Tuesday, July 06, 2010

1776 ... and other stuff

200 years after our nation declared its independence, I graduated.

Yeah, I'm that old.

Worse, before that happened, I had to speak in front of the entire school about what 1976 meant to me. At the time, I was an angry teen (as opposed to being an angry old fart now), but I was one of the top ranked kids in the school, so they felt they had to let me speak (probably holding their breath the whole time).

Either that, or they didn't know I was an angry teen. You see, I was one of the most shy people in my graduating class. So maybe they had no clue I was so angry because it got hidden behind my red face any time anyone paid any kind of attention to me.

Or, even more insidious, they knew I was angry, and they decided on the ultimate punishment of making me speak in front of EVERYONE.

So I wrote up a speech where I basically said I was sick of the Bi-Centennial (which was basically being celebrated on every show, commercial, print ad, article), and how we were spending all that time looking to the past, when we should have been looking to the future.

It wasn't a bad speech overall, and I think I did it okay. I don't remember scorching anyone in the front row with my burning face, though I would have if I could have figure out how to do it ... angry teen, remember?

Nowadays, I still use whatever podium I can get to rant. I believe our nation is the best nation in the world. I'm thrilled I get to live here, and enjoy its freedoms.

But it is still so incredibly flawed. Look at the leaders we've suffered over the last few years, stuffing their pockets and their pockets of their friends with money from lobbyists. Whatever happened to altruistic leaders? Ones who made decisions based on what's good for the people?

We try to help people be insured from health related losses ... it becomes a political issue ... we want to drive to the store without putting smog and other pollutants into the air ... another political issue ... we want to put our children through school and prepare them for the future .. more politics.

I read once that the people who most want to lead are those least suited to lead.

Yeah, I get that now, more than I did in 1976.


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