Tag Archives: republican national convention

“We Are All Americans”: Tim Kaine Embraces America’s Greatness

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Time Kaine

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Yesterday was refreshing, after a week of the unrelenting apocalyptic fearmongering of the Donald Trump Party National Convention, Virginia Senator Time Kaine emphasized what is really true about our great country. Instead of the specter of fear presented by Trump, a humble yet comfortable Kaine made the point that this country was not built on fear, but on hope and opportunity. We do not deny problems or challenges, but by facing them with courage, imagination, and determination to succeed and prevail. In the darkest days of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt reminded a fearful nation that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” We do not solve problems by demonizing other citizens, wallowing in cynicism, or by building walls, but by standing together as Americans.

The message that we are all Americans is something that we have nearly all forgotten, but it is a message that and I am so happy that he set that tone, it was something that after a week of unrelenting fear-mongering, ethno-nationalism coming from Donald Trump and his minions at the Republican National Convention that we needed to hear, whether we are the descendants of the colonists who first came here, a citizen, or an immigrant who embraces the proposition of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, that “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…” 

In 1858 Lincoln spoke in Chicago, and in that speech he linked the common connection of all Americans share, even recent immigrants, through the Declaration. It was an era of intense anti-immigrant passions, the American Party, which sprang from the Know Nothing movement which founded upon extreme hatred of immigrants, and Roman Catholics, and violence against them, had run former President Millard Fillmore for election as at heir candidate in 1856 following the collapse of the Whig Party.

In opposition to this party and movement Lincoln proclaimed that immigrants, “cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel a part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence, they find those old men say that “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal,… That is the father of all moral principle to them, and they have a right to claim it as if they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote the Declaration, and so they are. That is the electric cord in the Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and Liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.”

Interestingly enough another Virginian was reminded what it is to be an American on April 9th 1865. After Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Lee learned that Grant’s Aide-de-Camp, Colonel Ely Parker, was a full-blooded Seneca Indian. Lee stared at Parker’s dark features and said: “It is good to have one real American here.” Parker, a man whose people had known the brutality of the white man, a man who was not considered a citizen, and who in his lifetime would never gain the right to vote, replied, “Sir, we are all Americans.” That afternoon Parker would receive a commission as a Brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers, making him the first Native American to hold that rank in the United States Army. He would later be made a Brigadier General in the Regular Army, without ever being granted the right to vote.

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Ely Parker

Today and everyday we need to remember what both Kaine and Ely Parker said, we are all Americans. We don’t need to “make America great again,” but it is our responsibility to embrace these words as Americans, and embrace the vision that made American great. As we do so we need to labor incessantly to achieve what Lincoln talked about at Gettysburg in November 1863, as he spoke of the men who fought and died at Gettysburg:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under civil war, Gettysburg, History, leadership, News and current events, Political Commentary

Un-American Activities and Such…

Note: I always recommend that anyone who writes anything look at it before they go final. I took Molly for a walk after I wrote and i realized that this post is pretty much a throw away that decided to keep.  I meant to write something serious tonight but got sidetracked on the way to doing it. This is the result. 

I am engaged in un-American subversive behavior tonight. That’s right, I am not being a patriotic American. I am neither watching the NFL opener between the New York Non-Baseball Giants and the Dallas Cowboys nor the Democratic National Convention. No I was watching South Park. I won’t be watching most of the DNC for the same reasons that I didn’t watch the RNC last week, unless I decide to tune in to watch former President Bill Clinton.  However, even in non-election years I have a hard time watching football, while I observe the high holy days of the MLB pennant race. If that makes me un-American I will wear the label with pride but this does not make me a Commie.

Now I didn’t plan this, I simply forgot to switch the channel from John Stewart to the MLB channel and got sucked into a really funny South Park episode. It is the one where the South Park boys meet Jared Fogel of Subway Sandwich fame and that Stan makes the astute observation that “Yeah, it’s only in America that somebody can become famous just because they go from being a big fatass to not being a big fatass.”

Now as soon as the episode was over I switched to watch baseball on the MLB channel. Maybe later I will turn the channel to watch Bill Clinton speak at the DNC. People love my Clinton impersonation, and some find it scary.  During the 2000 election fiasco I tormented my battalion’s intelligence officer by doing my Clinton impersonation while we were deployed in Okinawa. Besides I could use some new Clinton material.

While I was stuck in traffic leaving work today I was doing my own Clinton DNC speech writing, except it was in my head because I had nothing to write with. I realized then that I need to become more sophisticated and learn to do You Tube comedy videos. However if I do the video thing I will have to get a Clinton wig since my bald scalp won’t do the trick.

That being said what Stan of South Park said is dead on right. Whether it is someone becoming famous because they were once a fatass and now are not a fatass, or because they are some other kind of uncouth reality TV slob with no redeeming qualities whatsoever there is no place like the good old USA. The South Park kids may be among the most foul on television but their satire of American culture is often more spot on than the perfidious political pundits, politicians and preachers that prostitute themselves for the big bucks by pontificating on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and countless “news” organizations. But I digress…

Back to the baseball games and my other un-American activities. But before I go I have to say that I am not a Commie and if your mommy is a Commie you’ve got a Commie mommy and you better turn your Commie mommy in.

That my friends is how one can take a throw away post and turn it into patriotic jibber-jabber. Don’t forget it. God bless America.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, football, Just for fun, Political Commentary