I just watched the movie “Pearl Harbor” for the first time. I’m glad I did. I wish I hadn’t. I’m glad because it showed an America that existed before. They were a lot like us today in some ways. They had hopes, and dreams. They had parties on the beach. They knew about the rising war in Europe. But that war was far away. And they believed in America!
They believed America to be the greatest nation in history. They believed that everything that was American was the best. They believed in the president. When it all came down to it, it was “us” against “them.” “They” were Japanese. Japs, Nips, Slopes. Yeah, it was racist. There was no room for political correctness as the Arizona went down. America focused, and yes, there was hate speech. There was hate speech because we hated the Japanese for what they did on December 7, 1941. And we settled the score with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nobody in America doubted the wisdom of that. They had it coming. Pearl Harbor had devastated us. We made America great again. And it stayed great for a very long time.
Until now. America is so divided that our president can’t get chump change to string a barb-wire fence along our border, but one hundred and eleven million dollars is allocated to study the effects of cocaine on jackasses. The animal, not members of the Democratic Party! And our border guards are blamed for the deaths of children, ignoring the fact that THEY didn’t being the children to the New Mexican desert. THEY are the ones to took the children to the hospital!
I wish I hadn’t watched the movie because the Boy Scouts are now the UniScouts. Unwrapping condoms has now replaced knot tying. Any disagreements are referred to as hate speech. Senators call people racist when they simply don’t want people streaming into our country illegally to do harm. Just like that day at Pearl Harbor. America cannot stand together as long as our government is divided along party lines. As long as those divisions are orchestrated by pre-ordained understandings. If you are this, you must believe that, or if you are that, you must believe this.
America has always extended open arms to people wanting to have a good life. It also heals those that it defeated in war. It rebuilt the hated enemy, Japan. Today, when Japanese tourists visit the memorial above the Arizona, they frequently weep. They weep remembering why the Arizona is down there, still leaking oil, and after the war what America did to allow them to visit it as welcomed tourists.
My son tells me he cannot watch Pearl Harbor. Understand why. It brings out the best and the worse in you. Watching those young men and women dodge bombs, fire, and bullets, where the night before they’d considered their station a dream job. Then, you look at America today, and just thank God that the Japanese like us now!The Butcher Shop