Good Luck

May 28th, 2023
L&T Opinions Page

earl wattL&T Publisher Earl Watt


Every American in history, with the exception of slaves, came here for the simple fact that living in America would be better than what was left behind.

Abraham Lincoln met with a group of African American leaders during the Civil War and made an offer to relocate the freed slaves to Africa if they chose, and they refused the offer, claiming that the United States was their home and believing they had a chance at a better life here than they would have by returning to what was known then as Monrovia (Liberia today).

We all chose the United States or our ancestors did.

It would seem with so many of us realizing our best chance at a brighter future for ourselves and our children comes from what was built here would be a uniting feature shared by all of us.

When we see the all-out political war we have in this country where each side claims to be the purest form of freedom ever known, we somehow forget the greatest gift anyone on this planet has, and that is the ability to live in this country.

For many new immigrants who have experienced life in foreign nations and have been willing to meet the requirements to become United States citizens, they don’t look at America as something that owes them. They see America as a place that has given them the opportunity they never would have had elsewhere.

Many took that opportunity as well as a shovel, a pick axe, or even a set of knives in a meat packing plant, and they carved out a life for themselves and their families.

Notice how none of this refers to which country someone used to call home, or which country was any of our original home.

What has made America work over the centuries is the belief that we are all Americans.

Our newest citizens understand the value of citizenship, perhaps even better than those born with the privilege and those who did not enter the country properly and are not citizens.

Being American is more than a birthright. We have to sacrifice for freedom. We have to give a little of ourselves to secure the blessing of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

Freedom and anarchy cannot coexist. Freedom is not without self control.

And yet, we act as if our nation is oppressive for trying to maintain the self discipline freedom requires.

Marriage requires sacrifice. You can either live by the marriage vows or not. It takes self discipline.

Marriage is the foundation of the family, and every culture of every color on this planet exercises a basic structure of family with a mother, father and children.

Every nation has to be made up of a citizenry committed to that nation, and just like marriage and family, we have to be willing to put ourselves aside for the well-being of the whole.

The United States has always been a nation that was able to do this without government compulsion but out of a belief in something greater than ourself.

A Chinese student who once visited America said the difference he saw between Americans and the Chinese was Americans did the right thing even when no one was watching them.

This is the first step in losing our freedoms is when we don’t use self restraint in exercising freedom.

When we believe we can simply do whatever we want because there is no law against it, freedom is already lost.

What’s worse, when we believe the concept of freedom only applies to me and those who think like me, freedom is already lost.

We have stopped defining family as a mother, father and children. This cornerstone of society began to crumble when President Lyndon Johnson started his Great Society initiative. 

Instead of depending on each other, Johnson made it where families would rely on him and his government for financial support.

Since that time, divorce skyrocketed along with having children out of wedlock.

This isn’t a religious statement. Societies who follow vastly different religious beliefs still have the family as the center of society.

But the United States has started to erode and almost eliminate that core principle.

Instead of identifying as a family, we now seek to identify by other characteristics, whether that be our country of origin or our skin color.

We have devolved society from the family to tribes, and it comes as no surprise without a family structure that children struggle with their gender identity, that schools believe it is their place to step in as a child’s guardian, or that the nation believes it has ultimate control over the nation’s youth rather than parents.

In the past 25 years, the number of children born out of wedlock has increased from 28 percent to 40 percent.

Couple that with the violence, the looting, the shootings and other societal decay, and it is clear freedom without responsibility is unsustainable.

Our parents didn’t teach us to do what was legal. They taught us to do what was right.

Today, it seems our children are being taught if it is illegal, protest until it is legal. If it is truth to you, regardless of the facts or consequences, then your truth trumps actual truth.

Actions have consequences, or at least there was a time when they did. Now, all actions can be justified by a politician’s ambition, and if they hand out enough, we will give them the power.

From finances to sexual identity, we want a free life without consequences.

What happened to the original goals that united a people? What happened to the concept of family and patriotism?

For two years we have heard little to no complaints about the flag, but wait for the power to change, and the flag will once again be jeered as an oppressive symbol. 

America’s history will be viewed as something to condemn rather than cherish. The sacrifices made by generations to build the nation we have today will be washed away by the tyranny of the mob.

All because we didn’t have the ability to exercise self control, to sacrifice a little of ourselves for the benefit of the whole. 

If the next generation wants greatness, it will have to do better at self discipline than what it inherits from this generation.