Sunday, July 5, 2009

We Are Not The New Kid On The Block

You might think that 233 years is a long time for a country to be around. I think so. However, there are some in the world and even in our own country (liberals) who think it's next to no time at all and that's why we must tread lightly in the world and apologize for our supposed transgressions. People who believe this, including (seemingly) our current President say we are just a child as countries go. They say we need to mature before we're ready to deal with other countries. Well, I say they're full of crap and their argument falls into the category of stupidity. We are among the oldest and most experienced of countries.

When does a country become a country? Have you ever thought about it? To me a country begins its existence when it establishes and maintains a government, or institutes a new form of ending a monarchy and forming a democracy. With a new government comes new ways of doing things on behalf of, or to, the people. A new government also means new ways of dealing with other world powers. New allies, new trading partners, and sometimes new enemies come with governmental change. So, a country's experience and maturity level begin with it's new form of government. This experience is completely different than the age of an area's cultural experience. With me so far?

Yesterday was July 4th, and we celebrated the birthday of the United States of America and its independence from Great Britain. Of course it would be more accurate to say that the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, June 21, 1788, is the real date of birth of our country making the country roughly 221 years old. This is the date the parameters of government were set so I'll use that date to compare this country's age and experience to other countries.

It seems the Europeans always want to tell us how young and misguided we are. Ok, which European countries are older and more experienced? How about our faithful critic and sometimes ally France? Nope. France is currently in its "Fifth Republic" established in 1958...about 51 years old. Maybe Germany? Not a chance. The Federal Republic of Germany was formed in 1949...just 60 years ago. The Italian Republic - 1946. The "Kingdom of Spain" sounds old but the actual date is 1978. Portugal - 1976...200 years after our Declaration of Independence. Care to take a guess about Serbia, Croatia, or Bosnia & Herzegovina? I have a boom box older than those countries. Even "ancient Greece" isn't so ancient - 1975. I could go on but you can see most of Europe's countries are a bunch of newborns compared to the United States. England is an exception.

What about other ancient lands? China? Isn't China one of "cradles of civilization"? Maybe, but Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier before the People's Republic of China came along in 1949. Japan's form of government came after their surrender in World War 2. The area of the world called India may have a long history but as a country it's not even eligible for Social Security in ours (1950). C'mon Ben, how about the Middle East? Isn't it ancient? Culturally yes, governmentally no. Your grandparents are older than the countries of the Middle East. And, don't even ask about Africa, they'll have new countries by tomorrow.

The Western Hemisphere must surely be full of countries older than the United States, right? Wrong. So wrong that I don't even want to write about it.

So, the United States isn't the new kid on the block. The United States is an elder state. My advice to the world...Respect your elder. Don't get uppity, and don't talk back. After all your elder feeds you. Your elder keeps you safe if you play nice. If you don't play nice your elder whips your butt or lets the local bully do it. Your elder comes to your rescue when nature rips your young butt a new one. Your elder even buys your pitiful crap to make sure you have a roof over your head. So remember, your elder does know better than you and your elder might feel bad about stepping-in or disciplining you but has absolutely no need to apologize.

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