Can we take a few minutes and just talk about you and me? Seriously—we have to discuss some things and get down to the brass tacks.
When I was about seven years old, I had this epiphany about how remarkably fortunate I was to have been born an American. If you’ve been around here long enough, you’ve probably heard me tell that story—but it’s true and it still was an amazing and profound moment to me.
I was just learning about what it meant to be an American and the freedoms we took for granted that most of the rest of the world knew little or nothing about.
That had to have been about 1972—when I stood there and was grateful for the good fortune of being blessed enough by God to be born here. I remember the awful green paint in that stairway and my mother in the kitchen—it was summer, and it was hot. It was one of those days when it was what my mom called 95 and 95—you know 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity. It was awful and back then just about nobody had air conditioning—it was just the way it was—you lived with it and loved being in this country.
I remember how proud I was in 1976 when we celebrated the bicentennial—for those of you old enough to remember you can probably feel some of that pride welling up inside you. There were parades and banners and, of course, American flags flying everywhere.
In the little town I grew up in—like thousands of towns big and small all over America—there was a huge parade on the 4th of July that year—and we all celebrated the greatness of America. The war in Vietnam was finally over, and it seemed like Watergate was behind us too, and the future was bright.
We knew who our enemies were—the communists in Russia and Cuba. Honestly, we didn’t trust the ChiComs in Beijing either. If we’d been on top of it—MacArthur would have chased them all the way back but Truman said no—that was a mistake looking back.
Anyway—it seems we knew who we were. The civil rights movement and the fights for equal pay for equal work had all been successful in the eyes of the nation—and the pain of the 60s and all that chaos was fading for most of us.
It’s this background that shaped who I am. My mother taught school, and my dad worked for Dow Chemical—we weren’t rich by any stretch, but we didn’t want for anything either. We were proud Americans willing to work hard for what we had—or what we wanted to have. We didn’t expect our neighbors to pick up the bill—and if you were on welfare for a little while, you kept that to yourself because milking the government check wasn’t something people were proud of back then.
We did sit at the dinner table and talk about things that mattered to us and worried about inflation and whether we could get new toughskins sometime soon.
And we worried about nuclear war from time to time—but again, we had our feet solidly on the ground. Boys were boys and girls were girls, and we didn’t spend too much time talking non-sense because our parents and grandparents would set us straight real quick if they heard any such hogwash. The world was straightforward and easy to understand.
America was the best place on earth, and Americans were the good guys pretty much every time—and we were! If there was a tragedy somewhere—Americans always sent the most money and did the most to help people out. There was even a song that talked about how much we did—and worried way back then who would help us if we needed it.
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We never worried too much about our rights—we knew what they were—“Say what you want, it’s a free country.” We used to say that one a lot—or this one, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Let’s be honest—people were a lot tougher back then—and a lot thinner—I mean, when did we get so fat and out of shape?
People went to church on Sunday and prayed for forgiveness from God for their sins. Well, a lot more than today—and they did their best. Were there some bad apples? Sure, but that has always been true—but back then, you could settle a scrap after school behind the shed. Or dad would settle things for you when he got home. You knew where you stood, and people weren’t afraid to say something if you got out of line. I can tell you my parents were not afraid of confrontation. Looking back, I’m not sure they were afraid of much.
Boy, how things have changed.
Now people tell me that words are violence. They are? I don’t think so. In fact, I think that is absolutely stupid. Kids were mean back then, and they are mean today—the world was a rough and unforgiving place then, and it still is—we just didn’t sit around and get fat crying about it.
On Saturday morning, you got kicked out of the house after about an hour of Bugs Bunny if the weather was nice. We didn’t check in because we didn’t have cell phones—and would have been horrified at the idea of mom always knowing where you were and what you were doing—and maybe that is part of the problem these days. Maybe cell phones keep kids under mommy and daddy’s watchful eye far too much—and it has made them weak and timid.
I heard a story yesterday about a mom going to pick up her daughter from camp because she texted her crying and begged her to come pick her up. When you went to camp when I was growing up, mom wasn’t coming, so you needed to tough it out or get hazed by everyone else there. I think that made us a lot tougher—and in the long run, a lot more durable.
We could use a lot more of that these days, I can tell you that. We are a bunch of wimps—and we have raised a whole generation that, by and large, is worse.
What the hell are these people going to do if their electricity goes out?
Think about this—most people would starve to death inside a grocery store these days if they were locked inside without electricity. How could they eat without a microwave? No pizza rolls? No dice!
Yeah, so I started this conversation because of something I saw on my computer on social media a couple of days ago—and it has been bothering me ever since and reminded me of all the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done—before the explosion of people who all want to tell me what I can say, listen to, drive, eat, wear and whatever else—I mean when did all of these self-righteous twits get here?
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I am an American, and for the most part, I just want to be left alone. I don’t need babysitters from the government, the media, or big tech telling me how to live my life. I’ve been pretty good at it so far—and I would prefer to continue on my path.
So anyway, I saw a bunch of cops—and I usually am a big supporter of police and law and order—but this time, I am calling out some cops in the small Wisconsin town of Watertown—which sits about halfway between Milwaukee and Madison.
Well, if you missed it, these clowns came in and got physical with a young man—and actually arrested him for preaching the Gospel on the sidewalk not too far from where grown men were playing dress up for a Drag Queen story hour.
First of all, this is not the America I was born into—and it should not be America today!
It doesn’t matter what side of the conversation you find yourself on—a true believer, an atheist, or somebody just trying to figure things out—your right to stand on a public sidewalk and speak your piece should never end up with you in handcuffs getting manhandled into the back of a police cruiser.
The reason I knew at seven what a great country we lived in was that we could say what we wanted, not to Mom or Dad, they had different rules, but you know what I mean. You could go to any church you wanted to—or no church at all—and nobody was going to bust your chops.
What happened in Watertown, Wisconsin really was a complete disgrace—and they should all be embarrassed.
I also never thought I would live in a country where the freedom of speech would be sacrificed on the alter of political agendas—and a former President would be charged for giving political comments.
Whether you like Donald Trump or hate Donald Trump, you should be very concerned about the state of affairs this week in America because if they can go after him on bogus criminal charges for exercising his First Amendment rights, they can go after anyone—and that means you!