A Citizen's Test

Freedom of speech will be our very undoing.
If we do not decide to become more aware of our course.
And of what this country stands for and what we have declared.
For we are a country founded by free thinkers and radicals.
People who were well versed and educated men.

Now we stand at a time of drastic division.
Separated not by our freedoms but by our differences.
As people continue to speak out about what they believe true.
We must remember our history and remember the fifty-thousand foot view.
That if we forget our history we will continue to become unglued.

For we are a country of free thinkers and always have been.
But what is a thought if it is blankly begot? Nothing but ignorance is all you have got.
On issues we should know and hold dear to our hearts.
Know them not because it is a chore, but because it should be our obligation.
To know where we came from and where we are going, we must remember the civics
that founded this nation.

So with that said I declare a test for all who speak out.
A test that you must pass before you shout out.
A test you must pass before you cast each vote.
A test you must pass if you want to speak of your rights.
A test you must pass in order to truly understand your blight.

A Citizen’s Test that all must pass. Before they get up and are able to bombast.
Now this test should not be difficult, but something we should already know.
With the history of our declaration and constitution bestowed.
And as we pass this test each year we will earn our freedoms we so easily abuse.
Freedoms that great men and thinkers have given us as a gift.
Freedoms we abuse when we stand up and speak of Socialism and Fascism when miffed.

A Citizen’s Test for all I declare. Not because I condemn thee but because
I lift up our history for all of us to see. Because if we know not where we came from, how can
we know where we will go? If we know not where we came from we will reap what we sow.
If we know not where we came from our ignorance will surely prevail.

Comments

  • this is very well written and passionate, and on some level true, and appeals to a sense of moderate patriotism that in itself would probably be good for this country, and so i support this idea as it would be progress compared to all the animals screaming and shouting, playing with political ideas as though they were children playing an imaginary game without consequences. as woody allen calls them in his recent movie Whatever Works, ‘inchworms.’

    but i would like to expand the ideas a little bit, and argue against the value of national pride for the sake of the coming global community, as the world gets more and more deeply integrated.

    although our country was founded by many enlightened and very profound thinkers, and i agree, i have a very deep respect for those historical figures, we must also acknowledge that it might be time to ‘do what they did’ instead of trying to preserve what they built.

    perhaps it is time for a new foundation, and a new house, and a new set of founding fathers and mothers. that is what i hope globatron will do in its most expansive manifestation. i hope, in my lifetime, to see an end to patriotism, and to see the beginning of unity through the acceptance of all human dignity, with perhaps a growing sense of regional love, but tempered by a growing love of the earth as an integrated system.

    i believe that the particular information you are advocating for does qualify as historical knowledge that a person ‘should’ know, and that to me seems ‘self-evident’. the founding fathers were capable of this idea, the idea that some truths are self-evident, that takes a kind of intellectual courage that is hard to find nowadays.

    but i would simply say that the set of principles we are advocating for are prerequisites, not for citizenship, but something greater, a foundational set of tools to belong to the innate unfolding of tomorrow’s world, the one that is a mix of the instincts of the banal masses, in constant struggle with the small numbers of people working tirelessly to add some consciousness into the new sources of social change, that are becoming more and more automatic, systems that self-replicate.

    those are my thoughts, great post, and wonderful writing, the rhythm and style is getting very rich.

    akbar

  • Great input Akbar. I would like to also eventually see a right of passage for Global citizenship or better yet Universal citizenship.

    I do however think citizenship should be earned. I don’t think it should be a birth right. But as far as a small term goal in dealing with the nuances of our current national debate on the issues I would hope there is a level of intelligence about one’s government that is backing up the thoughts and goals of the one’s speaking their mind, by using this freedom of speech we so cherish.

    I was on the Fox News web site yesterday and I was advocating that folks should look at the record of General McChrysal as he was the General directly in control of the Pat Tillman cover up.
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090525/zirin2

    I find this connection quote significant as now he’s advocating a 40 thousand soldier troop surge into Afghanistan. I wonder how folks can so easily back this man after that scandal? I wonder how he’s still a General even?

    But back to the point at hand, while making this point, all I got back in return for debate were some folks calling me a dick and a douche bag. Someone called me a communist and unAmerican. The usual rhetoric.

    That was the replies I got from the right wingers on FoxNews.com yesterday. I did not expect anything more. I was validated in a way by this low level of discourse.

    I really want to think Globally, but it seems if we can’t make the foreign policy choices we need here in the U.S. to help positively affect the world then we will continually be handicapped by our ignorance. It’s a collective ignorance. I claim no superiority. I just see a country that is slowly falling apart. The sad thing is with our freedom to speak out and say whatever we want, we are slowly showing that general ignorance of the one’s who are speaking out.

    The GOP often says “the people” have spoken and they don’t want healthcare reform. I truly believe that the people have not spoken. They have watched as a fringe group of uneducated people hogged the media stage and dictated their anti-government agenda for the past three months while the majority of Americans have sat back befuddled that the level of discourse has come down to a screaming and yelling match with assault rifles.

    So with that said, America should raise its standards. We have set the bar for citizenship too low. It is my belief that the average naturalized citizen is more American than an American citizen by birthright who generally can’t pass the test that naturalized citizens have to pass in order to become what most of us take for granted.

    Thanks for your input. I always appreciate the deep thoughts of Akbar Lightning. Maybe his Lightning might shine down from the heavens upon us all.

  • ap

    so, by your own acount, people should pass a test before a new citzen can vote? And, I test before they can be a citizen?

    By the way…I agree…That is exactly what my grandfather had to do in 1922.

    poI am an immigrants grandson. He came here with nothing but a dream and hope. He would not teach his children the Italian language because he came to America to be American.

    Anyway my grandfather earned his citizenship. And since then, we have too but I wonder if we still understand what it means to be American.

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