Guest editorial: Americans must ditch partisan labels and work together to end this pandemic
Our sense of responsibility to our country has certainly changed over the past 50 years. I was thinking about my father the other day, who at age 17 asked his father to go with him to a recruitment center so he could sign up to join the Army (at age 18 you can sign up by yourself) in order to go fight in WWII. He had a quite normal life during his childhood in Missouri in the 1920s and ’30s, but after the Pearl Harbor attack, almost all young men in America had no hesitation about signing up to serve their country to help protect their country. All young men at that time had a tremendous sense of responsibility to their country, and the rest of the U.S. population (women, children and older Americans) pitched in with no hesitation, by working in factories to help manufacture equipment that our military needed to fight the battle, start Victory Gardens to reduce their need to buy food at stores (and not stockpiling toilet paper), and donated personal goods (i.e. women’s nylons) in order to help with the war effort.
But today, it seems a great number of Americans have lost that sense of patriotism. We’re either “Red” or “Blue” and hate those who aren’t our “color.” I think this lack of patriotism started quite recently after we had some U.S. presidents that used their “connections” (i.e. family wealth) to escape from serving their country in times of need. Prior to these poor examples of presidents, we had presidents that proved their patriotism and commitment to our country. There was President Dwight Eisenhower, an army general who was instrumental in helping the U.S. win the war. John F. Kennedy was a decorated war hero, Richard Nixon (our first Liar in Chief) signed up to join the U.S. Navy. Ronald Reagan enlisted in the U.S. Army. And George H.W. Bush who was a decorated U.S. Navy pilot in WWII. These presidents were shining examples to all Americans about the need to help our country in times of distress and need. After these presidents, though, we’ve had some leaders that were examples to all Americans on how to shirk our responsibilities to our country. There was George W. Bush, who got “assigned” to the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War and learned to fly a plane over Texas so he could keep an eye on his family’s oil wells (a bit facetious, but he never set a foot in Vietnam), and then there is Donald Trump (our current Liar in Chief), who got a doctor to write a letter that stated he had bone spurs in his feet, and therefore received a draft deferment. If that was factual, how is he able to continually play 18 holes of golf and walk across the tarmac to get on Air Force One every week to fly to one of his rallies with no limp at all now? These presidents showed Americans how to shirk our responsibilities to our country, and to the greater good. I postulate that their actions showed many Americans that they too didn’t need to be responsible to the country. We’ve become a country of people that only care about themselves.
The purpose of this guest editorial is to hopefully make us all think about our responsibility to our country and possibly help us to relearn about our commitment to not only do what we can to help our country in times of difficulty, but also step up and abide by the directives that have been set forth to help prevent further COVID-19 infections! Hopefully we can move beyond the red and blue mindsets, stop thinking about “me” and prioritize the “we.” We’re all in this together, we’re all Americans, so let’s try to work toward a greater good for everyone and help bring an end this pandemic! Please stay healthy and gives thanks to our doctors and nurses across the country.
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Skier, mountaineer, environmental activist and Park City resident Caroline Gleich writes that Andy Beerman’s commitment to the climate is vital to Park City’s future.