Once upon a time there was an America that wasn't embarrassed to be like a Gary Cooper or Joel McCrae character: big and straight-talking; at times a little rough around the edges but so quick to smile you felt like the sun was coming out after a rainstorm. It was a loyal America that cherished not only ideals as vast as liberty, justice, equality under the law, and victory over Evil, but also things as basic as a summer afternoon's baseball game -- or any game -- where the playing field was level.
It was a strapping, Big Blue Sky America of adventurous kids who grew into can-do adults who still got goose-bumps at the first notes of "Stars and Stripes Forever" because it symbolized the greatness that was still within us. This was an America where a man's handshake was his word and he knew he loved his country and that, plus an unbeatable Constitution, created the most miraculous and magnanimous nation ever. Of late it seems a memory, but it was there and it is still to be found in America 's heartland if one only takes the time to look.
Educators, Hollywood, and the media have for decades so dumbed down language and ideas, debased standards, and depressed the sweetness and beauty of life for much of our citizenry that many Americans are convinced now that patriotism means having to say you're sorry – in every foreign country and at every opportunity -- for America. They have been convinced that America is so rotten that no one should be able to examine the credentials of a man laden with activities and items open to question, since this man espouses this new, "enlightened" version of America . We are being led to believe that someone's virtue is beyond question because he espouses the fashionable "virtue" of "blaming America first"...because he consistently questions America, we – perversely - can no longer question him.
If we don't wake up in the next 24 hours, the man beyond examination will be entrusted as Commander-in-Chief of our military forces, to appoint heads of the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies, and will have access to any piece of information, classified or not. Barack Obama evidently deems as insignificant the Constitutional and security concerns of American voters, because he has refused to have released his records from Occidental College and Columbia College and Harvard, his selective service registration, his medical records, his Illinois State Senate schedule, his law practice's client list, a certified copy of his original birth certificate and an embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth, any Harvard Law Review or University of Chicago scholarly articles he published, or even a record of his Baptism. This does appear to be a man of deliberate and planned secrecy.
This, combined with his disquieting associations with extremists and plans to meet dictators without preconditions, troubles those of us who have not fallen for everything Obama. We are weary of being instructed that we should not question anyone's patriotism. Well, many question the patriotism of Obama's associate, Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. We also wonder why Obama skirts the issue of his relationship with former PLO operative Rashid Khalidi and presides over a campaign that remains mum on the sources of many of the millions of dollars raised for this most expensive election ever.
Barack Obama sat for twenty years, was married by, had his children Baptized by, and was a friend of a racist hate-monger, the Rev. "God DAMN America !" There is no possible explanation for Obama's continued presence in Rev. Wright's sphere but one: he liked what he was hearing. If you are voting for Obama, you must also find the words "God DAMN America !" an idea, the new form of "patriotism", you can live with comfortably.
When you go to the polls on Tuesday, please follow the words of Martin Luther King and judge Barack Obama not by the color of his skin but on the content of his character, as well as on the quality of his personal and professional relationships and associations, and the soundness of his policies and ideas. Meeting without preconditions with human rights abusing dictators who are supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations that label America the Great Satan is not sound foreign policy. If you vote for Barack Obama, you are in essence asserting that American and Allied leaders should have met with Adolph Hitler before the war, with no preconditions.
Joe the Plumber asked a simple question of Barack Obama and an Ohio Party hack suddenly approved a records investigation on him. Can you also live with this comfortably? Is this the kind of America you want where, if you ask a question of the "anointed one" the state opens an investigation into your past? Can you really say you care about our basic rights and not question why this occurred and its implications for America in an Obama presidency? Why are those who even dare utter Barack Obama's middle name, "Hussein," branded as bigots by his admirers? Is it to silence them? Today there may be one Joe the Plumber, but after Election Day, we may all become Joe the Plumbers.
If you are voting on Tuesday and cannot discern between America and the dictatorships in different countries where people are tortured and beaten by their governments, where women are gang raped by dictators, dissidents are incarcerated for years without trial, and young children are strapped with bombs and sent to blow themselves up, then either you have not seen enough of the world Barack Obama so wants us to meet with and apologize to, or you yourself have been so desensitized and confused by the media bias and "entertainment" industry violence, you are no longer able to differentiate between an overwhelmingly decent, if at times flawed, America and those horrific regimes and tyrants exerting daily their perverted form of barbaric cruelty.
Before you leave to vote, ask yourself if, in a couple of years, you might possibly find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering, "What was it about the words ‘God DAMN America' that I found so compelling? How could I have cast my vote to hurt the country that really was so good to me?"
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Contributor Beth Gilinsky is a human rights leader and writer based in New York.