Speak softly but carry a big stick.

The national networks continue to show the latest disasters, both man-made and natural. They also continue to show the United States and our president traveling around the world. Usually there’s a mention of Syria and Ukraine. Today there was also a mention of North Korea and Japan. Some of the stories show VP Biden and the United States as they travel to different countries and areas. All of this diplomacy reminded me of Pres. Roosevelt’s statement,” speak softly but carry a big stick”.

Somehow, decades later, we have ended up doing the opposite. The United States continues to threaten countries like Russia, Syria and northern Korea to name a few. Instead of behind-the-scenes negotiations we have ended up trying to be the bully of the world, bullys usually get their way by just threatening people. Now it seems that is exactly what the United States is doing. We have lost the big stick and now just threatening people rather than acting. I know that I do not want to send troops to any other country. Our involvement in other governments, in their countries, has been less than effective for the United States of America. So I believe we are not likely to send troops to any other part of the world for another decade. I also think that other countries, who do not share the same values and ideals as the United States, know that we are not going to war or will send troops to their country. Those countries of a smaller nature than the United States of America have in the past aligned themselves with the United States. It is sort of like the people who align themselves with the bully so they can have the bully’s protection. Much like the advice we give our children (or that I got)when you meet a bully in school. If the bully is confronted especially by more than one of the people he pushes around, the bully will lose his power and soon those who surround him will leave. Russia’s Pres. Putin certainly has recognized this, so has the Syria president and North Korea’s young leader. When I hear of the United States sending money to those people who oppose Russia’s, Syria’s and North Korea’s governments I start to get irritated. We could certainly use those monies at home whether it’s battling homeless, children’s education and cancer or drug addictions in our country.

I believe, unless shown a clear and present danger from those countries, the United States of America should allow the people that live in those countries choose their fate. There will always be two sides to an argument and in each of those countries both sides feel they’re in the right. If people in Ukraine want to live back under the Russian control they should decide that. If it doesn’t work they will break away from the Russian control again. But that will be their choice. If the leadership in Syria continues to use unpopular methods to keeping the control, let their citizens fight that battle. As it was shown in the Arab spring, many of the long-time leaders fell. Not because of United States of America’s wishes, but because the citizens of those countries had just had enough. Not unlike a time when the United States of America broke away from the English rule, our forefathers died in that cause. The people of those countries also paid a heavy price. And now a few of them believe they made a mistake and want to go back to the previous regime. Why not let them do what they believe is right and their country.

I know that with our existing Congress that our president has little to no power in his existing term. I’m sure that foreign governments know the same thing. Short of saying that our government is broken, it is sort of like inert gas. They know it exists but it has little effect. I believe after World War II the United States became a superpower. And at that time only Russia claimed to be at the same level. Russia fell apart and China became strong, the United States stood alone as a superpower. But, like history has shown, all superpowers or empires eventually diminish. Mainly because they had stretched their control too far from home. If you have the capability to watch news programs that are generated from other countries, the United States of America is shown as becoming a week power. This is not to say that we are too weak or finished on the world stage. But I think were out of condition. We have extended our power too far and wide. Much like England experienced as its sphere of control diminished in the last century, I think we should use the same policy and procedures that have been used by leaders for centuries. I think we should withdraw and reinforce our country. That does not mean that we quit but rather we need to withdraw replenish our resources to become strong again. I’m not just talking about gas or oil. I’m talking about replenishing our most cherished resource our people. I think it is time that we stop sending money to other nations to influence the government. Let’s pull back from that and reinvest that money into our own people and country. I think the United States is exhausted and needs to concentrate what resources it has and to getting us healthy again. Without giving the money away to the people in this country, let’s find a way so that we can help ourselves: the development of new jobs, the elevation of education and the concentration on health and environmental protection. I have always believed that in every family there is that person that is the rock. They’re on solid ground with firm beliefs. With that rock as its center the family can gather around and improve to get healthy. Some of the strongest rocks I have ever been privileged to meet where those grandmothers and mothers: in the inner cities, in the suburbs and in the country that have taken up the slack of lost parents and partners. Whether the parents or partner were lost by death, injury or by the abuse of narcotics, those grandmothers and mothers stood as rocks and cared for their children and their grandchildren. This is not to say that their grandfathers that are in the picture. But it is my observation that the grandmothers and mothers of this world deserve a lot of credit.

Those grandmothers and mothers may have grown up in a time when their families were strong and healthy (like the United States of America in the last century) and then (to no fault of their own) their world changed. And to their credit, they regrouped they reinforced and found the resources to be the rock keep the family going.

I am not a doomsday believer. I do not believe that we are at such a critical time that all will come crumbling down. We (the citizens of the United States) are tired, wearing and close to exhaustion. We need to pull back take another look at our situation and replace our energies and resources to become strong again. We must not disappear from the world stage but we do not have to be a superpower. Just because we think things should go a certain way doesn’t mean that everybody should feel the same way. I think the diversity is good for the earth and its people. I choose to live in the United States of America because it is my home. I cannot justify the United States of America telling other nations and their people on how they should live. Not everyplace should be a democracy. The United States of America cannot continue to act like a bully. When we draw a line and tell the other side not to cross it or there will be repercussions, then when that line is crossed we should act quickly and decisively. If we don’t do that then don’t draw lines. If there’s a clear and present danger to the United States we should act quickly. Hopefully, it will not be a repeat of President Bush and Iraq, where weapons of mass destruction did not exist. It is time to retreat from many of the foreign countries and replenish our resources. Then as a stronger country and people we can go forward but hopefully will do so speak softly and carry a big stick.



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