by Mark Janz on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 4:11pm ·
I heard something today from Mitt Romney that got me thinking. He said in effect, he “didn’t want America to become Europe”. I know that was just a pandering statement made on the campaign trail, but let’s think about that for a moment. First off I am an American and glad I am. However my family three generations ago were all immigrants from Europe. Is America that much different? This country is as vast as central Europe and the regions here are as diverse as the countries there. Notwithstanding the major cities and urban areas of the world, rural communities (of which I consider myself) are highly secular and cultural. I came from Kalamazoo Michigan to Phoenix Arizona in 1978 at 24 years of age. The differences were apparent immediately. Old established small town community versus new and growing populace with many, many growing pains.
I had visited and vacationed in parts of the USA before moving and got a taste of much of the eastern half of the country. Since moving I vacationed and visited a lot of the western half. In my experience the people of different regions can be as different as foreign countries, except they all speak a modicum of English, and sometimes that is debatable.
America is no longer as unique as it once was. Although, we still live in a far freer society than anywhere else in the world. We have an innate sense that we can overcome desperate times. This may be changing. Education is the key. South Korea, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Estonia, Switzerland, Poland, and Iceland all outrank us in reading, math, and science education, in that order. Ever wonder why the majority of most scientists, doctors, and engineers of note are no longer of American decent?
While religious intolerance fuels wars in the Middle East, the religious fervor of intolerant Americans permeates the politics of this campaign season. Truly sad, because, after all, this country was founded on the belief of freedom of religion. AND the separation of state and religion. Believe whatever you wish, but don’t try to enact laws enforcing a belief or secular tenet.
Which brings us to the original statement, “America becoming Europe”. I truly believe that until we become involved in a peaceful and tolerant global community can the plight of America see a beneficial upswing in our daily existence. We are not that different. I see America becoming Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, the United Kingdom, Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australia, Greenland, Iceland, Russia, and Antarctica. And also them becoming America. This is a high hope that will take efforts from some very backward and liberty deprived world nations. It is hard to worry about the bigger picture when you are starving. So, I posit that famine must be eliminated first.
The USA has farmland for great harvests, yet farmers are scraping by. Distributing grains and vegetables for food instead of fuel additives on a universal market might be a wiser choice.
Climate change is looming and it might just take a rearrangement of agricultural practices worldwide to keep our food on the table. A generation or two will tell the tale. I trust we will set our priorities and realize that separation and intolerance is not the answer.
Let us become an America with strong ties to our neighbors, in our neighborhoods and our global humanity.