20 June 2011

Global Citizenship or American Exceptionalism?





CITIZENSHIP, n. The state of being vested with the rights and privileges of a citizen. (From Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary.)

There is no ruling/governing "global" authority that vests one with "rights and privileges." Thus, the concept of being a "global citizen" is meaningless. Just more leftist, utopian, feel-good, "let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya" gobbledygook. You are either the citizen of a particular sovereign nation/state or you're not. It's that simple.

Words mean things. Try putting "global" in the citizenship blank on a passport application and see what that gets you. I'll give you a hint - it won't get you a passport. Nations (most of them anyway), want to know where you come from. Utopia is not a nation any more than "global" is. "We are the world" is for make believe.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one 
~ John Lennon

I think I'll pass.

**Update: You're welcome Michael. Actually, this was written before I read your post. Our hero, Stonewall Jackson, would refer to the timing as Divine Providence. ;o)


 

38 comments:

Michael Aubrecht said...

"Our hero, Stonewall Jackson, would refer to the timing as Divine Providence"

VERY GOOD. :)

Gil said...

Michael is right on one thing though: the anti-globalization movement is partisan, in the sense that parties have a different take on it. Democrats want America to decrease and lose itself in the "global community" while Republicans want America to prosper and lead the global-community.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Michael.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Gil - all one has to do is google "global citizenship" or "citizen of the world", and you will be directed to hundreds of lefty websites which parrot much more of the leftist mantra:

social justice, environmentalism, class warfare, anti-capitalism, etc, etc.

Michael Aubrecht said...

Just my opinion but...

How will America ever "prosper and lead the global-community again" when the very nature of the world around us has changed so dramatically? We are no longer the big dog in this race. We can barely enter the race. We lead the world in very little. Our debt is owned by other countries. We outsource everything. Our quality of life has diminished greatly, we work ourselves to death. Our kids are lazier, fatter, and dumber than the rest of the world. We are so conceited that we never look to other countries to show us how to do things better (like the Dutch dams).

We are a bloated shadow of our former selves and we will never-ever-ever get back to that “greatest generation” America. In order to compete in the global economy, we have to play nice with everyone else. Like it or not. Mayberry is dead, buried and decomposed. And there are an awful lot of countries out there doing a heck of a lot better than we are, with a growing middle class, prospering economy, fuel independency, a longer lifespan and better quality of living.

Its seems that the only thing we are exceptional at is egotism. (And you can’t blame it on either side of the aisle solely, as we have all been sinking for a very long time. Both Republicans and Democrats have an equal cross to bear.) It’s time we realize that we can’t do it on our own. Stick a fork in us boys, we’re done.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I don't disagree with all of your assessment Michael. But I lay the blame at much of what you now seem to embrace and my hope in much of what you now seem to despise.

Though things look bleak, I'm not quite ready to give up on America.

Chaps said...

Thank you Michael for your precise summation of what the implementation of liberal policies (except the brief and glorious Reagan interlude) has brought us since the 60's. "Stick a fork in us boys, we're done." Wishful thinking?

Michael Aubrecht said...

I think Richard that you sometimes (mistakenly) believe that by identifying these issues I am endorsing them. This is often, but not always true. The reality is that America has to make major changes (like them or not) in order to compete in this global market. By being stubborn and 'hoping' for the good old days to return, we are simply wasting time and getting nowhere.

My faith in America getting back on top is equal to your thoughts on John Lennon’s world. Neither will ever happen, but we have to ‘evolve’ with everyone else if we are to survive. It’s not a matter of giving up on America. Its realizing that times have changed and we have to change with them. Every other major power on this planet has changed in one way or another, yet we seem to be set in our ways. That is the very mindset that is killing us. The Founders (IMO) would endorse a swift and major change to our governmental system and business practices. It’s time to look at who is better off and try to glean some wisdom from them.

That IMO is the biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans hate government and change. Democrats embrace both to the extreme. Neither is the answer. It’s time to get off our high horse, make friends with these other countries, look to where they prosper, and copy them.

We used to lead the way, but we took a nap on the side of the road and the rest of the world passed us by.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"precise summation of what the implementation of liberal policies (except the brief and glorious Reagan interlude) has brought us since the 60's."

Exactly. I would qualify that by adding that not a few of those policies had the stamp of an "R" on them (vs. a "D"), but the current home of socialism and whacky leftist ideas is the Democrat Party. I'm a Burkean Conservative first and my political home is which ever party makes me feel the most welcome. Right now, that's the Republican party - barely.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Its realizing that times have changed and we have to change with them."

Yes, change by going back to our founding principles of individual freedom and liberty - more of it.

"The Founders (IMO) would endorse a swift and major change to our governmental system"

Yes, by making it clearer that bureaucrats and pols are "chained down by the Constitution." The system would work fine if adhered to. What new "system" would you propose? I know of none better.

"make friends with these other countries"

Which ones? The ones that want to destroy us? The ones who cut off the hands of thieves? The ones that want to destroy Israel? The ones that punish dissent?

