Friday, October 31, 2008

Letting the American Eagle Guide Me

The American bald eagle, our national bird and symbol, has never been an especially inviting animal.

Nothing about him welcomes us to pet and coddle him like we do puppies and kittens.

He's best enjoyed from a place of best defense and definitely from a safe distance.Kind of the same way I'd like the rest of the world to see America.

Americans saw themselves that same way once. Do we still? I wish it were true today. I believe it was President Kennedy who said

"The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America."
After the Revolutionary War, our forefathers decided to put the eagle on the Presidential Seal, and as our nation matured, he's been put on on money, coins, and flags to symbolize our independence, strength and resolve as a nation of people.

The bald eagle is by nature a loner. He hunts for food and shelter alone. He depends on only himself to live. He is not afraid to fight to protect his claimed space on earth.

The American bald eagle has two wings, a left wing and a right wing. He needs both of his wings to fly, to live.

This is more than a simple matter of physics to me. I appreciate the many analogies of the eagle to my role as an American citizen, but in these times, I am especially sobered by the wings analogy, for it reminds me that without both of his wings, he can do none of those other things.

So, too, it is with us, with America.

The eagle was very much on my mind yesterday afternoon when I voted. I work at my precinct on election day, so I usually vote early. The hours leading up to my vote were reflective and cerebral. For all my bluster and bloviating here on my blog these past several months, it was now D-Day. Deep down, how did I really believe?

What I found surprised me. As much as my political ideas have changed in the last year, I know deep down I am and perhaps always will be a child of the Sixties. Before this election, it would be a veritable sure thing that I'd be chiming in with all the left-leaning lore that decade holds.

I've lamented here that I could never drink the Obama Kool-aid (ie, believe in the abstract mantras of Hope and Change even if I don't exactly know any details, and believe in him even if he has no track record). What I discovered was, I never needed one sip. The allure is already imprinted within me.

Reconnecting with that long lost part of me held the possiblity open for both candidates in my mind. And it also enabled me to examine those ideas and beliefs in the light of today and not wearing those oh-so-famous rose-colored glasses. The truth is, the mantra of the Sixties was idealism on steroids. What did we want? We wanted earthshine, easy, ecosystems, egalitarianism, emancipation, eighteen-everything, and everlasting ejaculations.

What did we get? We got pretty much everything on that list. That's why I say, time to move on. As Abe Lincoln said,

"Be not deceived. Revolutions do not go backward."


What we didn't ask for back then was elitism and enpatronizing enforced equity, but that's what the Left is asking for now. They are still fighting the same past, even though we should have moved on.

And in order to power their grab, they are asking us to trust our national flight in an eagle with one wing (or two left wings, if you please). This is where I balk. I cannot in good conscience surrender that check and balance to them. I trust everyone has the best intentions, but unabated energy follows its own trajectory. This, too, is more than a simple matters of physics to me.

In the end, it was as simple as that. McCain got my vote. It wasn't worth the risk to me for middle-aged and elderly Hippies to wake up one day in the near future and realize it was mostly Camelot and in the end not very realistic. And that we really did get what we asked for, and that anything else thought up to fill a new agenda is just that and not worthy of what went before. McCain presiding over a Congress intent on excess is the greater hope of steering it onto a new course, into the future.

I voted for the eagle with both left and right wings.

1 comment:

Infidel753 said...

This has some really interesting observations. I never realized in how many ways the eagle is an appropriate national symbol.

I was originally for Hillary, but I ended up voting for McCain too.