America I Know
By Violet Lake
We were formally introduced when I was six years old. The
occasion was an evening ride from Kennedy Airport to New Jersey,
including a brief but unforgettable tour of Manhattan. If
you've ever been there, you know that Manhattan is an impressive
sight, especially in the evening; it's a "living" monument
to civilization on a scale so breathtaking that it rivals
nature. For me, the experience was an introduction to a new
world of possibilities, revealed that night as a gigantic
machine made of stone, steel, glass, and light - designed
to make dreams come true.
In the years and decades following that night, I got to
know America quite well; in fact, we became inseparable. Along
the way, I even managed to learn some of her most elusive
secrets: things that until recently, I believed were common
knowledge. Apparently, the things I learned are not common
knowledge; if they were, I probably wouldn't feel compelled
to compose this argument on her behalf. Sadly, she has strayed
so far off course in the last few years that I'm finding it
increasingly difficult to reconcile the America I grew to
love, with the myopic tyrant she has been transformed into.
It's distressing to see her fall prey to the primitive influences
that make most other nations second-rate by comparison. America
was designed to fulfill a higher purpose. I wouldn't be living
My mother and father chose to pursue the promise of a better
life, in exchange for living our lives among our extended
family. I'm sure it's one of the most difficult choices they've
ever made. Remarkably, the majority of families are here as
a consequence of the same choice. We are essentially a nation
of immigrants, culled from humanity according to a distinct
combination of character traits: a tendency to favor idealism,
a fondness for adventure, the ability to adapt, and a willingness
to work hard. This progressive collection of traits forms
the basis of the celebrated "American character."
With such a choice selection of people, it's no coincidence
that America has - in a relatively short period of time -
transformed civilization. Studying how all the pieces came
together, one begins to understand that America is a deliberate
expression of human evolution. Most likely, she represents
the first step in the de-tribalization of the human race.
If this is true, it follows that her purpose is to serve as
the laboratory, prototype, and fountainhead of a liberated,
progressive, and united world.
Considering the lofty nature of America's assignment, it
should come as no surprise that some of her citizens interpret
their good fortune as a divine mandate to rule other peoples.
They represent the regressive forces of civilization, whose
discredited ideologies are clearly at odds with America's
natural calling. Their contribution to American history reads
like an encyclopedia of savagery: genocide, slavery, civil
war, racism, bigotry, religious intolerance, xenophobia, and
now tyranny and old-fashioned imperialism. The "regressives"
are the proverbial wrench in America's gears. But they haven't
been able to stop - much less change the direction of - her
"gears"; instead, their influence has eroded over time.
Amazingly, regressives are ruling America at the moment.
It's amazing that their coup succeeded; they demonstrated
what a determined minority can accomplish in collusion with
mass media - and big money. And it's amazing that they're
still "leading" America, considering their undeniable record
of disgraceful lies and miserable failures. As their situation
becomes more desperate, the danger they pose is likely to
increase, because they know that this is their last chance
to change the direction of America's gears. Unfortunately,
that can't be done without subverting the principles America
was founded on, and revoking the hard-earned progress made
toward their fulfillment. Unfortunately, they seem committed
to doing whatever it takes to stay on top - even if it means
forcing their beloved nation into a chasm wide enough to swallow
a "nucular" hegemon.
If catastrophe does consume America, it's likely that her
dream will survive, and eventually flourish elsewhere - probably
in a more refined manner. But what a tragedy it would be...
Like countless others, every fiber of my being is invested
in living her dream - here and now.
Invariably, life in a new culture takes some getting used
to, but America is arguably the most amenable culture. For
my parents, adapting has been a gradual process, made easier
by the increasingly multiethnic nature of American culture,
and reinforced by a generous standard of living. Adapting
has been considerably less complicated for my siblings and
me; it didn't take long for us to become unquestionably American.
My family's experience demonstrates the genius of American
culture - which is the reason for its universal appeal. In
the span of one generation, the gigantic dream machine made
most of our dreams come true.
America, here's to you: may you continue to gracefully weather
Violet Lake is an artist and software designer, living
somewhere in Pennsylvania. Her e-mail address is VioletLake@gmail.com.