A couple of days ago I was watching a show on PBS called Technology/The Global Village which played out various senarios based out 20 years from today. The focus was on technology and how this would make things better for everyone around the world. But in doing so there were a number of things that were just down right frightening. It should be noted too that this is Ted Turner concept and funded by CNN as noted at the end of the credits.
One of the things that really bothered me the most was when they were talking about nationalism. They showed a senario where a young lady who was about 16 givinga end of the year report on what it means to be an American. She interviewed a few people via a digital video phone and not one student had a clue. The young lady who was giving the report noted to her that being an American meant nothing. And she made it a point to say this at least three times.
This really bothered me. This dramatization was suppose to be in the year 2019. What does this tell us? I understand that as technology grows that we are becoming more of a "global community". But the notion that the meaning of being an American is nothing is disgusting at best.
As someone who has served the United States of American, let me tell you what it means to be an American:
Being an American means that we have a freedom in out nations that no other nation has ever had. Sure, there are other countries that allow one to travel about their country. But here we can literally disappear if we wish. We do not need a special permit to go to another state. And if we wanted to, we could leave this country.
Being an American means that we have certain rights. Rights that we did not just make up but have always been. The Founding Fathers recognized these right and noted them in the Declaration of Independence.
Being an American means that we can take a stand on a political issue and not have to worry about some type of Thought Police coming to our homes and taking us in the night.
Being an American means that we can literally be all that we can be with hard work, tenacity, and drive. That we do not have to wait on someone else to provide for us.
Being an American means that we can vote for those people that we want to represent us in Congress.
Being an American means that we recognize those who have served in our Armed Forces. Those who have give the best years of their lives in the security of the rights that we have and our way of life. And those who have paid in the ultimate price with their lives doing the same.
Being an American means that you can be a buddist, pagan, jew, muslim, catholic, christian, or whatever you want to be and not have to worry about being bar coded.
Being an American means that we are collectively a sovriegn nation, not subject to the will of any other nation including the United Nations.
I could go on and continue about what it means to be an American. There is just so much to say. And there is just so much that we must all remember.
Now I realize that this Turner production is just one liberal groups view of the future. But it is one that I do not share. I love technology and I believe that it will make the world a great place. But at the same time we must hold true to what we are.
We are Americans. Black, white, asian, hispanic, whatever. And it is our job to remind out children and their children of what it means to be an American. The idea of American nationalism is not an outdated concept. It is one that must be remember or else we are not Americans. And if our children do not know what it means to be an American it is because we did not do our job as Americans.