While I get diplomacy and the need to have relations with Nations that don't necessarily meet all our standards, but you don't make friends with evil.

Michael Aubrecht said...

I also wanted to add that I am not complaining. I am very thankful to live here, although I have enjoyed traveling to other countries. I walk around with a smile on my face all the time. I am just painfully aware that we are not my grandfather’s America and are tremendously lacking to the rest of the world.

My opinions are likely a product of my upbringing which was the 1980’s. I would imagine that my perception on the U.S. during that period is pretty different from yours, and that my generation (Gen-X) has always had a more global-perspective when looking at the world around us. We were raised in a time when technology literally brought the world together and annihilated the barriers and borders of the past. I respect your views, but we are not from the same ‘time’. Some of the biggest historical moments from my childhood were Live Aid and We Are The World. I just don’t see us as this isolated superpower who doesn’t need anybody the way you do.

Perhaps most telling of all is that you want to go back to the past (to the founding principles) instead of looking to the future. That absolutely will-not-work in today’s world. They don't care about the integrity of our Constitution. Looking to the nation's origins is nostalgic and homey and as a historian I get that, but it’s not the answer. In regards to the Founders, these guys were radicals. They were not some kind of unfaultable timeless prophets who developed some kind of sacred, religious- political doctrine that was meant to remain unchanged for eternity. They developed a country based upon the world around them and ran it with what they had to work with at the time.

Why can’t we have the same insight and fortitude as they did instead of simply saying that we need to go back? Because we are a lazy society and it’s much easier to revert. If they were here now I suspect that they would be working from scratch for major progress and change in order to compete with these other countries, not falling back on what they did hundreds of years ago.

BTW: America has been ‘making friends with evil’ since its inception. We just used to be a lot bigger and more wealthier back then and could keep them in check. And nobody is saying make friends with the evil countries. There are way more 'good guys' out there on the globe who can help pull us up to them.

Thomas said...

"Our kids are lazier, fatter, and dumber than the rest of the world."

Yep, but they have the highest self esteem! Cue Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

The rest of the world? Pshaw...Ask any serviceman, past or present. "The rest of the world" ain't what it's cracked up to be. Eurabia is about to become a reality and the Europeans have realized their multi-culti diversity approach to business and government is a complete failure.
South America? Getting redder every day.
Africa? Yeah, right.
Russia? Hardly.
Middle East? Nothing but trouble.
China? Well, as far as the Founding Fathers go, I think they'd be confused if they dropped in on 2011. The first thing they'd say is "Get rid of the Federal Reserve" but then they'd see China holding all the notes and say "Wait a minute, the joke is on them."
Either way a dire day of reckoning is fast approaching and it ain't gonna be pretty.

I agree with Richard's assessment and the Constitution but I fear it may be too late. It's the Fascist Liberal policies since 1913 that have got us here, it may take another hundred years to get us out.

Keep your powder dry and your pantry stocked. I truly feel sorry for the poor fools who rely on government and the supermarket for everything.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Perhaps most telling of all is that you want to go back to the past (to the founding principles) instead of looking to the future. That absolutely will-not-work in today’s world."

The principles of individual liberty, free markets, free speech, etc are eternal. They absolutely will work in today's world. You didn't answer my question - what system would work better than the one we embraced at our founding?

Chaps said...

"Some of the biggest historical moments from my childhood were Live Aid and We Are The World." Historic? Good grief, what a low bar for history.

You are correct about the generational thing... at least as far as you represent that generation. My childhood memories include my brother's coming home from Korea, wounded. The massive sea lift (by the US Navy) of Vietnamese fleeing the communist north after the end of the French Indochina War. The Cuban missile crisis... high school years. "Live Aid and We Are the World." How about Beirut and Grenada? The Rekjavik Summit? Yeltsin's stand (albeit drunken) against communist resurgence in the soon-to-be-ash-heaped USSR? I guess how we view history is largely determined by the history we choose to view.... either geopolitical reality or artsy and ultimately meaningless entertainment. Gen X might have a better grasp of history if they abandoned the belief that it began with them.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Chaps:

"I guess how we view history is largely determined by the history we choose to view"

Simple, but profound.

"Gen X might have a better grasp of history if they abandoned the belief that it began with them."

Oh so true. Thanks for the comments.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Live Aid and We Are The World" were celebrity events. Though some might view them as historic, I would agree with Chaps - somehow they just don't fall into the same category as D-Day or Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall.

Thomas said...

Dear Lord we beseech thee; don't let the comment about "Live Aid and We Are The World" be an indictment of an entire generation. That would be tragic.
Amen.

Michael Aubrecht said...

You guys are old.:)

13thBama said...

I graduated in high school in the 80's. Live Aid and We are the World were media events. I worked on changing the world by giving up twelve years of my life to serve my country. I helped win the cold war by meeting the Soviets at sea. Only to watch everything I worked so hard for to be frittered away by people who don't even know the history of the kind of government they want.

