Friday, November 24, 2006

Being Thankful and Being Responsible

Now I haven't linked to the big gun bloggers before because, well, they're big gun bloggers and already have tons of links pointing their way. But now that I think about it, me not linking probably has more to do with the fact that nothing they were saying really hit me hard.

I surfed over to Michelle Malkin's blog and read her post What American Journalists Should Be Thankful For. Its moving because she discusses all the places where journalists are having a much harder time and are even being killed because they've chosen to be critical about what's going on around them and then she turns that discussion to our own media elite.

Her observations have inspired me to get preachy, so you've been warned.

Americans should never loose sight of the benefits we have just by having US citizenship. However, we must also be responsible. We need to recognize that there are other countries that also have progressive policies. I don't know how many times I've had to deal with someone assuming that South Korea is almost as repressive and backwards as North Korea. With that, I get offended on behalf of the country that I've lived in for the last six years and usually flatten their assumptions fairly quickly.

So, yes, as Americans we have so much to be thankful for. As citizens of the most powerful nation on the globe, we also have the responsibility to take advantage of our access to this wealth of information and educate ourselves about that globe. Actually, a lot of us need to access information just to learn about our own history. When I watched the Thanksgiving episode of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno the Jaywalking segment wasn't very funny to me (if I can find a link to the video, I'll link it but NBC is pretty tough regarding NBC videos on YouTube or other sites.) Most people he spoke to couldn't answer BASIC questions about the origin of Thanksgiving. He also asked them to name the five branches of the US military and most couldn't. That's not funny. It's irresponsible and shameful. I realize it was edited for comedic purposes and that it's very well possible that the majority of the people he spoke with DID have a clue but it was edited to appear that people did not. All I can say is regarding that is I really HOPE that is true because it was pathetic.

We should be very thankful to be sure, but we also have to mindful of what it means to live in a democracy. As a public that has the right to influence our government, we need to have the knowledge to evaluate our choices and the resolve to step up when things are going wrong.

We haven't been doing that, and it's time we change.

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