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The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Laramie Boyd
You Can't Go Home Again
2016 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Laramie at
ecrboyd@aol.com
        "So, my boy, you say you want to go back down and live in the good old U.S.A. I'll tell you, this is the first time anyone has ever wanted to leave this place. Why is that? Are you tired of it here? Is it too peaceful? Are you bored? What is it? You've only been here for 50 years. What's not to like about this place? Get used to it."
        "Gee God, this is a great place. I know it's been 50 years since I unexpectedly arrived here, but all that warm sunshine, nice friendly people and good food down on Earth. Like chocolate cake and oranges and t-bone steaks. Who wouldn't want that? Saturday football games, Christmas presents, and people buying tickets to the moon. Can't wait to buy one of those. And the new Dairy Queen ice-cream, Blizzards. Wow! I remember my first date, my first kiss, and those great movies. I want to live it again. Why would it be a problem if I went back? Some people believe that after we die we return to Earth in some different form. Why can't I return in the same form? You can do anything, right?"
        "I'll have to think about that, my boy. Although you apparently haven't been watching the goings on down there very carefully. To say that things have changed since you left is an understatement, to say the least. I've got some old newspapers from Earth stored away. You ought to read some of the headlines and find out what's happening on old terra firma."
        "For example, did you know that the good old U.S.A. is no longer the safest, most desired, most influential nation that it once was? There's a new man in the White House who doesn't think it's important, or even desirable, for America to be at the forefront of worldwide financial, industrial and military defense matters. He wants the country to be just another run-of-the-mill place to live, not the protector of the democratic way of life it once was."
        "Another thing that might surprise you, son, it seems like there's a shooting somewhere almost every other day. Crazy gunmen breaking into schools and shooting up the place, killing dozens of students and teachers. Or at shopping malls, and churches, anywhere there are crowds of people. And groups of people who blow up buildings in New York City. These murderers are called terrorists now, people who are out to disrupt the way of life not only of the United States, but other countries as well. Their motto is 'Death to the infidel', which to them means Americans. Add to this the number of killings the police of many cities are involved in. Under sometimes suspicious circumstances, the police have shot and killed unarmed citizens, and often they are black people. And that really riles up the black community, and so they riot in the streets and local authorities either don't want to step in and halt the looting and burning, or they just don't know how to handle the situation. They want to be "politically correct." That's a new term for taking away free speech. It's like the police are afraid of the law-breakers instead of the other way around. And the law-breakers aren't held accountable. Some officials, mostly blacks, believe it's just citizens who are redressing grievances against the government, a right, of course, given by the Constitution in the United States." "My boy, do you know that in the U.S. pregnant women can get their unborn child surgically removed before it's due date, legally, just because they don't want it? Murder by scalpel it is. The life I gave the fetus just snuffed out, sometimes on a whim. Then there's the government itself. Oh how the elected officials have changed. The Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything. And neither party is willing to sit down and compromise and agree on a single solution to all the problems the country has. It's like they don't want what's best for America but what's best for their political party or themselves, or both. And mostly they dwell on things they think will get them the most votes in the next election. The country is more divided than it's ever been, with no plan by the government to try to improve things, other than spending and giving away money they don't have. Cheating and lying goes on in the government at will, from the top on down, daily."
        "But God, aren't they all Americans, and don't they all want the same things? Like freedom, justice, peace, a strong military, less government telling them how to live, opportunities to have a better life than their parents and grand-parents had, based on hard work and a good education? Aren't these still the things they all want?"
        "My boy, you have no idea how things have changed. Where have you been? Don't you watch or listen to the goings on down below? Haven't you heard of the internet, and computers, the greatest, and worst, invention of man? How, with hand-held or desk-top devices, you can communicate with anyone on Earth instantly, and how what used to be private information, now the government can monitor everything you say. And anyone who knows how to manipulate the device can overhear or read what you say and see what you write. Nothing is private anymore. Intimate conversations are open books to the world. And people are losing jobs and careers for private statements they have made to friends on this new medium. Privacy no longer exists. Believe it or not, kids hardly talk to each other now. They write out messages on these devices constantly, at school, in restaurants, at home. Every where people go, they carry them around and stare into screens like robots. Machines are taking the place of interpersonal, face-to-face contact.
