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I read a post on lit.org entitled "Agreement or Truth?"writen by Pat Pattillo under the username ppatt. It was very insiteful and well writen.


I have been thinking about what it said, and it would appear that America is not a nation of agreements, but disagreements. This nation is not in, nor shall it ever be in complete concensus. Every race has its "truths".
Every social class has its "truths". Every sexual orientation, every religeous offiliation, every minute and miniscule clique, every person has their own "truths". We as a nation are in constant diagreement. Yet we all feel a bond, however small and well buried, of fellowship. This was proven many times over in our history. Most significant of these was, untill recently unfortunate as that may be, Pearl Harbor. "a day that will live on in infamy", and a day that proved that no matter how how well covered the heart of America may be, at it's core, it is still the heart of an idealistic warior. 911 proved that the heart is still there. although it was relitively short lived, the outburst of patriotic energy that insued was enough to convince even me, that our nation still can be great. All we need is a bit of motivation. While America has fallen greatly from its high social and moral standing, she still lives, still loves, and still cares.

------
To live ones life free from the constraints of judgement is truely bliss.



Comments

The following comments are for "response"
by crackpotpoet

the Truth
I don't know...

I think that the truth is plain. It's factual. It's complete. When people talk about different truths for different groups, what they're really talking about are portions of the truth, told with a skew or slant, designed to promote a particular point-of-view or agenda.

We don't really like talking about the whole truth - because it forces us to admit too many embarrassing things.

For instance, alot of people don't talk about the number of Iraqi civilians killed in the war, and they try not to focus on the dead or injured American soldiers. At the same time, there are some who can only see the dead and injured, without aknowledging the good that may be going on as well.

In the same way, an argument could be made for full diclosure re: the Vietnam War, or the Civil War, or America's growth and expansion into the West. How about an objective look at European Colonialism, and its after effects? There are tons of topics like this.

Full, dispassionate disclosure of the facts, would force people to say for themselves whether an action was right or wrong. As it is now, we tend to hide behind our ignorance, and wrap ourselves in a self-righteousness based on skewed views and ignorance. We all (on all sides of almost any issue) tend to do this. It's disappointing.





( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: May 11, 2006 )

compromised nation
Thanks for sharing this (not that I want this to sound like some kind of support group meeting).

Idealistic warriors scare me. I prefer pragmatic warriors. (I'm thinking Donald Rumsfeld vs. Colin Powell, e.g.)

Frightening parallels exist between Pearl Harbor and "the new Pearl Harbor":

*A president eager to wage war facing a public opposed to such involvement, until American soil comes under attack.

*Strong warnings of imminent attack are ignored by those seeking a pretext for war. Good intelligence is dismissed, downplayed, or ignored; while bad intelligence that supports the administration's plan of action is embraced.


Q: What is the difference between patriotism and xenophobic aggression?

A: Geography.

The truth may indeed set us free, but only if we reject the lies, and the liars who would enslave us with their deception.

I look forward to reading more of your work.

s

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: May 11, 2006 )

"truths"
I am in total agreement of america being a nation of comromise, for how else could so many predjudice and diverse a people as are the make up of this nation still live without a constant civil war. I was useing the terminology of the post that inspired this post when I said truths. That is why I put it in "". I do that when I am writing sarcasticaly. probably should have made that more clear.
and I am ashamed to admit that I myself am scared to face the complete truth. But I will still face that fear and view the truth. If we are to accept the whole truth, we must first face our own petty discriminations and our own fears.
also, drsoos, that is a great honor comming from you. I am fast becoming a fan of you work. Geography is the thing that has been the true root of almost every war. Even if it is said to be some thing diferent. I.E. the war in Iraq. I wonder if Bush is aware that in the future we will look at this war and say that the real reson is this, and the imidiate reason is that. Like the 100 yrs. war. I think I will end this particular comment with a quote that my grandfather is rather fond of. "In a houndred years, no one will know the difference". In the count of Monticrisco, an old man said something that I found profound. He said that the histories are writen by those who win the wars.