I am sick at my stomach.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - wise, not old.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B - you are quite justified in how you feel. I'm working on a rather long post to honor my father in law who just passed away about a month ago at 85. He was a WWII Vet. His perspective was quite similar to yours. Thank you for your service Sir.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael now says on his blog:

"Perhaps they will take the word of one of their own peers, another old dude who remains a historic icon from my generation. Of course I'm speaking of Ozzy Osbourne"

Yeah, I'm going to take the word of someone who admits he's abused drugs and alcohol most of his life. Has he ever uttered a sober word? He once, while drunk, urinated on a memorial that has been erected in honor of those who died at the Alamo. He's a weirdo.

He may be your historic icon, but he's not mine, nor any of my children's either.

Michael Aubrecht said...

Enjoy: http://www.pinstripepress.net/PPBlog/index.blog/1427629/especially-for-chaps-thomas-gil-and-13thbama/

Thomas said...

@13thBama. Thank you for your service. I'm guessing you were a submariner or flew AWACs and hunted subs. I served in the 80s too but I enlisted in the Army after college, so I'm just a tad older. Richard, I'm sorry for your loss but be proud of your dad and the legacy he left you. My dad was a Navy lifer and served on many a flat-top. He was a RIO Spook and took part in Rolling Thunder among other operations.
As for Ozzy, Live Aid, We Are the World..et al...I'll even toss in Woodstock just for good measure...to believe these were people and events which changed the course of history, I'll quote Buddy Ebsen as J.D. Clampett; "Pitiful, just pitiful."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Thomas. I like your take.

13thBama said...

Thomas,

Thanks. I was actually a flat top sailor myself. USS American, 86-89.

The best thanks a veteran can receive is for the citizens to keep sacred the very things he or she fought for. Throwing away our form of government is an insult to every man or woman who ever wore the uniform.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - attacking someone personally for using a screen name is rather petty. It's not uncommon and there's nothing cowardly about it.

13thBama said...

Typo above. It should be "USS America"

Michael Aubrecht said...

Actually, it does appear a tad cowardly. Stand by your words as a man I say. BTW, no one ever said to “throw away our entire system of government.” I said that we need to reevaluate how we are operating and fix it in order to keep up with the rest of the world. I referenced that the Founders had the guts to start over and fix what needed fixed and why can't we have the guts to do the same. That's all. My point is that it is going to take a lot more than just reverting to the old playbook. That won’t accomplish everything. I don’t find that leftist, or radical at all. I find it logical and an unfortunate reality.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

We can fix it by adhering to original intent. The Founders already established a way to "fix what needed fixed" - its called the amendment process. The left prefers having the courts force what they could never accomplish through legislation or the amendment process.

13thBama said...

Why do you need my name? What difference would it make? And take note that I do not take kindly to being called a coward.

Take your own interview advice and think about what you type before you actually put it onto the Internet.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Besides Michael, having a blog where commenting is not possible does not exactly put you in a position to call someone a coward.

Michael Aubrecht said...

"Why do you need my name? What difference would it make?"

If it won't make a difference then why not tell me your name?

"And take note that I do not take kindly to being called a coward."

Then reveal yourself. What are you afraid of?

"Besides Michael, having a blog where commenting is not possible does not exactly put you in a position to call someone a coward."

I told you that the blogging program that I use is limited and does not function correctly. I have gone too far to change over to a new one. I have my email link posted and would be happy to post any/all comments in the blog itself. I have done that in the past.

I use my real name everywhere on the Internet. Google me and you'll find a few thousand pages. I don't hide behind anything. That apparently takes a fortitude that your guys don't appear to have.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B put himself in harm's way defending our country. Not the conduct of cowards. Please refrain from any further characterizations like that Michael. You've made your point.

Thomas said...

You're not a coward 13thBama. Were you a grape, blue, green, yellow, red, white, or brown shirt?
Dad retired a full Chief brown shirt. (and no..being a brown shirt has nothing to do with Nazis in the Navy) Nobody who has served on flight deck operations is a coward. It is one of the MOST dangerous places to serve our country. Period. Dad's first was Thetis Bay, then Hancock, then the Forrestal, and the Kitty Hawk, of which the USS America was the same class.

This might bring back some memories for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QurvY1SJwg

Salute.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BTW, my oldest son served on the Eisenhower.

13thBama said...

Thomas,

I was a white shirt since I served in Intel. Many mistook me for being in the Medical department because of that white jersey :). We were called up whenever a Russian warship came into view so that we could identify it.

I did some time on the Forrestal while she was in the North Atlantic. The America was in the yards so I got to go to sea for a month lol. I have never been so cold as I was off the coast of Norway that month!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - just an oh, by the way . . . the positions laid out here are not, for the most part, "extreme or right-wing" - they're pretty much mainstream conservatism. It's just that, as pop culture and the ruling elite move further into lefty whackoville, it makes old-fashioned, traditional normalcy look ... well, abnormal.