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Raised Right

I grew up in a lower middle-class suburb of LA that was mostly white. My formative years 6–13 were from 1952-1959 playing, schooling and learning about life. Every morning we stood in class reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, then sang

 My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, of Thee I Sing Land Where My Fathers Died, Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride From Every Mountain Side, Let Freedom Ring!

This was the daily routine until I started Junior High, where we continued saying the Pledge at assembly and sporting events. In my memory none of us questioned this or refused to participate. We were youngsters imbibing Americana, glad for these moments of camaraderie.

Sounds corny, I know, but that’s what we did back in the 50’s learning to love our country, believing it was the best, fairest and most righteous country on earth! Makes me wonder was California different from the rest of America, or did kids everywhere have the same experience? If so, I assume they were like me, believing what we were taught and celebrating it as our heritage and legacy. We boomers were proud to be Americans and believed in our uniqueness.

Now recall, I was poor and my family, especially mom, were Democrats. She absolutely loved FDR/JFK and was sorely pressed to understand why I was republican/conservative? In her mind my group didn’t care about the little guy or non-white people, ethnic people, gay people, blacks . . .

I don’t know if mom was stereotypical of her generation, but presumably she was raised (Nebraska) same as me, with the same values and teachings. Somewhere along the way she came to believe there were two Americas: one for the rich and the other for everybody else.

I believe I’m right that, coming off two wars with Eisenhower president, we emerged the most powerful country on earth, strongest financially and most brilliant when it came to education, invention and scientific discovery. We were hands down the leader in every metric concerning fairness, opportunity and quality of life.

This was the result of our White, Anglosaxon, Protestant {WASP} roots and the genius of our founders and their founding documents: Declaration, Constitution/Bill of Rights. Somehow the combination of English-speaking settlers fighting to make a life of their choosing and the tyranny of a foreign monarch trying to subdue them into submission and servitude created a perfect storm in which a requisite minority rose up to challenge that authority and fought against almost insurmountable odds to defeat it.

I guess many are screaming what a gross over-simplification of the facts! How dare I ascribe all the greatness/success to a small group of rich, arrogant English-speaking Wasps! What about multitudinous ethnicities that infused America? Nonwhites, non Judeo-Christians, non English-speakers and enumerable others who weren’t part of that rich men’s club! What about their treatment during all the greatness?

America has been an experiment struggling to assert itself. It began well, except for the treacherous hypocrisy of slavery, which it finally eradicated at enormous cost in lives/treasure. It continued the struggle to make things right and level the playing field but those not in “the club” weren’t satisfied and grew tired of waiting! They wanted what those rich guys had and wanted it now!

The fact is, America was like a brilliantly designed game with the board and pieces ready to go, but players had to learn how to play. Part of learning required getting to know the rules, or at least how the rules were intended to be used. Some were quick with this, others took more time resulting in a slow starting, half-hearted game at best even though the board, pieces and rules of play were brilliant!

Becoming an American was not easy, especially for those of darker skins and differing language and culture. But they saw what America did for others and knew it could do it someday for them.

I stated earlier I wasn’t sure if my mom was stereotypical of her generation, at least from an ethno-socio/economic view-point. She was raised in part by an aunt, went to a good high school in Omaha, played piano, spoke several languages. She was poor, shy, a less pretty Gilda Radner type, unhappy home life and few prospects. After graduation she took a train to LA, moved in with a friend, made poor choices and lived well-below her true potential.

She and her friends/relatives were part of the economic un-der-belly of America and looked to government as the great equalizer; righter of wrongs; Democrat government. To her, FDR was like Jesus! JFK/LBJ the same. A huge swath of the people in the 40’s/50’s/60’s felt this way, moving the country center left.

But there was something else something that became an amalgam or admixture to liberal democrats/progressives; a panoply of new groups and causes in the democrat quilt who weren’t just of the left, they were actual socialists, communists, globalists. Extremists who hated America and worked tirelessly to take over the Party. Folks like mom had no clue an unholy blue tide was sweeping the land, gaining positions of power/authority, effecting a corrosive undermining of our culture, institutions and government.

When players bend and twist rules, the game cannot attain its bold and beautiful purpose: provide the happiest, most fair and open society of freedom loving men and women, regardless of color/circumstance, the world has ever known.

An Ethiopian, Pakistani, Japanese or Spaniard can become a fully-fledged American; the same including Americans, Swedes, Danes or any others can never become French or Italian, German or Irish. This is our worth, our exceptionalalism, our hope for the world.

As a schoolboy I learned how this idea made America a special place. Unfortunately, things are currently spiraling in the wrong direction, stripping us of our heritage/birthright, bringing us to the brink of disaster.

But there’s still time to re-establish our founding and save our country! Boomer schoolboys/girls like me are waking to the danger lapping at our feet, inundating our reality. We were raised not to let this happen. We will once again right this land!

You’ve Been Reading Shaneview

I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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