Economic health masks serious societal problems. Dole talked at length about the importance of bedrock values for both the presidency and the American family. Dole promised to “always tell it like it is” and said the nation’s economic health masks serious societal problems. Mrs. Dole then mentioned the ones we all know about, illiteracy, lack of school discipline, drug abuse, burdensome taxes, and a deficit in basic American values. Unfortunately too many have, too often, made comments about these problems. I guess many hear these as empty, meaningless words that they are tired of hearing. The same political rhetoric! And yet, these are real problems, unfortunately. The nation indeed needs a rebirth of values. The nation has been so thoroughly imbued by all kinds of influences from all kinds of places, since the “summer of love”, that this rebirth she talks about, is indispensable.
All of us now, have become used to any and all foreign cuisine. We dare not apply our standards of hygiene to any exotic eatery. We all buy goods from everywhere without a second thought. We all agree that these foreigners or those others, have the right idea about any number of things. We all agree with them that we are a bunch of pigs that consume too much. Guiltily, we dress down, ever more slovenly. We want to be comfortable... We don’t dare exhibit any chauvinism about anything. We don’t have many high expectations. Our children are doing poorly in school, but that’s to be expected, they always have allergies, or a cold, or something. They are to be sympathized with. We are always looking forward to traveling in places “where we never have been”. We don’t want to take that old tired European tour, or that expensive cruise again. We’ve done it, and it’s boring. Now we want to go to Guatemala. A nice tour of Yugoslavia by bus, would be fun. We apologize for everything and everyone. “Everything is ok, really. I’m telling you that everything is fine.” Many have learned that to do otherwise is to gain a label. A person is cranky, recalcitrant, a bitch, or the person is compulsive. That person there, complaining about unsanitary conditions suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As the hotel speaker pipes out “Down Mexico Way”, I contiue to type this html.
When Elizabeth Dole makes those comments so typical of her, about values, at all those events for corporate America. She sounds to many similar to the reverend on Sunday, religious. But there is a message that is not always conveyed by the clergy. There is a high patriotic content is her remarks, that assures you, that she would not be a representative who would sell her country. Simultaneously, we can expect an elected official that will work in cooperation with other nations, to bring about the best outcome for all parties involved.
Why did this happen to us? Why have we been so imbued? We welcomed it. We have always seen it all as advancing into the future, being enlightened and receptive to change, which is always good. We never have noticed that other nations advance their own ends at our expense and with our help. This way we get along better we’ve determined. Meanwhile, various administrations continue to give us an ugly face in the world. We continue to be the ugly Americans. For instance Clinton went back on his promise to vote for the land mines treaty. The Bush administration supports continuation of military aid to Colombia, to continue the practice of defoliating South America, detested and vehemently denounced by many nations.
We need a rebirth of values means just that. We need to toot our horn and become more who we are, not who the rest of the world tricks us into being. We need to be Americans. We need to examine some of this choices we make mindlessly every day. Is it really something we want? Or something we are told to want. Is it true that we never have any “panache”? Is it true that only foreigners know about elegance and refinement? Do we even perceive accurately? Or do we see what others want us to see?
The religious message is always perceived I think. In fact many a corporate event starts with Elizabeth Dole’s remarks, as if to offer the work of the day to God, hoping for his blessing.