarious prose, of the slow transformation of his native Kansas from a left-leaning state in the 19th century, into a hotbed of conservatism in recent decades.

Frank delineates how the conservative Republicans framed the issues in deceptive ways, how they distorted political concepts and how they projected themselves as the defenders of traditional American values, and the authentic representatives of the ‘average’ citizen who is supposedly being manipulated by the liberal elites. Instead of focusing the political discourse on the economic interests of the voters, on transparent and accountable governance, and the political empowerment of a well-informed citizenry, conservatives shifted the discourse to explosive or so-called cultural ‘wedge’ issues such as abortion, banning gay marriage, prayers in schools, opposition to gun control and immigration. In this surreal and myopic world, the alienated citizen undermines his/her own interests without realizing it. Thus, ‘Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they are protesting in front of abortion clinics’.

Of demagogues, narcissists and flamethrowers
Every election cycle in recent decades brought with it an assortment of ambitious, self-appointed saviors of the Republic. Narcissists, eccentrics, publicity seekers, demagogues, rich men and women who believe that they are entitled to lead, who run along serious candidates with established political records. Although the Republican Party tends to produce most of these candidates, the Democratic Party has had its own smaller share, notably Al Sharpton, who had a checkered political past, including dabbling in race exploitation. Four years ago, the initial phase of the Republican Presidential race was dominated by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a loud flamethrower, and Herman Cain, an eccentric and unserious candidate.

This year, the large Republican field, with its well-known governors, like Scott Walker and Rick Perry, former governor Jeb Bush. and sitting senators like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, has been shaken by Donald Trump, the loudest, meanest, most reckless, most uninformed and richest mouth that has entered the political Coliseum in recent years. And like the gladiators of yore, he shows no mercy while cutting his scorched-earth path. Donald Trump will not clinch the nomination of his party, but because of his wealth and celebrity and the shameless fascination of the Media (particularly television) with his incredibly inarticulate and vacant views, he will leave a trail of political wreckage in his wake that could conceivably undermine the Republican Candidacy.

Keeping the barbarians behind the wall
Trump declared his candidacy on June 16, with vintage unrestrained arrogance, claiming that he would be the greatest president ever elected, and vowing to deprive Iran of nuclear power and defeating the ‘Islamic State’ ISIS, without saying how. Then the mouth began to spew some of the most nativist, xenophobic and overtly racist insults against Mexican immigrants ever uttered publicly by a candidate.’ They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.’ Trump was throwing red meat to the hard core nativist conservatives in the Republican Party, exploiting their fear of illegal immigration and promising them that he will build a wall, to keep the proverbial barbarians behind at bay. Trump found the convenient enemy, and his popularity soared, in part because the Media allowed itself to be exploited by a master manipulator. In a silent commentary on the lack of moral courage and basic decency, most of his rivals and the National Republican Committee refrained from criticizing his racist rants. There was no profile in courage anywhere in the Republican field.

When Trump viciously attacked Senator John McCain’s status as a war hero who languished and got tortured in Vietnamese jails for 5 years, because he was ‘captured’, his rivals realized that he provided them with an easy and uncostly reason to pounce on him. Governor Rick Perry was the candidate that stood out among his peers, when he delivered an eloquent speech warning that Trump’s political rampage could derail the Republican Party in the election. In a speech in Washington, Perry called Trump’s candidacy ‘a cancer on conservatism’ that ‘must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded’ if the Party is to be preserved. Perry said that ‘Trumpism..is a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued’.

A reservoir of alienation and idiocy
But not even attacking a national hero could slow Trump’s numbers from rising in opinion polls. Analysts said that Trump was tapping into a deep reservoir of voters’ alienation from a dysfunctional political system, a lack of an effective immigration policy, that Republicans are not thrilled with the current field, and the voters’ fascination with blunt spoken candidates ‘who tell it like it is’ and can stand up to China, Russia, Iran and other adversaries of America. It is also true that Trump was tapping into an equally deep reservoir of voters’ ignorance, apathy and idiocy.

The Republican race looked like a circus, and some of the acts could have been very entertaining if the status of America in the world was not very serious, with unprecedented violence in the Middle East and an assertive, even belligerent, Russia and China. Other candidates had to come up with their own stunts, to show the voters that they are still in the race. Senator Graham released a video in which he was shown destroying his cell phone in a variety of funny ways, after Trump carelessly revealed his cell phone number publicly. Senator Rand Paul had his own act online in which he was shown burning or shredding the United States tax code. One wonders, who will save the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodor Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower from itself? Watching this political spectacle, a circus with multiple simultaneous acts, one can only ask: What is the matter with America?

The L'enfant terrible of Republican politics
In previous election cycles, some of the current candidates sought Trump’s political endorsement and financial help. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012 said after receiving Trump’s blessings: ‘having his endorsement is a delight’, despite Trump’s racial and ethnic attacks on President Obama, and after questioning repeatedly whether the President was born in the United States. Many of those Republicans who were rightly indignant when Trump questioned Senator McCain’s heroism in the war, were leading the charge to destroy the reputation of Democratic Senator John Kerry, another Vietnam veteran who has his own share of scars and medals, when he ran against President George W. Bush in 2004.

Donald Trump, in his abrasive, aggressive and ruthless McCarthyism, is at home in the Republican Party circa 2015. This is a party that has been nursing in recent decades a culture of demonization of Democrats and liberalism (Democrats are not innocents of such demonization, but they have not been as thorough and as relentless as the radical conservatives in the Republican Party have been). The rallying cry of the Reagan Revolution that the Federal Government is the problem, has morphed into hostility against Government and that hostility towards Government and the paying of taxes constitute the main pillars of the new religion of the Republican Party.

