I was born and raised in England, one of my earliest memories was of having a street party to celebrate the marriage of Charles and Diana, it was a big deal, I mean a hugely big deal.
Looking back a couple of generations and people took enormous pride in their nationality, God Save the Queen. We had the draft and people truly felt like they belonged, England was an empire about 1/4 of the planet was under English rule.
Then we started to let go of our holdings, giving up territory, the were a lot of political reasons for this. Fast forward a couple of generations and we stop the draft, slowly the country begins to lose its national pride, St George’s Day is not longer really celebrated. The Royal family are no longer looked upon with respect. The only time we ever seem to care about the Royal family is upon a death, a marriage or some tabloid scandal.
There was a time when saying God save the Queen would get nods of agreement, now it is more likely to get a snide comment. England lost its sense of self, we used to be a country that worked well, that was a superpower, that had a true sense of pride. Those days are long gone, these days young people don’t feel the same way, they can’t find work, they look at immigrants as a source of pain or distain rather than as a potentially valuable asset. The government has become weak and ineffectual, sure when I was a kid I remember the complaints people had against Margaret Thatcher, but ultimately she was a powerful and determined leader. Who has governed with authority since then? John Major? David Cameron? Where are the strong leaders? Where is the Winston Churchill of this generation?
England is a candle that is nearing the end of its wick and will eventually be snuffed out, it will be absorbed into the European Union and eventually become what used to be. This is very sad, this is something that could have been prevented but is now all but guaranteed.
Lets look now to America, Land of the Free. Here in America (where I have lived for over 10 years) the sense of national pride is almost palpable, you can’t drive 5 minutes without seeing the national flag flying somewhere. The 4th July is a huge party that everyone celebrates. It is instilled from a young age that it is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Kids in school pledge an allegiance everyday before lessons start. It is truly a land with pride in itself, and well deserved. But….. what happens when the inevitable creep of seperation of church and state sets in? What happens when the tenants of the forefathers are pushed aside for political correctness?
Can we make a comparison with England? I mean no there isn’t a monarchy, but there is the constitution, which acts as pretty much the same thing, I know this would be a hugely controversial statement but lets look at it from a different angle. The monarch in England it without true power or rather limited power, the wishes and desires of the monarch goes through the houses of parliament to be acted upon or not. In the United States you have the opposite effect a law (or wishes and desires of a political body) are bought before the houses and held in front of the constitution to determine if it can be allowed. I know this is an odd interpretation, but it is still a valid if somewhat skewed view. The point, however, isn’t in the validity of the monarch vs the constitution that is really a digression, it is actually more importantly the source of the pride of a nation. In England when national pride existed, it was focused on the monarchy, the the United States the national pride is ultimately focused on the constitution, or at least the idea and tenants of it.
In England when the Monarchy eroded the sense of national pride eroded with it, what happens in the United States when the constitution gets eroded? Look at the second amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
I am not going to provide an opinion on the right to bear arms or an interpretation because it doesn’t matter to this subject, what matters is what happens when this right is eroded? When gun control and regulation starts to be heavily introduced? What happens when the first amendment gets altered to include you have the right to free speech unless we decide it will offend to many people?
When the inevitable erosion happens to the constitution, will the sense of national pride begin to erode with it? I don’t know, but I fear that it may.
Perhaps it is something to think about, perhaps it is just my mind looking for cause and effect, the loss of the British sense of purpose is undeniable though. Lets hope I am wrong and this same loss will not happen in the United States.