        "Believe it or not, son, recently it was discovered that church leaders have been fondling young boys and girls. Coaches of athletic teams, even Boy Scout leaders, have been accused of child molestation, and the number of people who believe in Me is going downhill, fast. It might shock you, but men are getting legal approval to marry other men, women to marry other women. Boys who want to be girls are getting medical procedures to change their anatomy to try to become girls, and girls to boys."
        "And the drug use of teenagers as well as adults is getting out of control. Church attendance is going down. Seems like half the country is on some kind of welfare and the recipients are not spending it wisely. Workers are getting jobs just because they are a certain race, criminals are being let out of jail before their sentence is up, and citizens can easily get automatic weapons. And these guns are surely not for hunting or target practice. The government is taking Christ out of Christmas, prayer out of schools, "In God We Trust" off coins. As of now the 'good old days' are history."
        "God, you sure aren't painting a very pretty picture of the place that meant so much to me. I remember when every American was proud as could be to be living there, with all the benefits and freedoms available for those who wanted to work for them. What happened? Why, or how, or who let this happen?"
        "Good question, my boy. You want to think long and hard about wanting to go back to a place that is hardly recognizable from what you once knew it to be. Many an American says it doesn't measures up to what it once was. And frankly, I agree with those people. Something went wrong somewhere. Think of it. Professional athletes who have been arrested for beating their wives or girlfriends, or betting on their team, operating death- to-the-loser dog fights, or even some accused of murder, are still allowed to be on the professional football, basketball, or baseball teams. Criminals in jail are getting free condoms to use on each other "safely." In elementary schools, boys and girls can choose which toilet they want to go to. And the government is letting illegal immigrants into the country en masse, with no way of following up on their whereabouts to see whether or not they are breaking laws or fulfilling other requirements in order for them to stay in the country and maybe someday become a citizen. These illegal people are getting benefits from the government that even millions of homeless people, who are American citizens, can't get."
        "You ask me, son, how did this happen? God only knows, I guess. And I'm not sure that's close to being right, because I'M not sure. Everybody has their own answer to that question. It's almost like many people don't even care. So many folks seem to be sitting back, getting their paycheck from Uncle Sam, and wasting the money away on cell phones, computers, drugs, rock concerts, or any current advertisement that gives them temporary satisfaction. But there's one thing for sure. The government doesn't seem to be willing or able to get a hold of what's happening to the country so as to try to turn the tide and bring back the image and reality of America's historical place among countries. Morally, spiritually, financially, militarily, educationally, or by any other gauge used, the country is in a state of affairs like we don't even want to imagine. What will the country be like when our grandkids and great-grandkids grow up, that's the question? Those who stand by and believe the Ship-of-State is upright are being fooled by their own ignorance and lying politicians. The ship is floundering, sinking, and needs to be righted. And Washington D.C. turns their cheeks the other way. And the circus, also known as the presidential campaigns, that is going on right now, has the country split and wondering what's going on. Candidates within the same party can't agree on what they think is best for the country. Looks to me like Old Glory is unfurled over a place that is going through a meltdown like a snowball headed for Hell.   Wish I was wrong, but I don't think I am."
        "You know, God. What you've said to me breaks my heart. I once loved America, when I lived there. There was no place else I wanted to be or even think about going to live. No other country had as many people from other countries wanting to come to America, and for good reason. It was the best place on Earth, bar none. I guess I'll give it some thought about wanting you to let me go back and visit it again. It sounded like such a good idea at first. I mean, I would have gone back in a heartbeat. Can I get back to you on this. I need to regroup and fill in some blanks. Thanks so much for the update, God. Maybe I'll stick around here for the duration. Maybe it's not such a bad place up here after all."