Sarah Palin and other “real” Americans (like Minesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann) have pointed out that some of the people in the United States are not “pro-America.” Indeed, some unfortunate people might not even be living in the “real America.” Horrors!
I hope I am not one of those wretches. After all, it was the “real America” I was looking for when I came here 30 years ago and became a United States citizen. It would be tragic if after all this time I turned out to be living in the fake America. And what if I turn out not to be “pro-America”? Would I have to leave?
Let’s see how Palin (photo at right) defines “the real America.” Speaking at a fund raiser in North Carolina recently, she said:
We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.
Let’s see how I stack up. I live in Lakeland, Florida, population about 100,000. That should qualify as a small town, right? Chalk one up for me. And I have been to Washington DC only once in my entire life. That must be good for extra credit. I used to be hard working, but now I am retired and spend my time writing books and blogs and such. Hmmm. Writing. That sounds dangerous. I wonder if I should send my writings to Palin’s thought police in case I might need to be brainwashed. Am I patriotic? Well, I never did serve in the armed forces. In fact, I was drummed out of the Cadet Corps when I turned the wrong way in a big ceremonial parade. But that was in Jamaica so maybe it doesn’t count against me in America. I must remember to wear a flag pin – if I can find one.
I never worked in a factory, but I did visit a few factories in England when I was writing a series about the British economy for a Toronto newspaper a long time ago. Does that count? And I taught some Canadian kids once – when I was a journalism teacher at St. Clair College in Windsor. And my wife, Sandra, has done a lot of teaching right here in the good ol’ USA. I can only hope she taught those kids to wear flag pins.
When it comes to growing food, that is a sensitive subject. I planted corn, beans, peas and egg plant in the spring, but worms ate up the ears of corn, the beans bore just enough to fill half a jam jar, and the peas gave up the ghost real early. The egg plant has offered a few blossoms but there has been no sign of fruit on it so far. I hope that doesn’t get me arrested for treason.
So where is the real America? I’d better find it in a hurry. I wouldn’t want anyone questioning my pro-America credentials. Let’s start with the document that brought me here in the first place. You may have heard of it. It declares in part:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
That sounds dangerous, doesn’t it? I mean how “pro-America” is that? Are you telling me that if the government is doing a rotten job, “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government”? I bet Palin wouldn’t put up with that kind of subversive talk. It’s a good thing “real Americans” like Palin and Bachmann weren’t around when the Declaration of Independence was written, or Thomas Jefferson might have been arrested.