The Right Persuasion

The Right Persuasion

The year 1776 was both a victorious one and a sad one in what would become officially the United States of America. War plagued the founders and their families, but out of ashes came a free country unseen in the course of human history. Being Christians or deists, these great men could only believe that this new found freedom came from a Creator, and also that the war behind them would lead to a better life upon these new shores. Since then, America has engaged in wars that included fighting British imperialism (1812), the Ottoman Empire (1851), the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1917), World War II (1941), the Korean War (1950), the Vietnam War (1960s), the Cold War (1950s-1980s), the Gulf War (1991), the War in Afghanistan (2001) and the Iraq War (2003).

In between those years America has seen its sons and daughters fall to the hands of dictators, kings, queens, and world leaders. No matter one’s philosophy on war, we all must learn to appreciate what those men and women have done to preserve our American rights and freedoms.

I have never fought in a war. I have never been in the heat of battle. In 2001, when the towers fell, I was a sophomore at college ready to transfer to a university. I didn’t make that sacrifice as many of my high school classmates and wrestling teammates did, and I admire them greatly. Two of my high school friends, Christopher Gibson and Michael DiRaimondo, fell in 2004, and attending those funerals was beyond any surreal experience I have ever had. Wrestling teammates of mine, Kevin Francis and Albert Carnahan, joined the Marines; and student-athletes I coached, like Taylor Green and Aaron VanDriesche, are currently serving as soldiers or as students ready to join.

These men are my friends, and they are living monuments to those who left us too early. Their very existence reminds us that there are those we must protect ourselves against.

Our people have not always been kind to those who risk their lives for this country. Many Vietnam vets have been treated like criminals by those who did not fight. Our newspapers and talking head news shows have downgraded our current troops’ missions, causing much frustration among those whom I talk to. And ironically, as the old cliché goes, they fight so that others can speak ill of the wars we wage. Do not be mistaken — wars might be declared by nations, but they are fought by men. It is human hands that hold guns and knives, it is the human mind that crafts the machinery and battle plans; it is the 20-year old who gives up Friday night parties and family gatherings to wear hundred-pound gear and spend days in deserted deserts; and it is these young men and women who may one day find their bodies dug into the dirt because they wanted to make sure I could still write this column.

The sacrifice of a few has made the majority prosper. If we do not support them, who will? Because I can promise if any of our enemies were to truly succeed then they would be much crueler to us than we would be to them. The American soldier, no matter where he or she is stationed, is fighting for our way of life, and not since the late 1980s has our way of life been so threatened. America is not invincible. History is against us. No one country can be the center point forever. Ask Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, Napoleon and the British Empire. But our time to go cannot be now. There is too much at stake and too much progress made in this world to backslide into a dark age that will spit on human rights, religious freedoms and civil liberties. Recently, we have seen that our enemies are still alive and want to wreak havoc on our streets.

This Memorial Day weekend should remind us all that while many have left us due to our enemies, there are still many ready to defend their honor and this country’s promise written more than 200 years ago. So remember them, too, this year — our living memorial monument.    

paulmoomjean@yahoo.com 

The Right Persuasion

The Right Persuasion

I support the rule of law. Always have. I also support the rights of American citizens. American citizens have the rights to live freely, embark on capitalistic gain, worship freely and move from place to place within the borders of this great country. American citizens get the benefit of free public education, free speech privileges and the right to run for public office. So when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, concerning illegal immigration and giving the state authorities the right to question “suspicious” people who may not be American citizens, have a green card, a work visa or a proper passport, the Left lifted up its hands in protest, crying out racism and discrimination. Forget the fact that this bill is simply an enforcement of federal law. Forget the fact that the authorities are not allowed to racially profile. And especially forget the fact that law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about. This outcry is nothing more than left wing reactionary tactics disguised as liberal compassion.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: this bill was amended to target those who are suspected of committing a crime such as drunk driving, speeding, spousal abuse, theft and other law-breaking activities. The Arizona authorities are not allowed to pull someone over for having a conversation in Spanish, German or Chinese, but if they do pull someone over due to erratic behavior, someone who cannot comply in the English language, then I believe common sense tells us he or she is most likely an illegal immigrant. I’m no expert on citizenship laws, but aren’t those who wait in line for citizenship required to speak enough English to pass the citizenship test? And if anyone is asked for identification, who doesn’t have a driver’s license or some form of I.D. to be able to purchase items with a credit card, drive or be prepared in case the authorities need to speak to him or her?

At the heart of this issue is an even greater concern for American citizens. Those who oppose this bill are simply suggesting that some laws are just not important to enforce. Immigration is not like a leash law at the park or jaywalking in Los Angeles when walking to the Staples Center. Illegal immigration has hurt America and this great state. It’s a fact that our schools, hospitals and roads are overcrowded and about to burst. This bill is a step in the right direction to at least deport the criminals who have come into our state, and to warn potential lawbreakers about the risk of coming here by their own means as opposed to waiting for United States approval.

The other core issue at hand deals with what it means to be American. America is a sovereign country with its own culture, laws, religious freedoms, holidays and customs. We might be a melting pot, but not everyone can just jump on in. America is not simply a place for those who don’t like their current situations to come and gamble on the American Dream. This country has its own nationalistic pride, and the free comings and goings of illegal immigrants laughs in the face of that concept. Just to prove how Americans are forgetting this is America, on May 5, five Bay Area California students at Live Oak High School were sent home for wearing the American flag on their shirts after the administration called their patriotism “incendiary,” claiming they were trying to start a fight with those celebrating the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. But this is not Mexico. This is America. How did wearing an American flag become an act worthy of suspension in a public American high school? It became one when we decided we really weren’t America at all, but just a borderless piece of land for all to pass through freely. And may we raise up Arizona for reminding us of our sovereignty.

This bill is not a racist call to action or based in discrimination. It’s more complex than that. Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer has simply decided to do something so radical, so crazy and so out-of-the-box that people are in shock; and that radical move is to simply follow the law.    

paulmoomjean@yahoo.com 

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