We have stumbled on this wreck of our leadership, the economy, lack of secure boarders, growing poverty, unemployment, inept Obamacare, the mismanagement of leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, and worry about the future. As my mother said in the car while passing an accident scene; “Take a look at that. Take a good damn look at that.”
Being a civilized Nation, public flogging of these politicians are out of the question, and I suspect there are a few of them who would enjoy the leather strap, so maybe it is best we just be gawkers of the accident scenes and take that good damn look.
Saw a similar accident take place in Nixon’s White House during Watergate. Saw it again during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Mr. Peanut gave us all, (please excuse the pun,) a Plantar wart on the bottom of our American feet. Carter blamed us for our “malaise,” but I swear it was not malaise but gawking at his sweater collection and gawking at the darkness when he turned the lights off on the National Monuments to save some energy.
So we were going through our gawking stage as Americans do at different times in history. Lucky we had an American Press that was interested in podiatry and Carter had one term.
Saw it happen to Bill Clinton when he wagged his finger at the American public that he did not have sex with that woman in the Oval office. “Monica” went from a proper noun to a verb.
We sure were gawking and our jaws dropped at the sight of a stained blue dress. The enemies to America saw us, in their own words in 1997, “A paper-tiger.” They became emboldened and planned to harm us.
George W. Bush gawked in the early days of his presidency. Newly elected Presidents gawk a lot in their first few months and are far too cautious when getting report of threats.
We Americans are gawking as each domino falls from every action and inaction or vibration. This is our Gladys Kravitz moment. We are looking over the fences of our neighbors and Nations, then gossiping about it on Facebook.
Gawking is not a new American phenomenon, but having social media allows us more things to gawk at.
Some may argue that when we take no action, we are weary. Even our current President has said this about us. Very bothersome that he believes it and announces it to the world. Just like when Carter blamed us for our “malaise.”
Then when the Government gives us scandals that make our knees weak, our President says, “Move on people, nothing to see here.”
Growing up in and around Washington D.C., I know monuments. Big monuments built by the Federal Government, protected by armed, US Park Police, and if I can steal a poetical phrase from John Keats, I find them “cold-pastoral” monuments.
In a small town in Florida, I came upon a place called Liberty Park. A few benches and a beautiful view of water. A place where birds, frogs, gators, mix in their habitat next to some small modest trailers of some of the residents of this town. A place where you can gawk at the beauty of a dragon fly and concrete slabs under tin homes.
This town is trying to survive and be proud. Their local election has a hot button of adding one cent to the sales tax for resurfacing of roads throughout the County. Money comes hard here, and can only imagine Obama’s asking for 3.7 billion for the immigration and boarder problem may seems like to them.
There it was. A small monument to 9/11. Tasteful and simple, and even at night it has a blue light illuminating the twin towers. On the left side is inscribed, “Pentagon” and on the right side, “Flight 93.”
In the center is “September 11, 2001,” and just under that, “We will never forget.”
All these simple signs in this land of the free, for all who gave their lives that day, and those who fought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A testament from a small American town.
If those who served in the years following that event, question if it was worth it, considering our current condition of our leaving those countries, consider that sunny day as we gawked at the horror done by human hands. Consider all the many hands that took action in the days and years that followed. That those who could do something, did something, and those who gawked became grateful and built tiny memorials, lit small candles, to honor and never forget.
All this, so when we least expect it, in the poorest or smallest towns, we stumble upon these memorials of that tragedy and of the many accidents of human kindness, human goodness, the human spirit, and the conscience effort of giving of one’s life for another, appreciation for all that was seen, gawked at, and the fight against the tyranny of all evils that invade a man’s simple pursuit of happiness while walking in a park.