The “developing world.” I’ve got a problem with those words. Just how long is it going to take for them to develop? The American dollar is paying for too much that goes to these “developing countries.” Take some time and look at our founding ancestors of this great nation. Look back to Great Britain, these were incredibly tough people and still are. I know that our ancestors come from all over the world; that is what has made America so great. But it still has to go back to the first ones who came to this land of ours. Some will say that it was others who came first and not the English. OK, I understand that, that’s your opinion and that’s fine with me. This story is not about anything other than the will of the people from our past to go forward and prosper; working as one, but with diversity.
I, as with you, know the makeup of America in this day and time and the different nations that have given us a diverse people. For good and bad. But to the past and those early days we must go. I say that, for the most part, it was the English, but I am wrong. We have to take in to account the Irish and Scots. In time the Germans, French and Italians would play a big part, as would others who would build our nation of today. The men, women and children who took the chance on a new life in the New World were truly exceptional. They are the reason for this exceptional country and its exceptional people. They were the foundation of this country. Their blood and bones were the brick and mortar that led to our strong foundation.
Today, our children are not being taught this. They are not being taught what this past history has meant — not only to our nation, but to the world as a whole. For without the sacrifice of these people, the entire world would not have evolved to where we are today. Others will tell you that America is the problem for the world of today. I beg to differ with those who would say that our nation is why the world has so much hate today. There is no truth in those thoughts. Without America in the forefront, the world’s people would not have the freedom that they have today. What you would have would be a world that, for the most part, would be living in the 9th century. There are those who wish to push us back to those days. Those people wish to rule with an iron fist. They wish to crush free-thinking people. This can not be allowed to happen — for if it happens, then we will all be enslaved.
I cannot say that our ancestors got it all right, for they did not. The blood that flows in my veins is a mix of Native American and Scotch-Irish. I am Creek as much as I am Scotch-Irish, and I take pride in all of this. At times, all of us to one point or the other have been looked down upon. That is why we have to hold our heads high and not live in the past. Going forward is the only direction.
Think about the Mayflower for one moment. The ship left port on Sept. 6, 1620 and was at sea for 66 days; it arrived on the shores of America on Nov. 9. The ship carried 102 passengers, all hoping for a new life. Forty of the passengers were Protestant Separatists seeking religious freedom in the New World, and, as we all know, these colonists were called Pilgrims. Because of delays, the Mayflower had to cross the Atlantic in the middle of the storm season — the trip had to be horrible. Most of the passengers would have had to have been seasick for most of the journey, as well as some of the crew. But it did not stop them; they went forward. After reaching the New World, the Pilgrims found an abandoned Indian village and little more. In time, they realized that they had missed their mark and were north of Virginia — they were at Cape Cod. They stayed and now called this area Plymouth after the port in England from which they sailed.
Cold, wet and sick is what the New World had given them. It did not matter to them for they were free. The colonists’ first winter was to be brutal, to say the least. Of the original 102 that set forth on this journey, only 53 would live through it. Of the ship’s crew, only half would survive. During that first winter, they stayed on the ship. In April of 1621, the Mayflower returned to England. That first winter would see half of the colonists die from disease, starvation and the cold New England winter. Had it not been for the natives living in the area, they would have all died. Think about it: seven out of 10 would die. The survivors could have sailed back to England but they chose not to. What does that say about these people? Some would say they were crazy for not going back. I cannot say that, I can only say that they were driven to do this for a better life in their own future. Plymouth was not the first settlement. Jamestown, in 1607, would be the first permanent settlement. But the history goes back to about 1585 and Roanoke, which would fail.
My point for this brief history of our people is this: We have had about 430 years of history on this land, but only 240 years as a nation. You see what we have developed into in this short period of time and that is a short time when we look at the history of the world. We all see the advancements of a people who know what hard work is all about — and that is my problem with the developing world, as some will call it. In some cases, these developing countries have had thousands of years to develop a stable and self-sustaining economy for their own people without the help of America. Another point: What would the world have done without America — the America that so many wish to see fail? I can tell you. They would be living in the Dark Ages. Again, it seems that for those countries that want their people to live under a dictatorship this would be fine. This type of leadership cannot be allowed to thrive in today’s world.
As we all know, I, nor anyone else, has all the answers on how to make it all right for all people. I do know this much: until these developing countries have the leadership that is needed to lead, they will never advance. That is the problem and has been the problem for the entire world at times. Simple leadership that thinks more about their people and not their position in the scheme of things. Those who sit idle and wait on the rest of the world will do just that — nothing for their people.
Advancement comes from wants, needs and desires to have more than just a bare-bones existence. Unfortunately, I, along with you, have seen this take place within our own country. We are a rich nation. The world knows this, along with our own citizens. There is a certain number of our own people that will brag about how they have learned the system and how to play it for their own good and to Hell with the rest of us, so long as they get what they want — that being the support of your tax dollar. The developing world needs to develop the understanding: America will not take care of you forever.
Robert Lee is a concerned citizen and U.S. Marine veteran who owns and operates Rockingham Guns and Ammo. His column appears here each Saturday.