Lance Scranton: Civil, prudent and courageous
December 1, 2015
Suppose we all agreed that climate change and saving the world from itself was much more important than possible terrorists emigrating to our homeland. If we all agreed then we would meet for the next two weeks in some foreign country (what happened to conference calls, Skyping, or Facetime — especially if we all agree that climate change is an immediate, must-solve, issue) to hammer out an agreement to reduce our "footprint" on mother earth so she could breathe a little easier, cool down, then suddenly peace and tranquility would break out all over the planet.
I do long for the days of relative peace (although I do answer "never" when students ask me when we have had a peaceful planet) when the big wall was torn down in Germany and the USSR cried uncle. For about two years, if memory serves, it seemed like things were about to get all utopia and bright! Then some country went rogue and we were back at it again with an American presence being requested to halt the progress of a random dictatorial government and their conspirators.
Some accuse me of getting old and grumpy (and you know who you are) when I regurgitate my favorite Patrick Henry quote and tell them that the best way to deal with our current malaise is to be civil, prudent and courageous. I'm told more times than I care to hear that the candidate I might think would make America a proud nation again, is a narcissistic xenophobe. While not very civil, they seem to have it all figured out, except they support a habitual liar who changes positions more than I do watching the Broncos play (especially if they are losing).
Prudence just means that we aren't going to make excuses for every single person who has an axe to grind when they get themselves into situations of their own free will and choosing. If you can afford to attend college (mom and dad, or a student loan) but all you see around you is white privilege and need trigger warnings when studying American history; then I'm at a loss for how you're going to be successful anywhere except staying in school and getting a PhD in whining and complaining.
Courage just means that you'll shout from the rooftops (if need be) that this America is a great place to live. Yet if we keep listening to the people who tell us we are the problem and should be more tolerant, respectful and agreeable, then I will have to respectfully disagree. I will prudently explain that not everyone deserves to be tolerated, respected and agreed with especially if they are violating our right to liberty, and I won't be afraid to defend the very people who make the American experience worth living (and you know who you are).