We have found the enemy and it is us. We are consumed with hatred for anything and everything that dares to offend our fragile egos, simply because there cannot be any viewpoint or belief systems other than ours. Depending on who or what one votes for or against, the Bombay doors are thrust open for far more than mean-spirited attacks. We are at war with one another, provoked by no more than simple disagreement to all-out taunts, verbal attacks, and physical assaults; treated to the piece of knowledge that we are not worthy of life if we have the audacity to disagree or lean a little too far to the right or the left. Dismantling and erasing American history is the new national pastime, fueled by a warping of the fact that with all its warts and wrongdoings, pretending that it never happened further distorts the reality that our society finds increasingly unpalatable. Hacking statues to pieces and covering them with burkas and blankets is not going to change historical facts. This has launched us back at least 50 years into separatism, sucked into the wrestling ring of which bathroom to use. Nationalism and pride in the salad bowl that was once a celebration of our wide and diverse culture is dying. We have become a festering stew of me-ness, bent on destruction of what once solidified us as a nation. Patriotism has become sinful. Freedom has come at the cost of tremendous bloodshed and the loss of countless lives in time of war and in service of our country, but this has been rendered meaningless. Duty, honor, and country have become irrelevant. The moral bankruptcy of America is well underway.

Taking a Knee

And now football games have become fodder for racial politics. This is a gross aberration of racial inequities and a purely deviant channel for attention-grabbing stunts during one of America’s favorite and traditional forms of amusement. Not only does this send a powerful message that self-interest rules, but sets a new low for the sinking ship of loyalty and devotion to God and country, sending us running for cover, lest we be the target of partisan politics, tarred and feathered for daring to salute the American flag and standing for the National Anthem. Old Glory has been degraded and defamed. The degree of disrespect, disregard, and disdain shown for those who have fought for the very right for the boys of the NFL to get down on their patellar joints is colossal. For those who are paid multimillion dollar salaries for kneeling, take heed. Your lives matter. Black lives matter. White lives matter. Blue lives matter. We all matter. Civility has been forgotten. Skin color doesn’t make anybody special or better or worse than the next guy/girl. Get over yourselves.

It has become fashionable to allow ourselves to be overrun and overcome by an epidemic of self-absorption, selfishness and all things must necessarily be about me. We are rapidly becoming a godless society and a culture run amok with self-indulgence and greed. Anything else falls under the rubric of somebody feeling “disrespected” simply because no one ever bothered to tell them that they can’t always have it their way and that the universe does not revolve solely around them. Service and sacrifice to causes greater than ourselves have become an anachronism. We have become spineless creatures that know nothing of selflessness or charity or simple human compassion. Personal accountability and responsibility have become obsolete. Shame no longer exists when someone suffers purposeful harm at the hands of another. We have become rabid with the gross insensitivity of “man’s inhumanity to man.” Our worth is determined by what we own and what we drive. We have come to cherish nothing but ourselves.

War is hell. What we have lived and suffered and sacrificed will always be unimaginable and far beyond reach to those who never walked in those boots. Coming home has become a worse hell. We are the Veterans left to live under the overpass of cities and towns from coast to coast; the Veterans whose lives lay splattered below the  6th floor windows of any number of Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers that have ignored our pleas for help that doesn’t come in the form of hefty bags spilling over with drugs; Veterans whose lack of belongingness and despair has murdered our souls at the hands of a country that has abandoned us. We are fast becoming Soldiers and Marines and Airmen and Sailors and Coastguardsmen without a country. Kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem has become political drama, turning America into the Jerry Springer Show. This amounts to spitting on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those still standing for their willingness to do the same.

The enormous disconnect between Service Members, Veterans, and the 99 percent of the population who have never served in uniform has now taken center stage, digging a gorge as wide as the Continental Divide. This has propelled patriotism and the value, meaning, and purpose inherent in taking the Oath of Office and making the solemn promise, before God and country, to pledge our allegiance to the flag and to the United States of America, straight down the crapper.  Wearing the military uniform now brings dishonor and humiliation on the football field. This is a symptom of something far worse, as America becomes a fractured nation disintegrating at its seams. Discord is sending us back to the dark ages as we continue to lose our way. Wake up, America. Divided we will fall.

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