America has a fucking drug problem. America has a poverty problem. America has a classicism problem. America has an oppression problem. America has a racism problem. America itself is becoming a fucking problem and I am determined to turn the tide. I swore an oath to defend with my life the Constitution. Not the flag. Not the anthem. Not the elected (yeah right) representatives of the government. Not our land borders. Not our State borders. Not even for any single person or people. Certainly not for money (for myself or anyone else). Not for any fucking god or religion. THE CONSTITUTION.
In case you don’t know – this is the oath Enlisted service members commit to:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
To defend the rights and freedoms outlined by a group of enlightened people who yearned to be free. People who wanted to escape oppression. People who didn’t want to see their hard-earned money taken to add another ruby to a crown. People who wanted to be free to study, to explore, to educate and advance society (seriously, read some of the books our founders wrote and you won’t need a constitutional law degree to learn their intent and purpose). Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.
Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. That’s all you really need to know about our Constitution. As a service member, we can know if our orders are lawful if they support the intent of the Constitution. We go to war to keep the bad guys (whoeverthefucktheymightbe) from taking away the opportunity for Americans to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty basic really (our founders were pretty fucking smart).
Let’s break the basics down. Life. What do we need for life as human beings? Everyone needs at least three things; food, water, shelter. These are not negotiable. If there is an American citizen (or a person from another country we have welcomed here because we are the “land of opportunity) who lives without these three things we have failed as a country. We have failed to realize the dreams and goals of our founders. We have completely forgotten what our flag, pledge, and anthem symbolizes. When we say this person deserves food because they work hard, and another person doesn’t because they don’t we are eliminating their chance at life. You can not enjoy liberty, or pursue happiness if you are busy trying to simply eat, find clean water, or shelter yourself. The circumstances of people who find themselves lacking these three things are irrelevant. In our country, our Constitution GUARANTEES these things WITHOUT CONDITION. So my personal opinion about WHY a person is homeless doesn’t fucking matter. As an American, I do not want any other American whether I like them or not to be homeless, hungry, or thirsty.
Liberty. What do you suppose that means in a very basic sense? Liberty to choose a career. Liberty to serve your country. Liberty to make a shit ton of money and stash it overseas. Liberty to run for elected office. Liberty to educate yourself. Liberty to seek opportunity and alter your circumstance. Liberty to worship or practice whatever fairy tale you want or the liberty to not worship or practice religion. Liberty to defend yourself and your property. Liberty to own property to protect. Liberty to speak out about anything your little heart desires. Liberty to raise a family. Liberty to abandon your family. Liberty to start a business. Liberty to pursue creative endeavours. Liberty is a pretty awesome thing. Not everyone in the world enjoys such freedom. Again though, we can’t enjoy any liberty until we have the first thing (which is why our Constitution guarantees the right to LIFE first).
The pursuit of happiness. That’s the interesting one really. Happiness is a feeling. Happiness ebbs and flows like anger, joy, grief, and sadness. To pursue happiness. What makes people feel happy? Depends on the person – that’s why LIBERTY is listed before happiness. See the progression here? You can’t be happy without liberty, and you can’t have liberty without being able to survive. If what makes you happy doesn’t harm others – you have the liberty to do it here. Even if I really don’t like what makes you happy. Also, the Constitution doesn’t say everyone achieves happiness it simply says we have the right to chase after it.
I had intended a very different subject this morning (I was going to write about the addiction problem in America and my ridiculous drug addled sex worker neighbours)… what came out though is my love for the ideas my country was founded on. Fuck identity politics, fuck other peoples opinions. Break down the basics and remind yourself WHY we are supposed to be the greatest and freest country in the world. Break down the basics and remember why immigrants come here. Break down the basics and remind yourselves that Flint, MI is STILL without clean drinking water. Break down the basics and see if your elected officials are holding up these values and if they aren’t GET RID OF THEM. Our country is polarized right now because we have lost sight of the fact that our opinions and experiences have no bearing on the rights and freedoms GUARANTEED to us by our Constitution. We are so angry about what we perceive other people are doing we don’t even enjoy the freedoms we are granted. I can’t pursue happiness when I’m spending all my time being pissed off people for eating, or demanding fair treatment, or protesting oppression however they see fit. I’m just mad. I am denying MYSELF my rights. I am actually the one responsible for my lack of happiness because I’m too stressed about how some stranger exercises their rights.
Drop the anger. Pursue your happiness. Enjoy your liberty while allowing others to enjoy (or earn) theirs. Support life for everyone; we are one of the wealthiest and well-defended countries in the world. There is no reason that every single American should not be able to obtain or be provided Food, water, and shelter. There is no reason to deny anyone’s liberties (as long as they do no harm to others and follow our laws). There is no reason to impede anyone’s pursuit of happiness.
What an amazing country we can have if we just embraced even the very basics of our constitution and elected those individuals who are determined to see that every American is afforded the rights and freedoms America represents.