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Passions in Poetry

We Are Not The Country We Once Were

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serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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0 posted 05-18-2008 03:04 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

That's a direct quote from Balladeer's thread, "It's Official..."

First, I'd like to know if you agree with that.

Assuming that you do, I'd like to hear which particular point in history that you would consider to be our bright shining moment? What qualities regarding the era of your choice would you consider necessary to be utilized/emulated to restore us to that state of glory?

And finally, who do you think would be the best team of leadership qualified to do this? (Consider this part like... total dream team fantasy.)

Have fun and play nice.
Edward Grim
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since 12-18-2005
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Greenville, South Carolina

1 posted 05-19-2008 02:51 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

which particular point in history that you would consider to be our bright shining moment?

Shining moments?

I would have to say ripping the native Americans off of their land... then raping it with concrete.

Using slaves as currency.


The skirt law (the whole "women can't vote" thing).





The fact that Americans still think they have it so bad compared to other countries.

The fact that Citizen Kane somehow gets onto every "Best films ever made" list.

Other than the aforementioned, there aren't too many "shining moments."

Best team of leadership? Well, no specific names come to mind but I know they would have nothing to do with politics.

Cool thread, K.  

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert E.
The Shadow in Blue
since 05-18-2006
Posts 488
EL, Michigan

2 posted 05-19-2008 05:38 PM       View Profile for The Shadow in Blue   Email The Shadow in Blue   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Shadow in Blue's Home Page   View IP for The Shadow in Blue

I believe dear Balladeer's (pardon the pun) statement is true and here is my list of the shining moments of America's Glory.

WWII-As a whole it established our country as a superpower by dragging us out of the god awful Great Depression and promoting us to a relatively protected weapons supplier and and lend-leaser. Add on the whole Fat Man and Little Boy developement  and then you get power.

The 1920's as a whole-As a decade it was more or less, aside from the whole stock crash debacle, good time for americans. Women were granted suffrage, Cuba became America's proverbial playground and our culture exploded-in a good way.

The 1950's-1990's was also a pretty good time for america in reference to our glory aside from the whole Vietnam Conflict and Korean War. We established our military superiority, when not hampered by exterior problems (ie: 30,000+ nuclear weapons) and we essentially won "the cold war" by default. Our economy was decent and the civil right movement occurred.

I don't necessarily know how to restore our glory and whom should do, but I know that we definitely need to change the way our country is run-maybe have a more bi-partisan and accepting government that works for the people NOT for themselves. But then that is just a pipe dream.

We live in the here and now. And while our country is isn't in great shape there are far worse for ware countries.

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3 posted 05-27-2008 01:39 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I agree, and I'm happy we are not and yet I'm filled with grief at times.

but isn't that the eternal continuum of living. Will any time line or era or any people or place upon the earth be so perfect, so golden, and so enriched that it would constitute a complete halt to the laws of change?

Me, personally? OK, I favor the late 70's early 80's. Disco was hot, big hair, slinky wrap-around skirts, rainbow roller derby, and Olivia Newton John's "let's get physical" took the nation by storm. lmao. Hey, people were getting into shape and Everyone was doing "The Hustle," not just our Government.

it should always be a group effort.

do to do to do to do do do do.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 05-27-2008 06:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I can't even answer my own question, because I don't think there is any one point in time that you can say, "here--this is it--this is what we are about..."

I like to think that the country we once were is the potential of the country we can become, and even as I type that, I wonder if we don't need a mythology of an ideal of something more to which we can aspire.

I do not know enough to be able to name a dream team to help get us to...where? I happen to think that the average joe or josephine can't even comprehend what the job of the office of the presidency entails.

But there are moments in our history that truly move me to tears. I get all choked up thinking about...say, that delicate line that Harry Truman had to tiptoe during the Korean War. (Have we started calling that war a war, yet?)

I'm isolating one particular point, but I don't think any one particular point can truly convey the weight of the emotion I feel sometimes. Ole Harry...I like him. It took great big gonads to fire his commanding general, so I admire that. He believed that history would prove him right, and he left office with a lower approval rating than Richard M. Nixon had at the time of his resignation.

So, I think it is a mixed bag. Ed? I agree, for the most part with many of your points. I can't think of a country that is without blood on their hands though.

I think this amazing point in history that we are living now is proof that we can correct ourselves.

So yep, I think the country we "once were" is all about the country we can become. I don't think it's about one person, one hero, one era.

I think it's about all of us, doing what we can, when we can, and sometimes it's about not doing something--like Harry did.

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since 02-24-2007
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Santa Monica, California, USA

5 posted 06-04-2008 11:33 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Dottie:  We were never the country we thought we were or think we are. We seem to keep working on it, though.

Best, Jimmy
serenity blaze
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6 posted 06-04-2008 11:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


aw Jimbeaux! I've missed you.

but I'm nodding with ya...

it's good to have an ideal.

Like, I'm never gonna be that blonde yoga chick on tv, either, but I can stretch, dammit. (I really can!--er, usually.)


Kiss a deb for me?

I'm sooooooooo outta percocette it ain't even funny.

