Like it or not America is a superpower. We can restrain some of the worst behavior of other nations if we choose. Will our generation’s legacy be indulging in domestic recriminations while dictators oppress and exploit? Or will we act like the people that we claim to be – committed to equality, freedom, justice, and opportunity?
In the last year about 150 million Americans voted. A much smaller number took to the streets and a minority of those broke the law. There were zealots on both sides. There were also good people who disagree with you.
Our real enemies hope we continue to bicker about the drama of the few thousand lawbreakers. They hope we will concentrate on our differences with other good people, instead of working together for good.
As you live your values you build legacy. What you support and what you tolerate show your values. Legacy is what people will say, think, and do because of your influence. Now is your time to use that influence.
The last few months have revealed amazing intensity, too much irrational behavior, and dangerous verbiage. Friend, my request, my plea, is that you use your character, your reputation, your standing, to be a moderating influence. Would you suggest thoughtfully, gently, consistently, that differing priorities are not treason? People who want different levels of taxation or benefits are not our national enemies.
Expect feedback, both good and bad. All or nothing thinking is not wise, nor is it accurate. Thinking well and deeply is extremely hard. We negotiate differences at home, in the neighborhood and at work. Negotiation is not betrayal. It is evidence of maturity.
Genuinely evil forces want us to focus our limited attention on the domestic political disagreements, and the outrageous statements and behavior of less than one tenth of 1% of our population.
China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea will be delighted if Americans get so angry at and mistrustful of each other that we ignore people who brainwash, enslave, exploit, murder or starve thousands or millions. Some foreign leaders are unhappy that people worship any god, other than the local dictators. Freedom of movement, speech, thought, and worship is prohibited in many counties that hate America. Tyrants can run unfettered if America wastes time fussing about the words or deeds of the extremists in the other party.
Whether you’re proud of or bothered by our national military capacity, we have a surprisingly good record for not exploiting other nations. Unfortunately, our history has too many bigots, ego maniacs and racists. Americans are people not angels.
Recall how the Philippines and Japan, with US involvement, fared compared with the nations trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Compare the two halves of Korea or the former East and West Germany.
Distractions can be deadly. There are documented cases where pilot and co-pilot were so focused on a faulty dial that they ignored more important and more valid data. Their plane crashed, killing everyone on board.
Ignore both party’s dramatic fringe. The world needs a sane, strong, compassionate nation which favors freedom, and justice, yet hates exploitation. What other nation could fill that position?
A couple of months ago, I wrote about civil war and pled for compassion, and cooperation. One multimillionaire reprimanded me strongly for that post. The post also generated the largest favorable response ever from people of both parties.
Resources and responsibility come as a package. In 1939 Americans had vast resources but did not want responsibility for world order. Axis powers began conquering neighbors. Americans tried to avoid the fight. Other nations understood that America’s response would likely determine whether freedom survived or not. Fortunately, America answered the call and freedom expanded. Germany and Japan have been our allies for 75+ years.
My vote is that we stop throwing mud pies at each other and instead use our influence to benefit the planet. Our real enemies hope we will remain in a hypnotic stupor ensnared by the bizarre words and deeds of a tiny fraction of the other tribe. Our foes wish for our domestic bickering. Our true enemies want to increase their oppression, unimpeded and unconcerned about accountability to freedom loving people.
What are your thoughts about American focus?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”