( Posted by: crackpotpoet [Member] On: May 11, 2006 )

interesting
I understand what you are saying. It makes me wonder, with all this disagreement, just what is our common experience. That was always the cause for patriotism -- common ideals understood by all, something more or less universally accepted.

It has become trendier of late to refer to our "founding fathers", a traditional source of our "national truth". But lately just about every founding principle set for by the founding fathers is in question, by an extremely vocal minority.

If we are only defined by our disagreement and there is no common truth (ok, agreement whatever you call that which is commonly accepted) then where does that leave us? A nation of bickering, whining adolescents all simultanously screaming "Me first!" at one another?

Today there are some people saying that the Constitution is an antiquated document and references to things like "illegal search and seizure" have no place in today's world.

You raise some very important questions that make me ask just what our national values really are. I still believe it is important to have them and many of the traditional ones seem as important today as they have always been.

Traditional conservatism upholds traditional values so is it a contradiction when those calling themselves conservatives two-step around them? Or maybe there are just word games and traditional conservatism is actually being threatened by something altogether more radical.

When the most basic principles of our country that have been accepted for over 200 years are no longer good enough for some and become just another disagreement, what do we have left? What makes us good?

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 12, 2006 )

as to compromise
Iideally that is what happens and what democracy is all about. In practice that is less the case if there are threats to the voting process and if checks and balances are weakened in government. Compromise is supported by principles in our Constitution rather than being specifically mentioned anywhere. If these specific time-honored principles are eroded then compromise gets trumped by something else.

Some out there will surely say "Fiddle-faddle, couldn't happen, why all the henny-penny doom and gloom?"

As to the question of whether certain traditional founding principles are being eroded, I would rather listen to historians than Fox or someone who paid it a couple of minutes thought between shopping trips.

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 12, 2006 )

Exactly
That is exactly how I view the world today. Disrespectfull of the traditions and the passions that helped make this country as strong as it is. We seem to have forgoten that what we contimptuously ignore, things like voting, rights against illegal search and seizure ( I.E. the bush wire taps< and if they start monituring my house, oh well, he might even learn a bit of proper language[all be it, not much spelling]>), and of course, the freedom to practace religeon how and were you want so long as it does not interfear with the public welfare. I may be going of on a tangent, but so be it. I used to be an adamit anarchist, untill I realized that we all get skrewed by passifism. How can we expect to have the people controle the government if the people all collectively throw down the towel. This is our land, why don't we act like it. sorry for getting out of hand, but I hate the fact that American honor and morality are now a joke. I refuse to live in shame of my country.

But on the bright side, we are really more like a bunch of teens. If an outsider comes and toses out an insult, we will have each others back, for the most part.

( Posted by: crackpotpoet [Member] On: May 12, 2006 )

Assent
At this point in American history, it is crucial for us, as citizens, to have abounding pride in our nation. But American citizens today are now more than ever losing faith and contesting the warranted response to the September eleventh terrorist attacks and all other threats, questioning the American cause. What these dissenters do not realize is that they are promoting terrorism, negative relations with other countries, and are simply asking for another attack by openly not being supportive of the all-too-necessary war on terrorism. If a pro-war, pro-Bush person like me were to ask a protester of the war if they would like another terrorist attack, they would certainly say 'no', contradicting all of their protests.
Anyone who loves their freedom and wants to keep it should have faith in the efforts to retain it, whether that person be Democrat or Republican, Christian or Muslim (or whatever religion), child or adult, black or white (or whatever race), rich or poor.
That is my stand in this day and age in America.

( Posted by: ArsPoet2789ica [Member] On: May 12, 2006 )

no
No, I can not agree with that, because of two things. first, the citizens have a right to seek a different resolution then the one the government put out. Also, the war on terrorism is on terrorism, Iraq was the United States inforcing( on there own free will and based off of faulty inteligence) A U.N. resolution. Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror, untill bush said so. Afganistan is the country that was the terrorist strong point. If you are suggesting a war with every nation that has any ties to terrorist activities, then we would have to add to our already overflowing plate of Iraq and afganistan, such more powerful and more organized nations as Iran and Saudi Arabia. I don't think that is a very fisable plan.

