This happy-go-lucky guy here is former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. This picture was taken in 1976, while he was campaigning in Flint, Michigan. It’s a hell of a picture, might I add.
This picture is great in many ways. I mean, you just don’t see a president jumping in the air, waiving to the crowd with a huge smile on his face very often. In fact, you don’t see presidents walking the street much anymore. Thanks a lot, Lee Harvey Oswald, you jerk. Any how, the picture is even better, when you take into account that it was taken in Flint: one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Yes, today it is considered especially dangerous for women, but it was just as dangerous for everyone in the 70’s. You could say that Pres. Carter was in fact putting his life on the line for the presidency.
Today in my writing class, we were having a discussion about what ideas or beliefs that we would be willing to give our lives for. The three main causes that were brought up were our country, our families, and freedom. When our professor Kevin (Hello Kevin) asked us to raise our hands if we would die for the causes given, the class was mostly mixed. About half the class claimed that they would die for their country, while everybody said that they would die for their loved ones. Me personally, I didn’t say that I would die for my country.
That sounds like a crappy thing to say, but my country isn’t as apparent of a concept to me as my family. I know family, I love my family, and I would have a reason to die for them; they are real to me. My country on the other hand, what does it mean to me? Yes, I live here and it’s a great place, but what am I dying for, if I die for my country? It just isn’t a concept that it wholly attainable to me. When I think of what I’d be dying for, I think of politicians that don’t know my name, or anything about me. they wouldn’t care if I died.
Thinking deeper into it however, I realize that dying for my country would be dying for my family, and for everyone who was close to me. I would die so that they could remain free, so that the country they know and love would still be there for them. So I guess you could say that I would die for my country.
Alright, now we’re going to go back to Jimmy Carter again. During his presidency, he dealt with the Hostage Crisis in Iran (where 52 Americans were held hostage in the USA embassy for 444 days), as well as the Russian/Afghani war. President Carter made the decision not to expend American lives to either cause, which in my opinion was the right move. War is a terrible thing, but sometimes it is necessary. If President Carter decided that the US would directly intervene in either situation, there would have been dire consequences, like a third world war.
Speaking of unnecessary wars, here’s a list of some: The current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dessert Storm, Vietnam, Korea. Those wars were pointless in my opinion, we had/have no reason being there. We were fighting for “freedom,” which was really more like American Imperialism. I wont get into this right now, but just know that I’m not a supporter. World War II? We were right to get into that. That really was a war for freedom. The concept of freedom is quite abstract, though I’m sure those without freedom would be able to describe it better than us. What I mean by that is nobody can know true freedom until they know utter oppression. In the case of WWII, we fought for the freedom of the countries that were occupied by Axis forces at the time. They were being oppressed, they had their freedom taken away from them by some seriously evil men. In our recent modern wars, what are we really fighting for? the vague concept of freedom? Freedom from who and what? I’m not quite sure. Yes, I know the Middle East is a hot spot for terrorist activities and that is what we are really fighting. It seems like a gallant idea, but I don’t know if it’s worth spending American lives. I don’t think that it is a cause that i would give my life for.