In recent years, all the non-fundamental issues of governance (almost unfettered access to guns, abortion, same sex marriage, denial of climate change) have become the hallmark of the Republican Party. Some Republican leaders wallow in their denial of climate change and the theory of evolution and they relish the status of the Republican Party as the anti-science party. The Republican convention in 2012 adopted a number of planks that demonstrated the surreal world that author Thomas Frank described in his book: a plank against abortion, a plank against immigration, a plank against the ridiculous and non-existing threat of the so-called Sharia Law and a plank calling for stricter enforcement laws against adult pornography. The obsession of some conservative Republicans with some sex related issues, reminds me of the similar – actually worse- obsession with sex that many radical and Salafi Islamists exhibit.

Disquieting elections
The United States is still, and should remain, uniquely qualified to lead the world in these times of global transitions in regions as varied as the Middle East, Europe and East Asia, and in the areas of trade, communications and social media, and should remain capable of doing great things, preferably with partners, but alone if necessary. But the current paralysis and dysfunction in Washington will prevent even a gifted and strong President regardless of his or her party affiliation from pursuing such goals. More than sixty years ago, the world was envious of America’s marvelous inter-state highway system and bridges (Built by the Republican Eisenhower), a network that is decrepit and crumbling right now. The United States is the only advanced country in the world without a high speed trains. Income inequality is threatening the middle class, and most Americans don’t think that their best days are ahead. There are spaces of poverty in the country that are truly shameful. The presidential race is disquieting, and is dominated by uninspiring, average and mediocre candidates from both parties. We may end up with two candidates representing two entrenched political dynasties that have dominated presidential politics since the 1980’s. Surely America deserves better than this.

Two years ago, I lamented in this space that ‘the U.S. today, is a disheveled superpower. We are no longer the leaders in education, health, economic growth, personal income and happiness. Unless radical systemic reforms are enacted soon, the country will continue to muddle through a polarized, darker territory. This is no way to govern a ‘great power’. Is it too much to ask : What is the matter with America?
_______

Hisham Melhem is a columnist and analyst for Al Arabiya News Channel in Washington, DC. Melhem has interviewed many American and international public figures, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, among others. He is also the correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily. For four years he hosted "Across the Ocean," a weekly current affairs program on U.S.-Arab relations for Al Arabiya. Follow him on Twitter : @hisham_melhem


Last Update: Sunday, 26 July 2015 KSA 13:31 - GMT 10:31
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/07/26/What-is-the-matter-with-America-.html
 
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#9
I think the challenge of governing a country as vast as the United States is a challenge for everyone. There are so many divergent opinions and ways of approaching challenges that it seems that the task is virtually impossible at times. I just don't know what the answer is, but it seems to be clear we don't have it now.
 
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#10
@Hisham Melhem, I must say that it is people like you and your views that cause such a divide in this country.....you for sure have the "US against THEM" mentality. You embody all that's wrong with this country.
 
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#11
We are throwing away our religious foundation this country was built on and fought for so that we won't 'OFFEND' anyone.
The people who are responsible for the divide are the ones who think our government should promote THEIR religion. This country was based on freedom of religion... not forcing your religious views on someone else. If you're offended by that, feel free to leave MY country.

BORN AND RAISED AND HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY for at least 10 generations here in America.
10 generations? Really? lmao bet if we dig into your family tree, you have quite a fw ancestors that weren't born and raised here. I'm part cherokee, (that goes way further back than anyone even knows), and I'm part Scottish, going back to the 1800's, but not 10 generations back. So which should I determine my eligibility with?

I think people should stop opening their mouths more than they open their their mind, heart, eyes, and ears. Hell, maybe a balance, at the very least. And those who can't do it should leave MY country.
 
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#12
@LilAnn...you had me in your corner right up until the snarky remark at the end......and by the way.....I have gone back in my family tree........my statement about 10 generations was basically to be kind in my "open mind, heart, eyes and ears" by saying that the most recent influx of "immigrants" should try to adjust to the American way of life......speak English.......don't shove your religion down my throat and act offended when I practice mine. You dear sound like part of the problem in allowing our country to change from what it was intended to be......yes, a melting pot for sure, but "conformity" to the American way of life, not "take down your flag, take your religion out of my schools, build me MY kind of worship house" and on and on. You dear need to open YOUR eyes and ears.
 
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#13
Do you see what you did here?

"immigrants" should try to adjust to the American way of life......speak English.......don't shove your religion down my throat and act offended when I practice mine.
I can dig it. I agree with you completely, right there. But then...

not "take down your flag, take your religion out of my schools,

Is keeping your religion in everybody's public schools not just a little hypocritical?
not "take down your flag, take your religion out of my schools, build me MY kind of worship house"
[/QUOTE]

I'm a little confused right here. You think you should have the right to practice your religion, but other people shouldn't have the right to build their kind of worship house?

I'm not trying to be a smartass. I genuinely want to know what you really meant, in simple terms, so that I don't misunderstand.
 
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#14
@LilAnn- I have NO problem with other worshiping they way they see fit, or build their house of worship but I, as an AMERICAN who grew up (as did generations before me) with prayer (THE BIBLE) and AMERICAN FLAG in our PUBLIC schools and elsewhere are being forced (although I say "bullied") into removing these things that have been part of our (I'll say it ONCE again) AMERICAN heritage, just because it may offend other religious beliefs IS WRONG. I would NEVER think of going to another country who may be, well, for a reference here, MUSLIM and build MY Christian church in the middle of their town and insist my Bible be read in their schools and demand an area to myself where I can worship MY religion. My response to your questions is EVERYONE has a right to worship however and whoever they want, BUT when it comes to trying to impose those beliefs and ways on a society that was founded on and believes in something totally different does not give you the right to say "I AM OFFENDED". Does that make sense to you?
 
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