Serving Our Nation vs. Serving Ourselves

On this Veterans Day let me say thank you to everyone who has served in our military forces, willing to risk life and limb for the defense of our nation.  Let me also send out a hearty Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines in honor of yesterday’s 235th birthday of our beloved Corps.

The very notion that a person would be willing to sacrifice his life for his country is alien to most Americans.  Our nation is infected with a narcissism that is displayed by extreme consumerism— eating and drinking ourselves to death and maxing out our credit cards on every hot item that comes along.  It has no sense of the future or the past.  It has no sense of the world that exists outside the shell of the self-immersed.  It is visible in our major political parties, both of whom bow to Wall Street.  While being inherent in our human psyche, this narcissism is exacerbated by our capitalist economic system that teaches us that only material gain and personal security have merit.  Our religions, all of which teach us to love our neighbor as ourself, seem powerless to subdue it.  To the narcissist, there are no great causes to which one can, or should, lend himself.

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Memorial Day

Yesterday I was reminded that there is more to being a councilman than solving the pothole problem and finding funds for the fire department.  My first Memorial Day parade found me in a pickup riding down Main St. throwing candy to the kids and waving to friends and supporters.  Although many of us prefer to stay out of the spotlight and just attend to the “peoples’ business”, you need to show your face to those who elected you.

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