To my dearest grandchildren,

 

I’m sorry.

 

I’m sorry we forgot where we came from. We used to have standards and convictions. We used to fight for what we believed in. We still fight, it’s just we don’t believe in anything anymore.

Somewhere along the way we forgot who we were. Americans. That word used to mean something. I’m sure you must not have any idea what I’m talking about, what with the banning of the flag and National Anthem and anything remotely patriotic, but we used to be proud of our country. We exchanged that pride for comfort and our convictions for non-confrontation and we sold out your future in the process.

America used to be the land where dreams come true, where the little guy could make it big. It seems the little guys decided instead of making an effort they’d rather just get rid of the big guys. Everyone stopped caring, stopped progressing, stopped trying.

Oh, I’ll admit, it sounded great at the time. Free healthcare, free housing, free education, eventually free food and easy jobs. Sure, we paid higher taxes, but we didn’t have any bills so after the initial shock, no one much cared anymore. No one was thinking of you, we only cared about ourselves.

Then they got us. I know it sounds silly. How could we be so blind to realize nothing is ever free, that everything comes with a price? To this day, I can’t tell you how it happened, except that it happened slowly.

We woke up one day, realizing we needed the government to do everything for us, except some of us didn’t wake up. We were so entrenched in this state of over-dependence, we couldn’t provide for ourselves; and why would we, there were no incentives anymore. There were no somebodies, we were all the same; average. Worse than average, we were helpless little babies. But, by then, there was no going back.

I’m sorry most of all because of missed opportunities. If we had only stopped to think about where we were headed, how our decisions might affect future generations, affect you, we could have stopped it. But, we forgot.

See, we used to have the ability to vote, as Americans. I know that’s hard for you to believe now, but it’s true. We voted on lots of things, laws, leaders, policies; but most importantly, we voted on who should run the government. Well, after a string of bad choices, leaders who over-promised and under-delivered, or were otherwise downright corrupt, we bought into the lie that casting our vote for the lesser of two evils was the only way. Unfortunately, our options just kept getting more and more evil as each election cycle passed.

There used to be two parties. At one time, they were both concerned with the American people and our way of life. However, one of those parties, called the Democratic Party, decided America should be like every other nation in the world and they fought to fundamentally change our nation. The other party, called the Republican Party, did not feel that way and they were seen as the more conservative party by default. The trouble really began when the Republican Party stopped being true to itself and sold out to beat the Democratic Party at all costs, and I do mean all costs.

But, we really can’t blame the parties. After all, parties are just people. We bought the lie that to be conservative meant selling out to stop liberals. We forgot that the essence of conservatism is standing up for what you believe.

Never forget that. As long as you live, never forget that.

We also bought the lie that we were obligated to give our vote, our right as an American citizen, to one of these parties. But, they had already become out of control monstrosities, fueled by lies and anger. The true conservatives tried to stay away, but it seemed the monster would always suck them in by guilt-tripping them over not casting their vote for the “conservative” party.

We forgot we were Americans. Suddenly, we were Democrats and Republicans. We had no unifying banner. (I am certain that’s why the flag is now banned. Our flag used to be the banner that united us…until we could no longer see the value in unity.) We bought the lie hook, line, and sinker that to not vote, or to vote for someone who actually did stand for what we believed in, was throwing our vote away or, worse yet, voting anti-conservative.

The trouble with that logic was there was no conservative to vote for. There hadn’t been a truly conservative candidate for President in quite some time. Yet, we kept feeding our votes to the monster. Throwing away our votes on someone who did not stand up for what we believed in for fear we would be throwing them away on someone who did.

I know, it all sounds ridiculous. But, fear drives people to do really stupid things, like abandon their convictions for the sake of a political game. It’s a slippery slope to get where you stand today. It takes a little bit of a sell out here and little bit of a buy in there to finally arrive at this place.

So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you never knew the freedom we once tasted. I’m sorry you were born an American, because it doesn’t mean anything anymore. I’m sorry that I tried, but not hard enough. I tried…

I only hope you can find some way to undo the mess we made. It begins by standing up for what you believe in no matter how improbable an outcome it may afford. If you must die on the battlefield of truth, then die a thousand deaths before buying the lie. Maybe one day, your grandchildren can know the America I once loved.

Sincerely Yours,

Grandpa