Love ya, lovie!
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7 posted 06-06-2008 04:35 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

I know now what of course I could not know then. But after Pearl Habor was it. Everyone fell into line. We kids,I was nine years old, felt as important as anyone else because we were so busy collecting milk weed pods,I think it was to make a synethic rubber. Collecting any kind of tin foil  and making balls of it and aslo string balls. We bought ten cent war bond stamps and put them into a booklet to save for a War Bond. I never did get a whole book full so no bond. But with all those school kids saving I wonder how much it came to. We were on food ration coupons and many other things and we, adults and kids, felt we had a serious job to do. My brother signed up at 14 to go in the service but of course my parents did not sign for him. My husband joined the Navy at seventeen and was in the Battle of Leyte serving as a Gunner on the U.S.S Houston. He turned 18 in November, the battle was on October 24. Those years seemed to bring everyonme to gether more than any other time I lived through. "late".
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since 02-20-2003
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Saluting with misty eyes

8 posted 06-06-2008 08:04 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Yes, we are the same country we once were, and No, we are not the same country we once were, and- the better question- do we actually want to be?
This country was founded on the basis of freedom and prosperity for all with all white men having one vote for one man; We were allowed to worship whichever deity we wanted to (or not) as long as it was the Christian mythos we adheared to. Anyone could say anything at all as long as they did not advocate the overthrow of the lawful government. People were allowed to think whatever thoughts they wanted.

Fast forward some 200 and change, and it is, seemingly, the white Christian men who are being discriminated against the most. It is perfectly acceptable to chastise and ridicule any Christian belief or person who claims themself to follow those belifs, yet if one says anything close the what anyone anywhere in the worldatany point in their lives feel might possibly be speakling ill about any other religious thought, then that person is hanged in effigy- if not reality.
We are all still allowed to say whatever it is we wish to say, just as long as it is not against the popular thought. Then, whomever is guilty of perprtuating such folly (such as believing in the War Against Terror, and what it is standing for) is shouted down and is ridiculed by the masses for being non-intelligent and a "tool" of the nasty, and heartless right wing of the government,and who is an uncaring, and insensitive shlub.
We are also allowed to think whatever thoughts we wish, as long as those thoughts are not distatefulto another human being. We are not allowed to think that a gay man (as only an example... not my thoughts) is immoral. We are not allowed to think that a black man(or hispanic, or oriental, or muslim) who is acting aggressively should be locked away. We are not allowed to think that anyone who crosses the American border without the needed paperwork and permission is a criminal. That thought is considered a "hate crime" and is illegal. Just the THOUGHT is illegal.
Americans are also still spoiled, and feel that we should be afforded special priveledges just simply because we are Americans... and it is the ones who are screaming the loudest about how wrong America is, and how evil the American government is that seem to demand the most. We pay $4.00 at the pump, and are screaming at the top of our lungs because we are being unfairly targetted for price gouging, and yet when it is brought to people's attention that in The Netherlands, gas is about $6.50a gallon, we don't care, because that is their business, and has nothing to do with our right to be pampered.
Yes, Virginia, we are the same country.

On the other hand, American shores are innundated with legal immigrants who are looking to make a better life for themselves. We are still the gold standard for the world as an example of freedom and opportunity. The American Dream is alive and well, and living in the hearts of everyone who comes to this shore trying to make a better life for them and theirs. While Americans a laughing at Abu and his family owning the local Quiki-Mart, they don't realize that Abu owns SIX of those Quicki-Marts and is laughing at everyone who comes in kvetching that there is no opportunity for advancement in America any more.
Americans sit around their living room with their beer in hand and a bag of pretzels complaining to the stars that the politicians are corrupt and that there is nothing good about any politician, and that there is nothing that can be done to change the world. Yet, they forget Jan Scruggswho got the VIetnam Vets that black piece of rock to call their own. James McEntee, the man who started the Second Harvest Food Bank doesn't even cross their minds. They could care less that Jody Williams started the Ban Landmines Campaign (and eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize) from her Vermont home.
Yes, Virginia, we are the same country.

Wait, it seems that these days, we have better access to the government than in times bgefore, when it was the "good-old-boys network, and elections were won in the back-rooms. We have access to better health care than at any time in the history of man. We have access to better everything (almost)than ever before. There ARE more opportunities than ever before to rise above one's station, and to be what our parents could only dream.We are still looked to from the rest of the world to help out where help is needed; to assist theose who are not allowed the basic freedoms that we should be enjoying ourselves; we are asked to quell every unjust uprising and to act as the world's police forcefor every situation where the little people are bring oppressed; we are asked to take the lead for every "muliti-national" military action the UN throws down our throats.

Yes, we are the same country, no we are not the same country... what does it matter? We are still, after having done extensive travel, the best country on the planet. And it is up to us to determine which country we are going to live in.

Best leadership? How about Josiah Bartlett?

What would you attempt to do...if you knew you could not fail?.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860

9 posted 06-06-2008 08:13 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

"We are not the country we once were."

We never seem to have been "the country we once were."

We will never be "the country we once were."

It's difficult enough to admit that we are the country that we've become and to reach some understanding of what that may be.

As for the past, almost everybody has their own story, supported to some degree by the facts.  My observation is that nobody seems terribly interested in or concerned with any other person's version, especially where it differs from their own.  It does happen sometimes, thank goodness.  But not very often.

     If we can get beyond that country to a more interested country, that would seem a nice things to me.  Times in the past, if there were such times and they weren't simply figments of my imagination, were times I prized.  I doubt though that everybody felt them that way.  In the sixties I felt that the youth in the country at least were willing to listen to each other.  I know that many didn't experience that.  I know that after 9/11, many people listened to each other and offered mutual support.  I valued that time too.


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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada

10 posted 06-07-2008 03:41 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You ought to say "United States" instead of "we", for not all of us are your country/nation.  
Bob K
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11 posted 06-07-2008 07:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Essorant,

           If you are making a point in general, what can I say?  If you are speaking about my comments in particular, I was in Montreal  for fair dollops of time from 1968 to 1970, and I believe they apply to Canada as well as anyplace. Scenically yours,  BobK
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