By C.Chris ChandlerI was clearly moved by your piece in the Mirror. I want to respond in kind. First of all, I have a better understanding of how you think and what you feel has happened to this country in the past fifty or so years. I have an aunt who is approaching her ninth decade. She once told me this isn’t the same country she remembered as a young woman and she thought it was a shame. And you know, in some ways, I’d have to agree with both you and her. And though I am approaching my sixth decade, I still see some very bright hopes for this nation and our place in the world.
One of the things we tend to do in our lives is hold on. We hold on tightly. We hold on to our loved ones, we hold on to our savings (although that is getting tougher every day-can I get an Amen?) We hold on to our beliefs, our culture and our sanity. But, because we hold on so tightly, we sometimes are unable to let go and pick up and hold another piece…compassion, giving, volunteering, sacrifice…these are a few of the pieces we can so easily drop.
Let’s take sacrifice. The generation you came from and my aunt came from has been called the greatest generation. I cannot disagree, and I never would. My mother and father were of that time and I heard plenty of stories about the harshness of living and the plight of many, many poor in this nation with no safety net. Then the war came. And many young men (many from the Shore, including my own mother’s first husband did not come back home). That, Mr. Zahn is the ultimate sacrifice. I am still humbled by it. We have since had several wars since. And dare I say it, we have not been successful in any of them. Korea ended with a stalemate, Vietnam we lost and we are still figuring out ways to keep both Iraq and Afghanistan from devolving into total chaos ten years on. How did we get here? We won the one that counted, how did we lose against much smaller, more impoverished nations? I think this is where your statement, the leaders lie may come in.
The way I’ve seen it, there are forces within and outside our elected government that have been making world policy for these past seventy years and doing so recklessly. The fiascos created during the nineteen fifties in Central and South America and CIA led coups and tactics would attest to that. The war on Communism was another drain on energy and resources when economic and political maneuvering would have been just as substantial. This supposed war was a waste in the first place, because we failed to deal directly with the third and undisposed dictator, Stalin. But, of course, hind sight is twenty-twenty. And that ship sailed, as they say. So, for the next thirty or so years, we fought and outspent in crushing amounts (space program, Vietnam, wars in Central America and the middle East) and finally toppled the old guard just to have it be replaced with the new guard. All the while, the American people were in the dark, fed disinformation and relegated to offering their money and sons and daughters to the machine. So, yes, I can see your point. But, times change…people, not so much.
Today, we have a multitude of information right at our fingertips. Some would argue too much information and I would agree. You can cherry pick your truth, or you can do some honest and deep searching for the real truth. There are books that point out the fallacies of our history as well as the greatness. There are web sites that print daily the truth as it is occurring all over the world. There is spoken word and written word and on and on where the truth lies. Funny that. You just got to poke around.
Is the world broken? No, Mr. Zahn, we are. We do not hold our leaders accountable. We do not hold our corporations accountable. We do not even hold our educators and our preachers and our news reporters accountable anymore. Some of us do not hold ourselves accountable. Well, I do! And I am calling you out. These broken homes and fatherless children you write about. Do you know any? Have you been a big brother or foster father to any? This waste of money you see…called out any elected officials lately? Written a letter to a congressman stating your views on the national scene and how it seems broken, lately? Gotten answers? Why not? Do you weight the balance of the person versus the job and see the influence behind their back and take into account the position he or she has been placed in and tried to formulate what can change this? Have you shared your thoughts of this with others who might disagree with you? We are all accountable for our leaders. If they are lying to us, it is incumbent upon us to call them out, hold them accountable (research them!) and if found lacking, vote them from office. As I see it, the power is not with them per say, but the money and the influence behind the scenes. That Mr. Zahn is where the real lies are generated. The influences (Corporations, Wall Street, Banking and Defense interest) are the main steering committee. You and I and folks like us (my dear lovely aunt) we are pawns. The unrest is media driven. The lies are spread and believed by misinformed people. The mentally unbalanced and desperate people sometimes react and the media spreads their story like wildfire to induce fear, division, and a feeling of helplessness within the competent citizenry to redirect our world view. The focus is taken off of the real problems this country faces. It is placed in emotional hot button issues that really have very little to do with you or I. Take poverty for example. There will always be the poor. In a capitalist system that’s how it works. But the spin is, we (taxpayers) are paying for shiftless, lazy, drug selling thugs (translate: a person of color) to live on our dime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there is a percentage who abuse the system (both white and black), but the majority of people on welfare are there for a good reason. It is a guaranteed security net for disenfranchised people, the elderly and many, many children who otherwise would be starving but for subsidized income. But mention welfare queen to some and the tirade begins. These folks are misinformed, and undereducated in the ways our government works. But what truly caused a huge increase in poverty in just the past ten years? How about the last thirty years? Fifty years ago? Think about it. Do we even talk about that now? I would be interested in your answer. History knows and will out the truth over time. By then, however for us, it may be too late.
