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You get no argument from me that the "culture" here is severely lacking, and our priorities are MONDO out of whack.
And maybe our country, because of our government...has lost some stature on the world stage, I'd be surprised if that were not the case, given our Squatter In Chief.
But I do not see things in terms of governments, I see things in terms of people...and the PEOPLE of the United States...are as significant as peoples of other nations. Not moreso, as many Americans think...but equally so.
It is how I am able, in spite of everything that has been done by our government to harm my community...to say I love my country. I do NOT love our government. I do NOT love our lack of culture, but I hang out with those, like me, that have some sense of culture. I do NOT love the fact that our priorities are way out of whack...so I work to change them, as much as I can...with others of like mind. I don't wait for someone else to change things, I believe in BEING that change I would wish to see in our nation.
You are right that, for many Americans...the value of anything begins and ends with - "does that bring food on the table?" - and that does tend to cause many Americans to under-appreciate the arts of all forms, including poetry. Some of us do not share those "values." I do not write poetry with an eye towards turning a buck...I do it with an eye towards changing hearts and minds...by holding up a mirror to what I see...so that others may also see it. To me, that is worth far more than money.
We seem, in America, to have lost our soul, our humanity...the things that make us human. Intellectuals, scientists and artists are scorned in this "Screw You" culture we have. If not for the fact of my 73 year old mom, and the fact that I have not the means to be an expatriate...I might well choose to be an expatriate myself. This county has, in many ways, left me...and it doesn't fit very well. Certainly, it is not the country I learned about and came to love in school...and on Schoolhouse Rock.
But my love for this country is such that I never could be an expatriate, and leave the fight to someone else. I love this country too much to give it up to the brigands that seek to destroy democracy and humankind's last best hope. So long as I have arms and the freedom to use them, I am here to fight for the things I love and value...and I will stand arm in arm with my sisters and brothers who love this nation as I do....who see the dark days we have fallen into...and who dream of a brighter future - and who are willing to fight for that brighter future.
I have no time for those who will accept the darkness, and believe they can do nothing to fight the darkness. All of us has a candle...imagine what happens if all of us light our candle!!
I, for one, will not go quietly into that good night. I shall rage against the dying of the light. Forgive me waxing poetic again...LOL. Dylan Thomas is another of my favorite poets, he is Welsh, as I am.