Let me preface this by saying outright that “I AM A PATRIOT” of our great nation…I have served in our Marine Corps, and I love this nation very much….
But as I have said I am in a unique position…
I am both a Tobacconist and a bar owner. Very few of us occupy both positions. As it is I have reduced myself to verifying my news after the fact, as most tidbits of interesting national and world import cross my two and a half feet of granite in the old way…through storytelling. I hear the success and folly, the love and hate, the understanding and the ignorant frustration of many people every day of my life. I am both the bartender psychologist, and the constitutionalist of a cigar seller that you have met.
I involuntarily occupy both positions at the same time….
As a youth I remember when military men were not popular, that is to say before the 9/11 tragedy. Most people won’t tell you this, or they decide to overlook the issue, but prior to 9/11 our military personnel were treated with much of the disdain that Vietnam Veterans had to deal with. Granted not with the same voracity, but none the less they were treated with the care one might show to a stray dog. A little food may be provided, but you will not come into my house.
I also remember that while Veterans were not much loved, our nation was well thought of. I have no desire to sound, or to be seditious when I say that I cannot remember a time prior to about seven years ago when I heard talk of Civil War. Yes that is what I said; talk of Civil War… not THE Civil War, but a new one, one still fought over taxes and poor representation. I hear variations as it pertains to tobacco smoking and tobacco taxes, guns and gun rights, private property rights, and insert the government tramping on me here rights. The talk of Civil War is upon the lips of thousands, and those are just the ones I have personally heard speak of it. I see more Union Jacks flown showing the snake and warning, “Don’t Tread on Me” than ever before.
I fear that if we do not as consumers of fine tobacco products, and thus benefacto as lovers and mongers of freedom and liberty, stand out and say no more, then this is what shall befall us. This continued oppression of minorities, and sometimes those that are not so minor, will eventually push the American people past the point of breaking. I would suggest in my own opinion an alliance be forged between the groups that are for rights of the people that we may stop the possibility of oppression pushing the American people so far…
Organizations like the CRA, the NRA, and I would even ask the ACLU to join if they can remember that there is a Second Amendment (as they appear to pretend it never existed as if it is a bastard child of a long estranged step-mother). We must prevent the possibility of bloodshed and the advent of Civil War by encouraging all of our fellow Americans to protect our rights with their votes, and not to protect the idle idiosyncrasies of our Socialist minded Citizens, because things like stricter gun control and smoking bans are violations of our rights, that men have bled to protect, but putting them into place is fueled by passion and fear rather than logic.
These agendas and the non-logical approach to politics serve only to break down the very fiber of who we are and why we have fought (and died), not only for our independence, but also for our continued right for us to be free and for others both foreign and domestic to be as well.
I was speaking with some Australian ladies today, and they related that they tend to lie down and take what crap their government throws, but we are Americans, we threw off our oppressors (namely King George) some 200 and odd years ago. We are our own people. And perhaps if we all work harder to protect the rights of our fellow Americans, even when we do not like or agree with their lifestyles or actions, we can move further from the possibility that the people of this nation will once again shed blood to protect their rights, and we may live in relative harmony as the free Americans that so many before us have died to ensure…