Apathy—the Disease Taking Over America

March 3, 2008
There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t drive past their house without a thought of him. No matter the day, weather, nor the holiday season, his parents proudly display their American flag serving as a constant reminder of his ultimate sacrifice. They somehow find within themselves to speak at assemblies, attend sporting events, and go on with their daily lives. One would never guess their only son died in a helicopter crash while fighting for our safety in Iraq just three years ago.

The Etterling family to me epitomizes a classic example of the true American Family. Looking back to critical times in our country’s history, WWI and WWII stick out as they seemed to have affected every household and community. Yet, families appeared to take pride in their sons and daughters valiant efforts to defend our nation’s freedoms. Black and white pictures of the military from that era show them smiling and having a good time. Soldiers appeared to see the military as their opportunity to give to their country what it had given to them.

In the world we live in today though, more people join the military as a way to pay for a higher education, not a debt to our country. War is seen as a travesty. All of our nation’s problems are considered the fault of our president. Therefore, anything our government supports, we oppose. Although it is the duty of the American populace to check and even question our government, we must compromise and represent some level of dignity, pride, and most importantly love for the one thing that unites us all: our homeland.

As voters, our fellow countrymen and women must realize and take responsibility for government officials. It is our voices and actions that placed them in the position that they are to make the policies and decisions that they do. So rather than blaming the elected, we must instead blame the electors. It is absurd to think that less than a century ago unimportant women rose out of a shell to fight for women’s suffrage, yet many women today cannot find a few minutes to take advantage of that right. An entire Civil War was fought so that minorities such as African Americans would have equal rights to take part in the opportunities available in such a prosperous nation. Thus, everyone must take joy in the gift, responsibility, and right that we have as American citizens to vote.

Although I certainly do not support illegal immigrants, I do admire a spark that lies within them. Their understanding of rough living conditions and “no work” give them a magnificent boost as to make something of themselves. Such a burning desire pushes them to perform labor very cheaply, but with such astounding effort. It is sad and shameful to think foreigners come to our country to work harder than ourselves. What has happened to the American working class?

Honestly, members of society today have developed this impotent belief that everything should be handed to them in life. Some labor unions have lost their simple principles and have convinced workers that nothing is fair! Rather than working hard for a decent salary, people are turning to welfare and disability benefits as an easy way of life. The military has turned into a profession instead of a basic civil duty to one’s country. Basic liberties and freedoms that our soldiers have fought for and still are fighting for are overlooked and not taken advantage of. People disregard the law and put themselves above it, and when accused, American Civil Liberties Union lawyers fight that laws are unconstitutional and more often than not win!

Looking back at the creation of our United States of America, most would agree that our Founding Fathers would be ashamed of the nation we have turned into. The Patriots that dressed as Mohawks on the ships in Boston Harbor had no intentions of such corruption. Although they were careful to write a Constitution that would be able to survive through changing times, they had no idea America would lose the simple values and morals it was solely built upon. A sense of strong national unity the Framers assembled our government around is diminishing with each passing day. Respect for one self and thy neighbor is a hard commodity to envision in this era. Patriotism and a love for our wonderful country no longer exist.

So as we live through this social crisis of identity, we must remember and return to the liberal principles that our nation was created upon. Our responsibility as Americans to protect our countrymen and their freedoms should be viewed as prideful and dignified. We must teach future generations stronger values and work ethics so that they can take pride in themselves and their work, pressuring them further to succeed. Voting must be taken more seriously so we will truly have the best men and women for the job. Most importantly though, we must gain back a passion and sense of patriotism for our country. We must experience an exhilaration to see our flag and hear our national anthem. The fact that we sleep safely through the night because of the brave men and women protecting us overseas needs to submerge back into our minds. The reimbursement of strong morals and ideals is possibly the only cure for the spreading and contagious disease of apathy that is overtaking our nation today.

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