I was remembering the other day. I don’t like remembering. Far too many regrets.
But there I was. Half way through a tall cup of black coffee, 3 splenda’s.
1992, early January. The tinsel was still in the rafters from New Years and it was cold. Bitterly cold. I wore these little black flats that were cheap to begin with and barely worth the effort in the face of ice and snow.
The wind blew so hard I was pushed through the parking lot and had to hold tightly to my brother’s arm to keep from being completely blown over.
It was Leningrad, St. Petersburg. Russia right after the fall of Gorbachev, right before the complete demise of the USSR as we had come to know it. The people were scared. You could see it their faces as they waited in impossible lines at empty stores for hours. You could hear it in their voices when they begged “$5 for….” You name it, they were selling it. From uniforms to caviar to outdated electronics. All on the street corner in broad daylight.
I didn’t know I was witnessing a national funeral. The death of a country, the birth of a completely different entity. Here in the States with our pre-Fox News, pre-mass marketed talk radio, we had the ABCNBCCBS guys feeding us their tired lines about the world as they saw it and we couldn’t comprehend the cost that average Ivan was going to pay for this “freedom” we so blithely endorsed.
But Ivan and Irena paid that price. However they could. Through the black market, by moving to America, by starting their own home business. By any means necesary. Russians are strong people. They have a national heritage of surviving against the most insurmountable odds. And they make borscht, which is of course, proof that they are wonderful people. Oh, and vodka. And Tchaikovsky. I’d say Dostoyevsky, but I swear I can’t read a thing the man wrote.
And now I look at them 14 years later and see the iron fist rising again. Anyone who trusts Putin is an idiot. Complete idiot.
So why should we care?
Because our country is at risk. We are being overrun by illegal immigration, sucking at the infrastructure and bleeding us dry. Our “freedoms” are being stripped away in the name of “peace” and “tolerance” until someday we will find ourselves lost in the grip of a totalitarian regime that has reduced us to mere fodder for the Party. Our children taken from us and indoctrinated against the very things which once made our country the greatest in the world. Our personal liberties a memory.
But it’s all good, isn’t it? As long as we have our cable TV and our little vices, we will give all our individuality up for a pipe dream called Safety.
Unless…. Unless what? A few good men? Patriots unite? Secede? Revolution?
To what end? A revolution requires passion, integrity, strength of purpose and even intelligence. Do you see that as a viable option in today’s day and age?
Americans were once a proud entity. A new nation formed from the strength of many for the purpose of freedom. Freedom to exist, freedom to worship, freedom to succeed, freedom to rise above your “station” and create a new existence for you and your family.
We were once a nation of pioneers and watchmen. Now we are a nation of misspent youth, self-gratification and narcissism.
Russia is coming back around. Where they will go from here is beyond me. I’m not a psychic or a prophet.
America? She’s trembling on a precipice of indecision. Her identity no longer certain, her future no longer clear.
And that, my friends, is the saddest part of all.