So, what is the news feed de jour this week? What will it be next week? What is truth? Where do we get our information? What do we do with all this information? You speak of insanity and this nation. The definition of insanity is attempting to do the same thing again and again expecting different results. We are being led by the nose by incompetents. We have given the reins of power to powerful people who know nothing of our interest or care to know. It is not only in the houses of power in Washington, it reins in our State Assembly and in our very own hometowns. These are people who are not truly informed on the fragility of human existence. People who do not realize where the real power lies and just how small and dangerous human beings truly are. People for whom money doesn’t talk, it swears. But, oddly, it never seems enough. People with the law behind them and the authority to unleash the hounds of hell should the citizenry truly challenge them. These are the people who would have no qualms in doing so. People who have no respect for the earth, its resources or the unfortunates who happen to occupy that land they intend on exploiting. Yes, your parents (and mine) would wonder what has happened to our country. We’ve been duped. We’ve been fooled. We were sold a bill of goods that promised us all the American Dream. It never existed. It’s a dream. And while we were busy working for that dream to come true, the shop keepers and the mayors and town council members and the state delegates and the Representatives and the Congressman and the lawyers and the bankers and the man behind the curtain ran off with the very hope that keep that dream alive. We were once the greatest (and richest) nation on earth. What happened, you ask. We were too busy dreaming and we lost it. When we woke up…it was gone.
Andy, thanks for your article. Gives me a chance to put in my rebuttal.
andy zahn says
Mr Chandler I enjoyed very much reading your very thoughtful “rebuttal”. I hope a lot of people will give thought to what has happened in this country since 1946 & what is now happening. Basically you & I are on the same page.
I didn’t give pen to the Industrial-Mililitary complex or to South America, the Bay of Pigs, the Marial Boat People or the Cuban Missle Crisis. With the crisis & then with the assinationof JFK, on two mornings as I went to work I had my uniform in the car in case I was ordered to Ft Dix.
When it comes to writing letters, yes, yes, yes! Not only letters to my “representatives” but emails & letters to the editors. Very often the coldshoulder. They are “ROYALTY”, I am a peon. No reply from our ex-governor, now a jail bird. No reply from ouur present governor. No reply from Cong Rigell or our two senators. No reply from my supervisor, Donald Hart. No reply from my county treasurer, Dana Bundick who “stole” $50.90 from us because the USPS erred & the USPS admitted the mistake was theirs. No reply from our now Lt Governor & I thought we were friends having similar backgrounds & in the past many cordial conversations; I even supported him on his 1st election not knowing he was a carbon copy of Obama. Letters to the editor at the VIRGINIA-PILOT not published, I suppose because they don’t fit the editor’s political agenda. Long ago I wrote to Herb Bateman & always got a detaile explanation of his views which were always contraty to mine, but at least he knew I existed. I now call myself a “slave” because not havinga valid photo ID I have lost all my civil rights except I still have the right to keep paying taxes as I have for70 years. Lord knows, I tried! I have now paid $10, have a valid photo ID & have bought my rights back.
I respectfully disagree about people today being the same as they once were. There is a violence here now, perhaps people gone mad, that wasn’t so prevelant 40 years ago. Where I taugh school on the Jersey Shore I was a sponsor with three other teachers of the school’s most popular club, the Gun Club. I was the coach of the rifle team & drove the school International Travellall to NYC & other places for rifle meets. We always received compliments, “what wonder boys you have”. Most boys in the school were hunters & don’t look for boys in class on opening day of deer season. We ran the Hunter Safety courses for shotgun & archery. No rifle hunting in NJ except limited to .22 for squirrels. Kids had their shotgung in theircars & pickups in the parkinglot to hunt before or afterschool. Kids brought their shotguns &.22’s on the school bus for goingto the range after school. They put the guns or bows in their school lockers. THERE WAS NEVER AN INCIDENT INVOLVING A GUN! Just look at the kids, very few but one is too many, causing gun trouble attheir school & now schools are GUN FREE ZONES. Look also at the adults shooting up schools & churches and movie theaters, also recruiting & reserve installitions & the Navy Base in Washington as well as the Base in Norfolk. Notealso all the mass killings are in GUN FREE ZONES where the perp knows therewill be no return fire. Look at young people willing to leave their homes & wonderful country to join ISIS and chop people’s heads off. Look at the people who find nothing wrong with murdering an unborn child & even butchering the baby to sell his parts. Civilized societies don’t mistreat the young or send their women off to war & now we do both! A lot of those who condone abortions shudder at the thought of a lion being killed. I personaly don’t believe in Safari’s & killing wildanimals just to prove how macho you are nbut it’s legal &the African country uses the money spenton licenses for wildlife.