( Posted by: crackpotpoet [Member] On: May 12, 2006 )

Assent
I think we have been entirely to timid in letting this terrorism thing motivate us by fear. This, in turn, motivates many to disapproving of any divergence of opinion that is not in lock step with their own. Fear makes people do wierd things, even question the partiotism of those who refuse to be afraid as them.

I long for cooler heads to prevail. I am much more afraid of what terrified people (who do not admit their fear) will do than I am of terrorism. It is as if the terrorists are remotely controlling the actions of the fearful as if by some all-powerful form of mental telepathy.

There is very little that we personally have to do differently except to keep fear from affecting out vote. Besides the guy who says everyone else is wimpy on terrorism might not be selling truth. We certainly don't need to give up any freedom or to accept a leader breaking law instead of abiding by them and changing them by legal means. We certainly don't have to curtail freedom of speech or to even suggest that lack of unanimity is weakness.

These are things that fear does to people, sometimes without their awareness.

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 13, 2006 )

response to "no"
It is true that the problem in Iraq could have been solved in a number of different ways, but we are now stuck in a war. It seems like it will never end, so we must be influential on the government so that there can be an end to this war. Simply abandoning the war like we did with Vietnam could prove to be more disastrous, so we have to find the missing link, the missing strategy that will win for us the war. I do believe that this war should have been over before now, that Osama should have surrendered when the Taliban fell apart in 2003, and I believe especially that the Iraqis would not have launched an insurrection against us after we did them the magnanimous favor of freeing them from dictatorial control. There is a way other than simply nuking Iraq off the map to get the insurgency to stop, and it is up to the American citizens, not just the government, to come up with a plan. At this point, the government has failed to find the surefire solution, so we are obligated to think on this and tell people with connections to the government our ideas. If just one person comes up with something, we will be a giant step closer to the end of the war, and a chain reaction of new ideas will start, and the solution will be found faster than we know it.

( Posted by: ArsPoet2789ica [Member] On: May 13, 2006 )

response to Assent
Okay -

If a CEO accepts bad data from the corporate accountant, he can no longer use that as an excuse in falsely reporting earnings/debts etc... Basically, he's now required BY LAW to pay the cost to be that BOSS.

Why then, don't we ask as much from our president?

There ARE several different approaches that we can take in resolving this whole Iraq conflict - with the final outcome not yet known.

Let's look at what we do know though -

We were taken into this war under false pretenses.

The cost of the was was grossly underestimated.

There is no clear exit strategy.

American soldiers have lost their limbs and lives.

For me, I want some real accountability. You can't say that everybody messed up, so nobody is to blame. The buck HAS to stop somewhere. The person in charge is ultimately responsible - even if his words and rhetoric are designed to allow him to skirt responsibility.

The most PATRIOTIC thing I can do, is stand up for what I believe. In theory, there are no laws designed to stop me from speaking freely; there shouldn't be a public outcry or peer pressure designed to quiet my desenting voice either.

We have to support FREE SPEECH even if it's speech we disagree with. ESPECIALLY if it's speech we disagree with. You don't have to agree with what I have to say, but how can you, in good conscience as an AMERICAN, not DEFEND my right to say it? (this isn't a rhetorical question either; I'd like an answer if you've got one)

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: May 15, 2006 )

yes
Hey man, I do suport your right. On one condition though. If you are going to say somthing, back it up. Men died to give us that freedom. My great uncle died for that right. I will not question your right to say what you say. But I will also utalize my right to pick apart an argument I disagree with. And I don't want to live in a country were nobody would point out the flaws in my statements. I dream the American dream every night. And I try to dream it as I wake, but somehow, the American reality always seeps in.

( Posted by: crackpotpoet [Member] On: May 15, 2006 )





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