When itcomes to the future of the country again I respectfull disagree. The national debt at 19 trillion dollars and growing WILL DESTROY US. The interest on the loan is huge & if rates rise we will strangle. Foreign countries, China, has power over us & in our foreign affairs. Now we hear that health care is a right so I wonder why I am paying so much money for what should be FREE. To win the 2016 election the left now says college is a RIGHT. To get the vote of the young, buy votes, they want to either give them college for free or pay off their student loans for them. Where, pray tell, will all this money come from in a nation that is already bankrupt & has many more trillions in unfunded liabilities & a Social Security & Medicare system that people have paid into going broke but no problem with “entitlements” for the “poor” or salaries, pensions, health care & perks for the elite. Our veterans are treated rotten & have to beg for help as with the “Wounded Warriors”.
Close to half the population is on government assistance, don’t put Soc Sec in that count. We didn’t need Obamacare, in fact it is destructive, but we did need & we do need JOBS. Every move Obama & his puppets have made has cost jobs & this fight with coal will be more of the same. If the government kills off all the good paying jobs it’s no wonder people in huge numbers are on welfare. Of course this is what the left wants because these people need help & the left will help to keep the poor beholding.
The press lies & how do we stop it? All the way back to CBS & The Guns of Autumn, a documentary which was bogus to show ho bad “hunters” were & howevilguns are. I was so happy to see Dan Blatherget his walking papers!The mainstream media is totally biased & I don’t watch the networks much any more. They hide what is harmful to the left & pound on what looks bad for the right. They brainwash the public and have swayed public opinion around to fit their “agenda”.
You are so right about corporations and again what power do we have. I am disgusted to see a CEO get $100 million or more per year & I know how it’s done. Each of these mucky-mucks serves on the board of directors of each other & one hand washes the other. You give me a pay raise & next month I’ll give you a raise. I have some stocks, where else can I go, & I never vote. What’s the use? I have 100 shares so I get 100 votes. The big guys who control the board of directors hold 500 billion shares of stock & have that many votes so I just don’t waste my time. It will be whatever they want.
The “Ship of State” is headed for the rocks unless we make several changes. We must reduce and eventually pay off this debt. We must regain our manufacturing base & create jobs in industry & get the able-bodied off welfare. We must eliminate fraude & waste. We mustend corruption & set an honest DOJ & FBI loose on the offendingpoliticians noo matter how high up. We must end this croniesm &pouring billions into friends at Solyndra. We must shrink government & reduce these regulations. Some departments should be eliminated; in fact let’s get back to the number of Cabinet posts we had during WW II which we agree, WE WON!
Finally Mr Chandler, you asked for an amen so here it is: AMEN!
I have emailed Fox News and never a reply or my thoughts put on the air.
andy zahn says
I really thought all of this, with the discontent in the direction our wonderful country is going, would have stirred up a hornet’s nest. Just as a Gay Cape Charles really fired people up and as Same Sex Marriage took up so much of our government’s energy, what is of the most importance, how the Republic is to survive gets little attention.
I remember The Great Depression & getting a shirt or gloves for Christmas, a pair of boots with a pen knife for my birthday. My right hand with my index finger was my gun and Bang, Bang, you’re dead. I shot that robber!
We lived on a hill and the mailman who came twice a day always whistled & had to clime 18 stairs to the house. Same for the ice man & the 7 tons of coal had to come up the stairs in a heavy leather bag over the driver’s shoulder. Dad too had to lug every item up those stairs.
There were men walking on our street wearing expensive suits which were very soiled. These men had been well off & lost everything. One or two would come to our front door and ask my mother if there was any work they could do to earn some food. My dear mother would say go sit on the back stoop & I’ll fix you something. Mom would hand them a plate of bacon & eggs & didn’t ask for any work. She never turned anyone away. Dad was a city firefighter & was at work 84 hours a week; that is half the hours in a week! He never owned a power tool in his life yet had a great garden and made kitchen cabinets and all manner of things.
I would go down to the sidewalk & there were writings on the concrete. The one poor unfortunate left a message that the lady up there is a “soft touch”. Many people today are just as kind & generous,